Follow-Up Testing Set to Begin on Medina Spirit Sample

POSTED ON  |  23-11-2021

Medina Spirit
Long-delayed follow-up testing of Medina Spirit 's urine after his first-place finish in the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs will begin next week, according to the laboratory director. Dr. George Maylin, director of the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory, wrote in an email to BloodHorse Nov. 18 that he received the metabolite needed for testing. He previously indicated testing would take approximately two weeks.

Since the summer, Maylin has awaited metabolite synthesis information from Frontier BioPharm to run specific tests on Medina Spirit's urine. Frontier BioPharm specializes in producing drug metabolite reference standards used in the medical, research, and sports industries.

Zedan Racing Stables' Medina Spirit is at risk of disqualification from the Derby after an initial and split test result indicated the prohibited race-day presence of betamethasone, a corticosteroid. In addition to potential disqualification, the colt's trainer, Bob Baffert, could be fined and/or suspended by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

After initially saying when the first test result from the Derby was revealed that Medina Spirit was not treated with betamethasone, Baffert said in a May 11 statement that upon evaluation he believed the test finding came from an ointment used to treat a skin condition. That anti-fungal ointment is called Otomax, which contains betamethasone. Horses typically receive betamethasone via injection, with a suggested withdrawal time of 14 days before racing. 

This July, a sample of the horse's urine was flown to the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory, with attorneys associated with Medina Spirit hopeful of confirming the presence of the specific ingredients in Otomax. Such findings could prove to be exculpatory or mitigating when Kentucky stewards ultimately conduct a hearing.

© 2015 IGSRV All rights reserved.