Churchill Downs Immediately Suspends Baffert From Entering Horses - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Churchill Downs Immediately Suspends Baffert From Entering Horses

Trainer Bob Baffert’s ‘wall of fame’ at his Churchill Downs barn

In the wake of the revelation from trainer Bob Baffert on Sunday morning that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid, Churchill Downs has immediately suspended the trainer from entering horses at the Louisville, Ky., track.

This is the second consecutive year that a Baffert runner has been involved in a post-race drug test controversy. In 2020, eventual female sprint champion Gamine was disqualified from a third-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks after testing positive for the same drug detected in post-race testing of Medina Spirit.

Churchill Downs officials issued the following statement on Sunday:

“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. 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.

“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 will not tolerate it. Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We will await the conclusion of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commissions' investigation before taking further steps.”

Baffert said on Sunday that Medina Spirit and a second horse, Rebel Stakes winner Concert Tour, will be entered in Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown, at Pimlico race course in Baltimore, Md.

Craig Fravel, CEO of Racing Operations for The Stronach Group, said company officials would not have an immediate statement while they gather information on the situation.

Baffert currently has no horses entered to race at Churchill Downs. He won with two starters on Saturday.

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