Medina Spirit Cleared to Race in 2021 Preakness Stakes After Passing Drug Tests

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 14, 2021

Jockey John Velazquez onboard Medina Spirit gives a thumbs up after winning the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit will go for the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown in the 2021 Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

According to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, Medina Spirit was cleared to compete in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore after his latest drug test came back clean.

After trainer Bob Baffert's colt won the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, the horse failed a post-race drug test, testing positive for the steroid betamethasone, per ESPN.

Medina Spirit could have been prevented from racing in the Preakness Stakes had another test come back positive.

Baffert, who denied any involvement in Medina Spirit's being administered the steroid, was banned from Churchill Downs after the positive test.

According to Joe Drape of the New York Times, Baffert subsequently said the banned substance got into Medina Spirit's system because it was in an ointment prescribed to the horse to treat dermatitis.

Medina Spirit's win was upheld rather than vacated or given to runner-up Mandaloun, though Mandaloun will be declared the winner if a second sample confirms Medina Spirit's positive test, per Drape.

Baffert's horses have triumphed seven times in the Kentucky Derby. He will go for Preakness win No. 8 on Saturday with Medina Spirit and Concert Tour as his entries.

Should Medina Spirit win the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, Baffert could enter the Belmont Stakes with a chance to win his third Triple Crown.

Medina Spirit will start from the No. 3 post in the 10-horse field, and the race website lists him as the 9-5 favorite.