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Medina Spirit was Simply Treated for Dermatitis (Nothing to See Here)

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
May/11/2021

It's Bash Bob Baffert Week here and pretty much everywhere else in the horse racing community and media....perhaps with good reason.

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Responding to the positive test results for a performance enhancement drug found in Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit after the big race, his trainer claimed it was due to an anti-fungal medication called Otomax to treat dermatitis.

We can't really blame the horse.  He's been cleared to run in Saturday's Preakness Stakes and is a decent 2-1 favorite to win.

On the other hand, we have Baffert.  He's fair game.  Horse racing pundits have been all over Baffert this week and that trend should continue.

2012 National Handicapping Champion - Eclipse Award Winner - tweeted:

Michael Dempsey of TurfNSport has made it abuntantly clear he is no fan of Baffert, he admits the trainer's claims might not be total horse s*** after all.

While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results. As such, I wanted to be forthright about this fact as soon as I learned of this information.

As I have stated, my investigation is continuing and we do not know for sure if this ointment was the cause of the test results, or if the test results are even accurate, as they have yet to be confirmed by the split sample. However, again, I have been told that a finding of a small amount, such as 21 picograms, could be consistent with application of this type of ointment. I intend to continue to investigate and I will continue to be transparent.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate two points I made when this matter initially came to light. First, I had no knowledge of how betamethasone could have possibly found its way into Medina Spirit (until now) and this has never been a case of attempting to game the system or get an unfair advantage. Second, horse racing must address its regulatory problem when it comes to substances which can innocuously find their way into a horse’s system at the picogram (which is a trillionth of a gram) level. Medina Spirit earned his Kentucky Derby win and my pharmacologists have told me that 21 picograms of betamethasone would have had no effect on the outcome of the race. Medina Spirit is a deserved champion and I will continue to fight for him.

As for the race books, they are thrilled to have Medina Spirit running Saturday.

BetOnline was quick to note that "without the Kentucky Derby “winner” this race’s ratings would be struggling to keep up with the Kardashians’ latest episode.

- Tyrone Black, Gambling911.com

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