Medina Spirit’s final urine test still pending


The wait continues for the results of the follow-up tests. Medina spirit ‘s after his first place finish at the Kentucky Derby on May 1 presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to Churchill Downs.

Dr George Maylin, director of the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory, which is completing the testing, wrote in an email on September 24 that he was awaiting the necessary information on metabolite synthesis. He wrote to Rod Eisenberg, owner of Frontier BioPharm, a company specializing in the production of reference standards for drug metabolites used in the medical, research and sport industries. In a September 23 email exchanged between the two, Eisenberg wrote that he believes they are “at the stage of purifying the final compound” and hopes “that next week we will have it pure enough to characterize it. completely”.

Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit is at risk of disqualification after an initial and shared test result indicates the prohibited presence on race day of betamethasone, a corticosteroid. In addition to a potential disqualification, the colt’s trainer, Bob Baffert, could be fined and / or suspended.

Medina Spirit lawyers claim that the Medina Spirit test results come from treatment with an ointment called Otomax, which contains betamethasone, and not by injection, the usual way horses are given the anti-inflammatory drug.

A urine sample from the horse was sent to the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory on July 14, with attorneys associated with Medina Spirit hoping to confirm the ingredients in Otomax. Such findings could prove to be exculpatory or mitigating when Kentucky stewards finally hold a hearing after testing is complete.

In case of disqualification, Juddmonte Mandaloun , the Derby finalist, would become the winner. First place in the Derby is worth $ 1.86 million, and the victory is also invaluable for a colt’s eventual breeding career.

Maylin said on Aug. 9 in a telephone interview after a hearing in Kentucky that test results were “at least several weeks away” due to testing of the ingredients in Otomax. He also noted the need for analytical standards for such tests.

In a court hearing granting additional testing on the sample, Franklin (Ky.) Circuit court judge Thomas Wingate urged the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Medina Spirit’s attorney to get the results as soon as possible.

“So I can send this back to the (Kentucky) Horse Racing Commission, and you can all fight like cats and dogs out there over who’s the (winner) of the Derby and what needs to happen to Mr. . Baffert. This is what has to happen, “Wingate said.

This spring, Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert from competition for about two years – until the conclusion of the 2023 Spring meet at Churchill Downs – although that ban is specific to tracks owned by CDI. It was a decision of the track owner, as opposed to the regulatory process pending testing in New York.

The New York Racing Association also suspended him, although the coach challenged the NYRA action in court. An injunction allowed Baffert to run horses this summer at Saratoga Racecourse. A hearing on the matter could take place next month.

Suspensions issued by regulatory bodies, such as the KHRC, are honored in other jurisdictions due to reciprocity.

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