Derby winner Medina Spirit collapses, dies in California

Medina Spirit, a 3-calendar year-old colt whose Kentucky Derby victory in May perhaps came beneath scrutiny simply because of a optimistic drug take a look at, collapsed and died after a exercise routine Monday at Santa Anita in Southern California.

Trainer Bob Baffert explained in a statment that the horse experienced a heart assault. The colt had just concluded 5 furlongs in his next exercise routine because finishing next in the Breeders’ Cup Common a thirty day period back at Del Mar.

“My total barn is devastated by this news,” Baffert claimed. “Medina Spirit was a excellent champion, a member of our family members who was cherished by all, and we are deeply mourning his reduction. I will normally cherish the happy and individual recollections of Medina Spirit and his remarkable spirit.”

Santa Anita mentioned in a statment that the observe veterinary group took blood, hair and urine samples from Medina Spirit and despatched them to the California Horse Racing Board. The colt will undergo a entire necropsy, as necessary by the racing board, to check out to figure out the precise bring about of dying.

No timeline for completing the necropsy has been presented.

Medina Spirit analyzed optimistic immediately after his May well 1 Kentucky Derby win for betamethasone, a lawful medicine that is not permitted on race day. The victory was Baffert’s record seventh earn in the Derby.

But in the wake of Medina Spirit’s unsuccessful test, Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs and barred from entering horses in the 2022 and 2023 Kentucky Derbies. He also was banned by the New York Racing Association from moving into horses at its Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct tracks.

Last Friday, Craig Robertson, Baffert’s lawyer, released a statement stating that tests completed by a New York lab have “definitely confirmed” Medina Spirit examined optimistic for the steroid — not by way of an injection but owing to an ointment made use of to take care of a skin rash.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Fee has been investigating the situation, and has nevertheless to maintain a hearing that could quite possibly disqualify Medina Spirit.

In the $6 million BC Traditional previous thirty day period, Medina Spirit couldn’t muster the required late kick to threaten winner Knicks Go.

“I’m really proud of him. He ran a fantastic race,” Baffert stated past month. “To me, he’s the best 3-yr-outdated. He confirmed it these days. That is what racing is all about, proving it on the racetrack. And he proved it now that he’s the real deal.”

Baffert was permitted to enter horses in the season-ending world championships, but the event’s dollars-major trainer experienced to meet up with particular situations, which includes stricter out-of-opposition screening of his horses and bigger stability at his barn. He agreed to the additional scrutiny and was demanded to pay back for it out of his personal pocket.

Medina Spirit experienced 5 wins in 10 profession starts and earnings of $3,545,200, in accordance to Equibase. The colt was owned by Amr Zedan, who competes as Zedan Racing Stables.

“Our most honest condolences go out to Mr. Amr Zedan and the total Zedan Racing Stables family,” Baffert stated in his assertion Monday. “They are in our feelings and prayers as we go by means of this challenging time.”


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