Medina Spirit urine sample at center of latest argument

Bob Baffert brought Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit out for fans to see on the morning after the race. Medina Spirit is Baffert’s seventh Kentucky Derby winner. May 2, 2021 Aj4t9170

Medina Spirit’s victory in the May 1 Kentucky Derby remains in question, with attorney arguments Friday in front of a judge related to the amount of the horse’s urine that will be sent to a testing lab.

Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the sides have until Wednesday to agree on sample protocols before he will step in and make a decision.

Attorneys for trainer Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit owners Zedan Racing Stables want a full urine sample, up to 27 milliliters, sent to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The KHRC would prefer having a smaller amount in its possession with samples kept in multiple locations.

After Medina Spirit won the opening Triple Crown race for Baffert, the 3-year-old colt tested positive for the presence of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory medication. The substance’s presence is not permitted at any level on race day.

Baffert’s team has not refuted the positive test, saying instead that the presence of betamethasone must have come innocuously after the horse was treated with an ointment for a skin rash.

Not only is Medina Spirit’s Derby victory still in question, but Baffert could also face further discipline with a fine or suspension.

Baffert watched the most recent court proceedings via teleconference, according to Blood Horse Magazine, but did not make a statement and was not asked any questions.

Baffert’s legal team has insisted that finding the source of the betamethasone should be uncovered before a final decision is made on the Kentucky Derby order of finish.

–Field Level Media