Bob Baffert is the greatest trainer in the history of horse racing.
Or is he? There’s going to be a little bit of skepticism now, after the latest horse he trained that won the Kentucky Derby apparently produced a positive drug test.
Medina Spirit galloped to victory on the first Saturday in May, and once again Baffert was basking in the celebratory glow in the winner’s circle. But if this positive test is upheld, there is a good chance that the Kentucky Derby win will be taken away and the spotlight will shine squarely on the silver-haired king of the sport.
Here’s part of the problem; it’s the fifth time a Baffert horse has failed a drug test this year.
The only horse to ever be disqualified for failing a drug test happened 53 years ago, when Dancer’s Image was busted back in 1968.
Already the fallout has started on Baffert’s legendary career. Churchill Downs issued a statement on Sunday banning Baffert, and saying this has the potential to destroy the integrity of the entire sport.
“Churchill Downs will not tolerate it. Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack. To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”
Baffert isn’t backing down. He’s aggressively going after this accusation as he does the finish line with one of his prized thoroughbreds. He vowed to fight this failed drug test “tooth and nail.”
“I got the biggest gut-punch in racing, for something I didn’t do. I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I was wronged,” Baffert said.
Could it be a mistake? Baffert said the horse was trained in California, and everything ingested in Medina Spirit was documented.
The test indicated the horse had 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone in a sample taken post race.
Baffert has won an incredible seven Kentucky Derby’s with his horses.