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Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit dies after collapse in California


FILE – John Velazquez atop Medina Spirit competes in the 146th Preakness Stakes Horse Race at Pimlico Racecourse on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a training session on Monday, December 6, 2021 in Santa Anita. The 3-year-old colt trained by Bob Baffert had just completed five stages in his second training since his second place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic a month ago in Del Mar, according to Craig Robertson, Baffert’s lawyer. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez, on file)

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has collapsed and died after a workout Monday in Santa Anita, Calif.

The 3-year-old colt trained by Bob Baffert had just completed five stages in his second training since his second place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic a month ago in Del Mar, according to Craig Robertson, Baffert’s lawyer. Baffert said in a statement the horse suffered a heart attack.

“My whole barn is devastated by this news,” Baffert said. “Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family who was loved by all, and we mourn her loss deeply. I will always cherish the proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and its wonderful spirit. “

The foal will undergo a complete necropsy, as required by the California Horse Racing Board.

Medina Spirit tested positive after the May 1 Derby for betamethasone, a legal drug that is not allowed on race day. It was Baffert’s record-breaking seventh Derby victory.

Last Friday, Robertson released a statement saying that tests carried out by a New York lab have “definitively confirmed” that Medina Spirit has tested positive for the steroid – not by an injection but because of an ointment used. to treat a rash.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has investigated the case and has yet to hold a hearing that could potentially disqualify Medina Spirit.

In the $ 6million BC Classic, Medina Spirit couldn’t muster the late kick needed to threaten winner Knicks Go.

“I am very proud of him. He had a great race, ”Baffert said last month. “For me, it’s the best of 3 years. He showed it today. This is racing, proving it on the track. And he’s proven it today that he’s the real deal.

Baffert was allowed to enter horses for the end-of-season world championships, but the event’s main trainer had to meet certain conditions, including more stringent out-of-competition testing of his horses and greater security in his barn. He accepted the additional examination and was required to pay out of his own pocket.

Medina Spirit has earned five wins in 10 career starts and earned $ 3,545,200, according to Equibase. The colt was owned by Amr Zedan, who competes under the name Zedan Racing Stables.

“Our deepest condolences go to Mr. Amr Zedan and the entire Zedan Racing Stables family,” Baffert said in his statement. “They are in our thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult time. “


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