Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, trainer Bob Baffert’s latest Derby champ, will be vanned to Baltimore ahead of Saturday’s Preakness Stakes but won’t have Baffert on the trip.
The Hall of Fame trainer, embroiled in controversy after Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test, said Monday that he wouldn’t be on hand at Pimlico Race Course for the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown because he believes he’d be a distraction.
Baffert’s record seventh Derby title is no certainty now, pending his appeal of the violation. Medina Spirit could be disqualified, giving the victory to second-place Mandaloun.
Baffert has won seven runnings of the Preakness.
Test results showed Medina Spirit had more than twice the state-allowed amount of the steroid betamethasone. Part of the original sample will be re-tested.
Baffert has denied any attempt to circumvent the rules.
Churchill Downs has suspended Baffert from entering horses at the track.
The Maryland Jockey Club and Pimlico officials are waiting for a full review of the facts before any ruling on Medina Spirit’s status.
Because of that, the post-position draw for the 146th Preakness was pushed back a day to Tuesday.
–Field Level Media