FRANKFORT, Ky. — Trainer Bob Baffert is suing for a temporary injunction against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) arguing the commission should allow further testing of Medina Spirit’s urine.
Derby 147 winner Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing, in a post-race sample.
Baffert’s attorney’s say the trainer did not violate KHRC rules and say it is important to distinguish between betamethasone acetate which is found in injections and betamethasone valerate which is found in ointments. Baffert says Medina Spirit was using the ointment OTOMAX to treat dermatitis.
In the court documents, Bafferty’s attorneys say, “KHRC’s regulations only expressly regulate the injection of betamethasone. There is no reference whatsoever in KHRC’s regulations to an incidental finding of betamethasone as a result of a valid veterinary use in the form of a topical ointment like OTOMAX.”
Baffert and Medina Spirit’s owners want the post-race urine sample tested to learn which version of betamethasone was present, but KHRC is refusing.
The complaint says it is “arguably the most important split sample test in the history of horse racing.” Attorneys for Baffert say in the documents, “KHRC’s refusal constitutes a due process violation as a matter of law and requires immediate intervention from this Court.”
After the positive test, Churchill Downs suspended Baffert from its tracks for two years. Medina Spirit stands to become the second horse in Kentucky Derby history of the race to be disqualified for a failed drug test. Spectrum News 1’s Brandon Roberts spoke with KHRC Executive Director Marc Guilfoil on June 2. He said he had no comment about the results and the Commission does not provide comments or updates on the status of ongoing investigations.