Experts Question Dr. George Maylin's Study Of Medina Spirit Samples - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Experts Question Dr. George Maylin’s Study Of Medina Spirit Samples

Medina Spirit and Bob Baffert

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's hearing on the disqualification of Medina Spirit from the 2021 Kentucky Derby is due to begin on June 28, according to In preparation, a pair of reports were entered into the court records which question the findings of testing requested by trainer Bob Baffert's attorneys in an attempt to prove that the betamethasone in Medina Spirit's system is the result of a topical ointment Otomax, rather than an injection.

Baffert's attorneys commissioned Dr. George Maylin, director of the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory, to perform a study. Maylin studied the post-race samples of Medina Spirit and performed a separate study with two Thoroughbreds, concluding that the substance in the colt's system was betamethasone valerate, an ingredient found in Otomax.

However, at least two experts have written reports questioning the validity of Maylin's work.

Dr. Mark Papich, a professor of clinical pharmacology at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a former president of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, questioned both the completeness and conclusions of Maylin's research. Papich also argued that whether or not the route of administration (i.e., topical ointment or injection) makes a difference in potency or systemic effect is unknown because the issue has not been studied in horses.

Papich also defines several deficiencies in Maylin's description of the experiment testing topical administration of Otomax, especially focusing on Maylin's failure to reveal the amount of betamethasone valerate detected.

In addition, Dr. Heather Knych, section head of the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Pharcology Laboratory at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, reports that that there are no published, peer-reviewed scientific studies describing the minimum effective blood concentration of betamethasone in horses.


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