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Medina Spirit remains Preakness favorite despite controversy

John Velazquez, aboard Medina Spirit, wins the Kentucky Derby. Derbyclevenger02

Medina Spirit is the morning-line 9-5 favorite for Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Rase Course in Baltimore, despite controversy surrounding the 3-year-old colt’s victory in the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit later tested positive for the presence of a steroid that helps horses alleviate discomfort in their joints. Baffert admitted to the use of the substance betamethasone, but said it was used as an anti-fungal medication for dermatitis just once leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

To get Medina Spirit into the Preakness field, Baffert made an agreement with the Maryland Racing Commission to allow additional testing and monitoring of his Derby-winning horse. He will not be in attendance.

“Essentially (it is) a watchlist to ensure the integrity of the sport leading up to the race,” Maryland Jockey Club lawyer Alan Rifkin said. “We’re very pleased to have that, and we appreciate Mr. Baffert’s patience and the way in which his lawyers went about it.”

Baffert, through his attorney, agreed to have all testing results available to the public.

Baffert also has the second betting choice in the Preakness, Concert Tour, who has early 5-2 odds. Concert Tour did not race in the Kentucky Derby.

Medina Spirit was given the No. 3 post position Tuesday and will be ridden by John Velazquez. Concert Tour will race out of the No. 10 post with Mike Smith aboard.

The third betting choice for the Preakness Stakes is Midnight Bourbon (5-1), who finished sixth in the Derby. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride the second-place finisher in the Louisiana Derby.

Rounding the field in order of post position is No. 1 Ram (30-1 odds), No. 2 Keepmeinmind (15-1), No. 4 Crowded Trade (10-1), No. 6 Rombauer (12-1), No. 7 France Go de Ina (20-1), No. 8 Unbridled Honor (15-1) and No. 9 Risk Taking (15-1).

Keepmeinmind is the third horse entered in the Preakness who also raced in the Derby, after Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon. Keepmeinmind finished seventh at Churchill Downs, one spot behind Midnight Bourbon.

–Field Level Media