On Monday, 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was officially stripped of that victory and coach Bob Baffert was suspended for 90 days, fined $7,500 and forced to forfeit all money from the victory purse by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission after the horse’s test. positive for the steroid betamethasone last May.
Later that day, Clark Brewster, an attorney for Baffert, said in a statement that he would appeal the decision.
“We are disappointed with the Commission’s decision, but not surprised,” Brewster said, according to Paulick Report. “This decision represents a flagrant departure from the facts and the law, but the numerous public statements by KHRC officials over the past few months have made it clear that the fate of Bob Baffert was decided before we even sat down for a hearing. ahead of the three stewards. , one of whom is directly employed by Churchill Downs as Race Director at Turfway Park. We will appeal and prevail when the facts and rules are presented to detached and neutral decision makers.
“Kentucky Racing Rules, KHRC Rule 8:020-2, Regulates Only ‘Betamethasone Acetate'” via IA [intra-articular joint] administration” and prohibits its use only if this injection took place within 14 days preceding the race.
“The Kentucky Racing Rules, Rule 8:010, Section 4, expressly permits coaches to administer ointments containing betamethasone under a rule titled ‘Certain Permitted Substances,’ which states that ‘Ointments… and other products commonly used in the daily care of horses may be administered by anyone other than a licensed veterinarian if: (1) The treatment does not include any drug, drug or substance otherwise prohibited by these bylaws; (2) The treatment is not injected; and (3) The person is acting under the direction of a licensed trainer or veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Kentucky and approved by the commission.”
As The Associated Press (h/t ESPN) noted, Baffert admitted to treating Medina Spirit with a topical ointment containing betamethasone after a test revealed 21 picograms of the steroid were in the horse’s body. . Churchill Downs suspended Baffert for two years and, after Monday’s development, named second-placed Mandaloun the winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby. Mandaloun owners will receive the winner’s purse worth $1.8 million.
Betamethasone is legal in Kentucky but banned on race day.
“The undisputed and undisputed facts established at the hearing were as follows: (1) Medina Spirit was treated with an ointment, not an injection; (2) the minute amount of betamethasone detected could not have affected the horse of any way; and (3) the minute amount of betamethasone detected could not have affected the outcome of the race,” Brewster added in the statement.
“In other words, Medina Spirit would have won with Where without the ointment because it was irrelevant in every way. The stewards’ decision to deprive Medina Spirit of a victory he achieved was not in accordance with the law, but rather represents a biased, deliberate and wrongful action.”
Medina Spirit died of a suspected heart attack after a training session on December 6.