Bob Baffert: Medina Spirit Was Given Cream That Contained Illegal Drug

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured 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

Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday that the Kentucky Derby winner was treated with antifungal ointment Otomax ahead of the race, which may have resulted in his positive test for betamethasone after the Derby.

In a statement released through his lawyer, Craig Robertson, Baffert also said pharmacologists told him the amount of betamethasone in Medina Spirit's sample wouldn't have been enough to impact the race:

Tim Sullivan @TimSullivan714

Full statement from Bob Baffert. Sorry about the type size. https://t.co/CYvwBAsa3Y

Baffert, one of the most decorated trainers in horse racing history, went on a media blitz Monday in which he referred to the response to the positive test as a "cancel culture kind of a thing."

Churchill Downs, the home track to the Kentucky Derby, announced Sunday it had suspended Baffert indefinitely while an investigation by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission took place. The sides were also awaiting a result from the split sample from Medina Spirit.

The horse remains eligible to compete in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, but the famed trainer said he won't be in attendance.

"I go to Baltimore to have a good time. It's a fun trip," Baffert told reporters. "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."

Baffert's horses have a recent history of failed drug tests, though he's denied knowledge of any use of banned substances.

For now, Medina Spirit is the Kentucky Derby champion. Mandaloun, who finished second, would be declared the winner if Baffert's horse is disqualified.

Trainer Brad Cox announced Thursday, before the Medina Spirit test result came to light, that Mandaloun wouldn't take part in the Preakness.

The situation has created a cloud of uncertainty over the 2021 Triple Crown season, which will conclude with the Belmont Stakes on June 5 after Saturday's Preakness.