Baffert's Lawyer May File Restraining Order Against Preakness over Medina Spirit

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

Trainer Bob Baffert watches workouts at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

A lawyer for trainer Bob Baffert will file a temporary restraining order in the event Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is prohibited from running in the Preakness Stakes, according to the Associated Press' Gary B. Graves.

Medina Spirit's status for the second leg of the Triple Crown remains up in the air after he was flagged for an excessive amount of betamethasone in a test taken the day of the Derby.

Baffert has denied the three-year-old was given the steroid. During an interview on Fox News, he also invoked "cancel culture" to describe the situation.

"With all the noise ... we live in a different world now," he said. "This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they're reviewing it. I haven't been told anything. We're prepared to run."

The legendary trainer also claimed Medina Spirit may have had betamethasone in his system because a groom urinated on some hay in his stall. The horse then ate the hay, which had been contaminated with betamethasone from cough medicine the groom had taken.

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde explained how this is far from the first example of a Baffert-trained horse being the subject of drug allegations. In February, Baffert received a $1,500 fine after Gamine tested positive for betamethasone. Gamine's third-place result in the Kentucky Oaks was also invalidated.

Per Graves, the Maryland Jockey Club and officials at Pimlico Race Course are reviewing the case with regard to whether Medina Spirit will run. Depending on the results of a re-test from his original sample, he could be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby, with his win stricken from the record books.

Baffert, meanwhile, has already said he won't travel to Baltimore.

"I go to Baltimore to have a good time," he said. "It's a fun trip. I don't want to take away from the horses. I think it'd be a distraction if I went. I think it'd be a distraction if I win. The owners will be there. (Assistant trainer) Jimmy (Barnes) can handle it."