Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit collapsed and died Monday after a workout in Santa Anita.
According to Baffert’s attorney, Craig Robertson, the 3-year-old colt coached by Bob Baffert completed five furlongs in his second workout since finishing second at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Del Mar a month earlier. Baffert said in a statement that the horse suffered a heart attack.
“My whole barn is devastated by this news,” Baffert said. “The Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family loved by all, and we are deeply mourning his loss. I will always cherish the proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and his tremendous spirit.”
Santa Anita issued a statement saying the track veterinary team took blood, hair and urine samples from Medina Spirit and sent them to the California Horse Racing Board. The colt would undergo a complete autopsy, as required by the Racing Board, to try to determine the exact cause of death.
Medina Spirit tested positive after a May 1 derby for betamethasone, a legal drug that is not allowed on race day. It was Baffert’s record seventh win in the Derby. In the wake of the failed test of the Medina Spirit, Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs and barred from the entry of horses in the 2022 and 2023 Kentucky Derbys. He was also banned from the entry of horses by the New York Racing Association at its Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct tracks.
Last Friday, Robertson issued a statement saying that tests conducted by a New York lab had “conclusively confirmed” Medina Spirit tested positive for steroids — not via an injection, but a skin test. But because of the ointment used to treat rashes.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is investigating the matter, and has yet to hear a hearing that could possibly disqualify Medina Spirit.
In the $6 Million BC Classic, Medina Spirits winner Knicks could not muster the necessary late kick to threaten Go.
“I am very proud of him. He ran a great race,” Baffert said last month. “To me, he is the best 3-year-old. He showed up today. That’s what racing is all about on the racetrack to prove it. And she proved today that she’s the real deal. ,
Baffert was allowed to enter horses at the season-ending World Championships, but the event’s money-leading trainer had to meet certain conditions, including rigorous out-of-competition testing of his horses and more at his barn. Security was included. He agreed to the additional investigation and had to pay for it out of his own pocket.
According to Equibase, Medina Spirit had five wins and $3,545,200 in 10 career starts. Colt was owned by Amr Zedan, which competes as Zedan Racing Stables.
“Our deepest condolences to Mr. Amar Zedan and the entire Zedan Racing Stables family,” Baffert said in his statement on Monday. “They are in our thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult time.”