LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is headed to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes whereas coach Bob Baffert stated Monday that he received’t attend the race to keep away from being a distraction within the wake of scrutiny following the colt’s failed postrace drug take a look at.
Medina Spirit’s Derby win by half a size over Mandaloun on Could 1 gave Baffert his report seventh victory within the sport’s premier race. That milestone win is now in jeopardy following Baffert’s announcement on Sunday that take a look at outcomes revealed the horse had an extreme quantity of the steroid betamethasone.
Baffert is interesting the optimistic take a look at and a part of the unique pattern will probably be re-tested. If the violation is upheld, Medina Spirit could possibly be disqualified and runner-up Mandaloun elevated to winner.
The coach has denied all wrongdoing and promised full transparency with Kentucky racing officers. Churchill Downs nonetheless suspended Baffert from getting into horses on the observe. The Maryland Jockey Membership and Pimlico officers say they’ll determine on Medina Spirit’s standing within the Triple Crown’s center jewel after reviewing the info.
Baffert’s lawyer, W. Craig Robertson III, confirmed to The Related Press he’s ready to file for a brief restraining order to maintain Preakness officers from denying Medina Spirit entry into the race, in the event that they determine to take action.
These occasions will unfold with Baffert again in California as an alternative of on the race the place he’ll go for a report eighth victory.
“I’m going to Baltimore to have a great time. It’s a enjoyable journey,” Baffert stated. “I don’t wish to take away from the horses. I believe it’d be a distraction if I went. I believe it’d be a distraction if I win. The homeowners will probably be there. (Assistant coach) Jimmy (Barnes) can deal with it.”
Whether or not he’s in Baltimore or not, the main focus proper now’s on Medina Spirit and Baffert.
Medina Spirit and Live performance Tour, who skipped the Derby, arrived at Pimlico on Monday afternoon after being transported by van from Churchill Downs. The sector for the 146th Preakness will probably be drawn on Tuesday after being pushed again a day due to the uncertainty.
Within the meantime, Baffert continued to take care of the fallout from his fifth horse to have failed a drug take a look at in over a 12 months.
Medina Spirit was discovered to have 21 picograms of betamethasone, which is typically used to deal with ache and irritation in horses. It was the identical drug present in Baffert-trained filly Gamine, who completed third in final fall’s Kentucky Oaks earlier than being disqualified following a take a look at. Baffert was fined $1,500.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear stated he’s dissatisfied in a number of methods and harassed the rule “was well-known to anyone operating within the Kentucky Derby.” However he added that Baffert will get due course of.
Baffert acknowledged the criticism he’s receiving on social media and understands the general public scrutiny of him because the face of horse racing. He additionally expressed disappointment with Churchill Downs officers for a press release asserting his suspension quickly after he revealed the failed drug take a look at.
“I believed I had had a reasonably good relation(ship) with them with all of the stuff I’ve completed with my Triple Crown winners,” he stated. “I’m the face of the game and I’m attempting to advertise my sport. And that was a reasonably low blow, what they did yesterday. I want they’d’ve referred to as me.”
With that, Baffert’s hope is that Medina Spirit could make a robust exhibiting within the Preakness and put the general public skepticism to relaxation — for now.
“I need him to run a great race as a result of now all people’s piling on him,” Baffert stated. “It’s most likely extra strain now that he’s acquired to run effectively.”
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