Medina Spirit gallops at Pimlico Race Course in advance of the 146th Preakness Stakes. Maryland Jockey Club photo.

Medina Spirit Tests Clear, Is Eligible to Run in Preakness Stakes 146

TVG Staff Report

Medina Spirit, the first-place finisher in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1), and stablemate Concert Tour have each been cleared by the Maryland Jockey Club to compete in the May 15 Preakness Stakes (G1) following three rounds of out-of-competition blood sample testing.

The testing was done as part of the condition of entry agreement into Preakness 146 between the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) and trainer Bob Baffert after Medina Spirit tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone in his initial post-race sample from the Kentucky Derby. 

According to a release from Maryland Jockey Club, two samples were drawn on May 6th and May 10th, respectively, by the Maryland Racing Commission and were screened by Industrial Laboratories in Colorado. 

A third sample was drawn on May 11th by 1/ST RACING and MJC and screened by the University of California at Davis Maddy Laboratory.

Beautiful Gift, who was entered in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on May 14, was also cleared to run.

All horses entered in both the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and the Preakness Stakes will remain under veterinary observation and security surveillance.

Baffert acknowledged this past Sunday that Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms per milliliter of blood of betamethasone, a Class C drug that is allowed in Kentucky as a therapeutic. However, state rules require at least a 14-day withdrawl time and any level of detection on race day is a violation. 

After initially saying that Medina Spirit had never been treated with bethamethasone, Baffert said in a statement that was distributed by his lawyer Craig Robertson Tuesday that Medina Spirit was treated with the ointment Otomax once a day after the colt developed a dermatitis on his hind end following his runner-up effort in the April 3 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) and that he was informed on May 10 that betamethasone was one of the substances in the medication. 

The split sample results of the betamethasone test are still waiting to be confirmed. 

Churchill Downs said in a statement on Sunday that “if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and (runner-up) Mandaloun will be declared the winner. “

To view a copy of the Maryland Jockey Club and Baffert agreement, please click here.