Kentucky state racing stewards have decided to remove the Kentucky Derby win of Medina Spirit from last year’s race and give it to Mandaloun. Last May, Medina Spirit won the race but tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. The medication is banned on race day, but is legal in the state. The test threw the race in a tizzy, putting Medina Spirit’s trainer Bob Baffert into the limelight.
Details of the Race
During the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit was able to defeat Mandaloun by half a length. The win was the 7th for Baffert at the Derby, showcasing his overwhelming success as a horse trainer. However, Churchill Downs banned him from the race for two years due to the positive test.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission decision marks the second time in the history of the race that a horse was disqualified after testing positive for a substance that is banned from the track. The very first ruling came in 1968 when the title was taken from Dancer’s Image and given to Forward Pass.
The commission also decided to suspend Baffert from racing for 90 days and he was fined $7,500. Baffert’s attorney, Clark Brewster, says that the ruling will be appealed. The attorney feels that the fate of Baffert was decided long before the hearing took place.
Kentucky Derby Winner Mandaloun
After the decision, Churchill Downs issued a statement naming Mandaloun the winner. Juddmonte Farms, the owner and breeder of the horse, along with trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux were congratulated on the win. The win marks the first time that a trainer from Louisville has won the event. The commission also gave the owners of Mandaloun the winner’s purse from the Derby valued at $1.8 million, with the win.
The Kentucky Derby racetrack plans to add Mandaloun to the paddock sign honoring the winner sometime this week. The horse is now set to race in the Saudi Cup in Saudi Arabia this weekend. The winner of that race will earn a huge $10 million prize from a $20 million purse.
As for Medina Spirit, the horse passed away in early December 2021. Medina Spirit collapsed and died of a heart attack after a training run at the Santa Anita track. The passing took place just a few weeks after Medina Spirit had finished in second place during the Breeder’s Cup Classic. After a necropsy was conducted, there was no cause found for the horse’s death.