Kentucky Derby and Oaks are over; now the drug tests are in for Rich Strike, Secret Oath

There will be no Medina Spirit situation with this year’s Kentucky Derby. Or the Oaks, for that matter.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced on Wednesday that it has received the lab results of all post-race samples from Kentucky Oaks and Derby day races on May 6-7 at Churchill Downs.

“All samples for both days were cleared,” the racing commission reported. “This includes the post-race samples from the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.”

Which means Secret Oath, who won the Oaks, and Rich Strike, who won the Derby, have been cleared. Winners are routinely tested and after major races the entire field is usually tested as well.

Secret Oath, with Luis Saez up, wins the 148th Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs last Friday.
Secret Oath, with Luis Saez up, wins the 148th Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs last Friday.

Last year, trainer Bob Baffert announced at a hastily called news conference at his barn at the track on May 9 that Medina Spirit, who won the Derby on May 1, had tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid prohibited in horses on race days.

Later testing confirmed the results and the horse was disqualified in February.

Baffert and Medina Spirit’s owner, Amr Zedan, are appealing the stewards’ ruling with the racing commission.

Medina Spirit died at Santa Anita in December 2021 of apparent heart failure.

Baffert has been barred from racing at any Churchill Downs racetrack through Derby 2023. He has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Louisville against Churchill Downs Inc. seeking to overturn that restriction.

The winners of the Derby and the Oaks could have squared off against each other in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, on May 21 in Baltimore.

Secret Oath trainer D. Wayne Lukas announced Wednesday that his filly would take on the colts at Pimlico. However, Rich Strike’s handlers announced Thursday that their charge would not continue on to Baltimore.