Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit dies instantly at Santa Anita Park, trainer suggests

The horse experienced a heart attack pursuing a exercise, Bob Baffert reported.

Medina Spirit, the winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, died of a heart attack subsequent a exercise at California’s Santa Anita Park, the horse’s trainer announced Monday.

The 3-year-aged colt collapsed on the monitor soon after completing a plan early morning work out and died “all of a sudden,” the on-website veterinary staff who attended to him identified, in accordance to a assertion from Santa Anita Park.

The veterinary staff took blood, hair and urine samples from the horse and sent them to the California Horse Racing Board, in accordance to Santa Anita.

A whole necropsy, as per protocol in California, will be performed at the University of California-Davis’ School of Veterinary Drugs to check out and determine the correct induce of this sudden death. The success will be unveiled by the California Horse Racing Board, according to the Park.

Medina Spirit’s very first-position complete at the Kentucky Derby was dampened by a good drug examination for betamethasone, a joint injection/anti-inflammatory treatment, next the race on May perhaps 1.

The horse was located to have 21 picograms of the steroid in his method, twice the lawful limit. The medicine is lawful but not on race day in Kentucky, Maryland and New York, the states that host the Triple Crown collection.

In June, Churchill Downs suspended Hall of Fame coach Bob Baffert for two a long time right after the beneficial take a look at was verified.

Baffert preserved his innocence, describing the beneficial examination as a “total injustice” and retaining that the steroid was used to handle a skin rash.

A topical ointment, and not an injection, led to the unsuccessful test, an legal professional for trainer Bob Baffert declared on Friday, The Related Push reported. The resolve was made through urine samples analyzed by a lab in New York.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will figure out regardless of whether the take a look at proving the drug was presented by using ointment and not injection could get Medina Spirit’s favourable check tossed out, the AP reported. The investigation is ongoing, according to the fee.

Medina Spirit has not been stripped of his victory. He also came in third in the Preakness Stakes.

Baffert stated in a statement, “My whole barn is devastated by this information.”

“Medina Spirit was a good champion, a member of our family who was beloved by all, and we are deeply mourning his decline,” Baffert said. “I will generally cherish the proud and private memories of Medina Spirit and his huge spirit.”

Baffert also explained his “thoughts and prayers” are with Zedan Racing Stables, the owners of Medina Spirit.

“Medina Spirit will be skipped by all all those who worked with and cared for him,” Santa Anita reported.

“The Kentucky Horse Racing Fee (KHRC) is saddened to hear of the loss of life of Medina Spirit,” the fee claimed in a assertion. “He was a valued member of the thoroughbred industry’s horse racing family members.”

The California Horse Racing Board is expected to release a assertion on Monday.

Santa Anita Park created national headlines in 2019, following dozens of horses died at the racing facility in a solitary season — the greater part on the main keep track of.

The deaths prompted a undertaking drive investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office environment and phone calls from Gov. Gavin Newsrom to shut down soon after it did not heed the California Horse Racing Board’s recommendation to suspend racing when the loss of life toll was at 29.

More than 40 horses died that period.

Regardless of the really publicized deaths, the facility features a high rate of protection and considers by itself the greatest schooling facility in the U.S.

In 2019, horses raced or properly trained at the facility a lot more than 420,000 instances at a safety price of 99.99%, according to the park.

ABC News’ Henderson Hewes, Cheryl Gendron and Bonnie Mclean contributed to this report.