Medina Spirit Head to Preakness, Minus Trainer Bob Baffert

Kentucky Derby winner Medina heads to Baltimore for the Spirit Steak, while trainer Bob Baffert says he will not join the race to avoid distraction in the wake of an investigation after the Colts’ failed postrace drug test.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky Derby winner Medina heads to Baltimore for Spirit Stress, while trainer Bob Baffert said Monday that he would not join the race to avoid distraction in the wake of an investigation after the Colts’ failed postrace drug test. .

A May 1 half-length of Mandaloun’s Madina Spirit’s derby victory gave Baffert his record seventh victory in the game’s major race. The milestone victory is in jeopardy after Baffert’s announcement on Sunday that test results showed the horse had an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone.

Baffert is appealing a positive test and portions of the original sample will be re-tested. If the breach is upheld, the Medina Spirit may be disqualified and the runner-up Mandaloun can be made the winner.

The trainer has denied all wrongdoing and promised full transparency with Kentucky racing officials. Churchill Downs nevertheless barred horses from entering the track. Maryland Jockey Club and Pimico officials say they will decide the status of the Medina Spirit in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown after reviewing the facts.

Buffart’s attorney, W. Craig Robertson III, confirmed to the Associated Press that he is ready to file for a temporary restraining order to deny Pedina officials the entry of Medina Spirit into the race if they decide to do so. We do.

Those events will return to California instead of racing with Buffart, where he would go on to win a record eighth.

“I go to Baltimore to have a good time. It is a fun trip. “I don’t want to get away from horses. I think it would be a distraction if I went. I think it would be a distraction if I win. Will be the owner. (Assistant Trainer) Jimmy (Barnes) can handle it. “

Whether or not she is in Baltimore, the focus is on Medina Spirit and Baffert right now.

The Medina Spirit and Concert Tour, which left the derby, arrived at Pimico on Monday afternoon after being carried by van from Churchill Downs. After being pushed back one day due to uncertainty, the field for the 146th Preakness will be ready on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Buffart continues to deal with the fall of his fifth horse, which failed a drug test in a year.

21 picograms of betamethasone were found in the Medina Spirit, sometimes used to treat pain and inflammation in horses. It was the same drug found in the Buffert-trained Fili Gamin, who finished third at the Kentucky Oaks last fall before being disqualified after a trial. Baffert was fined $ 1,500.

He said, “I think my relationship with everything that I did with my Triple Crown winners was very good (ship).” “I am the face of sports and I am trying to promote my game. And it was a very minor setback, what they did yesterday. I wish they had called me.

With that, Buffert hopes Medina can make a strong performance in Spirit Preakness and put public skepticism to rest – for now.

“I want him to run a good race because now everybody is piling on him,” Baffert said. “Now maybe it’s more pressure to go well.”


AP Sports Writer Stephen Wheano and Associated Press Writer Bruce Shreren of Frankfurt, Kentucky contributed to this report.


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