Additional testing of Medina Spirit’s post-Kentucky Derby urine sample will begin next week, according to bloodhorse.com. Dr. George Maylin, Director of the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory, has now received the relevant drug metabolite reference standards from Frontier BioPharm. Sample testing should take approximately two weeks.
Colt Protonico’s victory at the Derby is in jeopardy due to a positive post-race test result for betamethasone, a therapeutic drug which is not permitted on race day. Trainer Bob Baffert and his attorney claimed the positive result was the result of a topical cream (Otomax) being used to treat a case of dermatitis on the foal’s hindquarters. Although the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has yet to hold a hearing, it is required to disqualify Medina Spirit.
Lawyer for Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit trainer, and Zedan Stables owner Craig Robertson filed a civil suit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on June 7, demanding their right to test the urine sample split, which was undisturbed in the commission’s freezer. The remains of the original biological samples were first sent to be tested for these ingredients, but they were said to have been damaged before they arrived at the plaintiffs’ chosen laboratories, the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory.
Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ordered on June 16 that the remaining urine sample be flown to the New York lab, that two KHRC officials travel with the sample, and that the plaintiffs finance the theft. Upon arrival, KHRC was to keep 5 milliliters of the sample, while the rest was to be tested for clotrimazole, gentamicin and betamethasone valerate, the active ingredients in Otomax topical cream.
On July 14, the sample was flown to New York accompanied by Dr. Clara Fenger and Tom Huckeby, representing Baffert and Medina Spirit owner Amr Zedan, as well as KHRC Executive Director Marc Guilfoil and the Equine Medical Director, Dr. Bruce Howard.
On August 9, in Judge Wingate’s courtroom, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission General Counsel Jennifer Wolsing explained: betamethasone) was introduced to the horse.
‘We cannot hold a stewards’ hearing until the test results come back, as that appears to form the basis of the defense the plaintiffs want to mount. We would really like these results so that we can move forward with a hearing of the stewards and find out more about this case.
When this hearing takes place, Medina Spirit could be disqualified and Baffert could be fined and/or suspended by the KHRC. A suspension would be reciprocal in other racing jurisdictions.
Since racing in the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit has raced four times. He finished third in the Preakness, then won the Shared Belief Stakes and G1 Awesome Again, and finished second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Read more on bloodhorse.com.