Split Sample Positive for Medina Spirit

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The New York Times reported this morning that the split sample from MEDINA SPIRIT was confirmed to have the presence of betamethasone. 

Attorney Clark Brewster told the New York Times via a text message that the University of California-Davis performed the split sample test and has confirmed that the substance was found in the sample. However, they have not completed any further analysis of blood or urine to see whether or not it contained other substances that could provide clues as to the source of the betamethasone. 

Brewster, who represents owner Amr Zedan, has requested that further analysis be performed on the post-race samples by a different laboratory. He also told the New York Times that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has agreed to send the original blood and urine tests to an independent and accredited laboratory for analysis to determine whether the specimens contain other components proving the source to be the topical ointment. 

Should MEDINA SPIRIT be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby, Zedan will have to forfeit the more than $1.8 million dollars earned for finishing first. The last horse to be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby was in 1968 when DANCER'S IMAGE was DQ'd after a drug test showed the presence of a banned anti-inflammatory. However, for MEDINA SPIRIT'S connections there is still the hope that it could be proven to have been unintentional contamination, which would allow regulators and the commission to forego the disqualification under mitigating circumstances.

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