Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for elevated levels of betamethasone, trainer Bob Baffert revealed Sunday, throwing the horse’s victory last weekend at Churchill Downs into question.
Speaking to reporters Sunday morning, Baffert denied that the horse had ever been treated with the drug, which is sometimes used for joint pain in horses, saying his team would conduct its own investigation.
"Yesterday I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something that I didn’t do," Baffert said, adding it was an "injustice to the horse."
"I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I was wronged. But I’m going to fight it."
Betamethasone is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid that is allowed in horse racing at a certain level. But Baffert said he’d been informed that Medina Spirit’s postrace test detected 21 picograms per milliliter — more than double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing.
Churchill Downs on Sunday announced it would immediately suspend Baffert, barring him from entering horses to race at the track.
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