Medina Spirit Stripped of 2021 Kentucky Derby Victory
Autopsy results for Medina Spirit, who died in December after timed training at Santa Anita Park, were inconclusive, but indicated the colt most likely died of a heart attack. Hair, blood and urine samples showed no evidence of doping, California racing officials said Friday.
The disqualification, along with the recent guilty pleas and convictions of prominent horse trainers and veterinarians for doping horses, make the implementation of the Horse Racing Integrity and Security Act.
Due to take effect July 1, 2022, it asks a board overseen by the Federal Trade Commission to write rules and penalties to be enforced by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which regulates Olympians and other athletes. elite in the United States. The agency exposed cyclist Lance Armstrong’s cheating and handed him a lifetime ban in 2012.
USADA’s role is uncertain, however, as the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which is tasked with creating a framework and budget for the app, could not come to an agreement with the agency. The authority is exploring other options for an enforcement entity, but has indicated it may try to reopen negotiations with USADA.
With Medina Spirit’s apparent win at Churchill Downs last year, Baffert won his seventh Kentucky Derby, surpassing a record set by Ben Jones, who last won in 1952.
Instead, however, Baffert and Medina Spirit join Maximum Security and Dancer’s Image as the only horses whose Derby wins have been vacated.
In 2019, Maximum Security was the first to cross the finish line, only to be disqualified for nearly knocking down a rival horse on the far bend and slowing the others’ momentum. The following year, Maximum Security trainer Jason Servis was among 27 people charged by federal prosecutors in connection with a sweeping scheme to secretly dope horses and deceive bettors. He is awaiting his trial.