Trainer Bob Baffert asks to end appeal of DQ of Medina Spirit for failed drug test at Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said on social media that he has asked attorneys to end his appeal of Medina Spirit’s disqualification as 2021 Kentucky Derby winner after the now-deceased colt failed a postrace drug test that detected the steroid betamethasone in his system.
The two-time Triple Crown winner had appealed his disqualification by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission nearly two years ago for using the topical ointment, which is legal in Kentucky but banned on race day. Churchill Downs subsequently took Medina Spirit down as Derby winner and elevated runner-up Mandaloun to champion. The historic track suspended Baffert for two years immediately after the failed test and extended the punishment last July to at least the end of the 2024 calendar year, a ban that will keep him out of the milestone 150th Derby on May 4.
Baffert said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he instructed lawyers to drop the appeal after talking with Zedan Racing owner Amr Zedan “to positively focus on the present and future that our great sport offers.” The trainer also thanked the KHRC and Churchill Downs for hearing his side and added he was grateful for “changes and clarity” the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has brought to horse racing.
Medina Spirit collapsed and died in December 2021 following a workout in California. Baffert returned to the Triple Crown last spring and won the Preakness with National Treasure just after another of his entries, Havnameltdown, was euthanized on the track at Pimlico Race Course following a leg injury.