Baffert, Medina Spirit owners sue Ky. racing commission

Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit
Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 2:46 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) – The trainer and owners of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit are seeking a temporary court injunction against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to prevent them from acting after refusing to allow a urine sample from the horse to be sent to an independent lab for testing.

The suit was filed Monday by Bob Baffert and Zedan Racing Stables in Franklin Circuit Court asking for a temporary injunction against KHRC because they claim Medina Spirit did not violate the rules of horse racing in Kentucky.

Medina Spirit crossed the finish line first in the May 1 running of the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. On May 9, it was revealed the testing of a post-race urine sample showed excessive levels of Betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug.

Hours after the results of the test became known, Churchill Downs suspended Baffert from racing any horses at the historic track. Officials at Pimlico allowed Medina Spirit to race in the Preakness, but without Baffert at the track. Medina Spirit finished third.

In the lawsuit, Baffert and Zedan state “Betamethasone is not a performance drug,” but is a substance, not unlike hydrocortisone and prednisone, that controls inflammation.

On June 2, Churchill Downs announced that Baffert would be suspended for two years after the second post-race urine sample tested positive.

“The suspension prohibits Baffert, or any trainer directly or indirectly employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables, from entering horses in races or applying for stall occupancy at all CDI-owned racetracks,” Churchill Downs Incorporated said in a statement. “This decision follows the confirmation by attorneys representing Bob Baffert of the presence of betamethasone, a prohibited race-day substance, in Medina Spirit’s bloodstream on the day of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby in violation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s equine medication protocols and CDI’s terms and conditions for racing.”

Medina Spirit did not run in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

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