Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit disqualified two months after death
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced Monday that Medina Spirit, who finished first in the Kentucky Derby on May 1 2021 before testing positive for a banned anti-inflammatory was formally disqualified and stripped of his victory.
Median Spirit raced home at +1200 last May in a huge shock in one of the US classics. But after Monday’s ruling, second-place Mandaloun will now be declared the winner of the 147th Kentucky Derby.
In a statement Churchill Downs:
“Recognized Mandaloun as the winner of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby and extends our congratulations to owner/breeder Juddmonte, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux… we look forward to celebrating Mandaloun on a future date in a way that is fitting of this rare distinction."
Churchill Downs handed the horse’s trainer Bob Baffert a two-year suspension from entering horses as well as a suspension from all Kentucky racing facilities for 90 days. Baffert, whose horses have won the Derby six times before last year, will appeal the decision, according to his legal team.
Medina Spirit would become the third horse in the 147-year history of the event. In 2019 Maximum Security finished first before stewards disqualified him due to interference on the top of the stretch. In 1968, Dancer’s Image won the Derby but then was disqualified when the presence of a banned substance was found.
The results of the positive test have come at a time when allegations of doping in horse racing are rife. Last year, 29 trainers, veterinarians and others were federally indicted on charges involving doping race horses.
Medina Spirit died suddenly in December after a workout at Santa Anita racetrack in California after suffering a suspected heart attack. A necropsy report was inconclusive according to California regulators. Hair, blood and urine samples showed no evidence of doping.