Churchill Downs suspends Bob Baffert after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit's drug test

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Churchill Downs has suspended trainer Bob Baffert from entering horses at the track after Sunday’s announcement that Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone following his victory in the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

“It is our understanding that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample indicated a violation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s equine medication protocols,” Churchill Downs said in a news release. “The connections of Medina Spirit have the right to request a test of a split sample, and we understand they intend to do so.

“To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”

Trainer Bob Baffert reacts in the Winner's Circle after Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby Saturday. May 1, 2021
Trainer Bob Baffert reacts in the Winner's Circle after Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby Saturday. May 1, 2021

Baffert said Sunday he didn’t know when the result of the split sample will be available.

“He’s still the Derby winner,” Baffert said, “but we have to go through that process.”

Churchill Downs said it “will await the conclusion of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s investigation before taking further steps” regarding Baffert’s suspension.

More: What happens to bets placed on Derby winner Medina Spirit after positive drug test?

“Failure to comply with the rules and medication protocols jeopardizes the safety of the horses and jockeys, the integrity of our sport and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby and all who participate,” Churchill Downs said in the release. “Churchill Downs will not tolerate it.”

Medina Spirit’s victory gave Baffert his seventh win the Kentucky Derby, most of any trainer in the race’s 147-year history.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert suspended from Churchill Downs

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