The Pernity is allowing Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit for additional testing and monitoring in Saturday’s race following the Colts’ failed drug test after the derby.
Maryland racing officials reached an agreement with trainer Bob Baffert on Tuesday to allow the Medina Spirit and their other horses to enter the race for additional testing and monitoring at Paimillo Race Course this weekend. If Medina Spirit, who failed the postrace drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby, returns to the expected test results on Friday, she is likely to be the favorite to win the Preakness.
“We reached an agreement with Mr. Buffert and his attorneys, which allows for additional testing, additional oversight – to ensure the integrity of the game,” said Maryland Jockey Club attorney Alan Rifkin. It is heartening and we appreciate the patience of Mr. Buffart and the way his lawyers appreciate this. “
The Medina Spirit, fellow Buffert-trained Peakness Cult concert tours and the film Beautiful Gift, which are expected to run in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday, are all under additional scrutiny.
Medina Spirit drew the No. 3 post in the field of 10 horses for Preakness as a 9-5 morning-line favorite. The concert tour attracted an outside 10th post and is the second choice after trailing 5–2.
Ram at number 1 post 30-1, Rakhimind at number 15 15-1, Crowd Trade at number 4 post 10-1, Midnight Bourbon no. 5 posts at 5-1, Rambauer no. 6–1–1, France Go de Ina No. 7 to 20–1, Belgaum Honor 8 at No. 15–1 and 15–1 at No. 9, taking the risk.
KeepMind and Midnight Bourbon are the only Kentucky Derby horses to return to challenge Makemina Spirit. Trainer Brad Cox decided to skip the race with Mandalown, who would be named the Derby winner if the Medina Spirit is disqualified, and required quality, which went on to be a 3-1 derby favorite.
Medina Spirit won the race as a 12–1 long shot on 1 May. He will not be anywhere near if he attains Preakness.
NBC Sports analyst Matt Bernier said, “If I have everyone run their own races that we’ve seen from them in the past, I think it’s a race to lose the Medina Spirit.”
Baffert said on Tuesday that it was brought to his attention that a veterinarian treated Medina Spirit with an antifungal drug to treat dermatitis, including the steroid Betamethasone. Medita Spirit failed subsequent drug testing of the derby due to the presence of betamethasone.
The Chief Veterinary Officer of the Stronach Group, Drs. Dionne Benson said the Preakness draw stated that the test results on three Buffert horses are expected to return on Friday. This is an additional layer of blood-to-blood tests taken on top of normal postrace tests on the previous week, Monday and Tuesday.
“(The test) will allow us to make sure that if the horse has any gemtamsone or any other drugs, whether medical or illegal, we will know about them before the race,” Benson said. “Because traditionally most of the testing will now take place after the race, and this allows us to prevent the problem from being solved rather than the solution.”
Benson said that if betamethasone is detected in any horse by laboratory testing, officials will ask Baffert to scratch that horse.
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