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Medina Spirit, winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby, fails drug test

NBC News logo NBC News 5/9/2021 Ben Kesslen
a person riding a horse in front of a crowd © Provided by NBC News

The horse that won the 2021 Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit, has failed a drug test, the horse's Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

In a news conference Sunday morning, Baffert said the winning horse tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, 11 picograms above the legal limit in Kentucky, NBC Lexington, Kentucky affiliate WLEX said.

"Yesterday, I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something I didn't do,” Baffert said, according to WLEX. "It's disturbing. It's an injustice for the horse."

Baffert said he didn’t know why Medina would have tested positive for the drug and called the incident “a complete adjustment.”

Video: Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit fails post-race drug test (TODAY)


The test doesn’t automatically disqualify Medina Spirit, as Derby officials await results from another sample to come back before making a decision.

Medina Spirit won the prestigious race on May 1, giving Baffert a record seven derby wins.

Churchill Downs, the host of the Derby, did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.


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