Medina Spirit, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, has reportedly failed a second postrace drug test,


which has shocked the Canadian sports betting community. Sportsbooks in Canada are reeling with the prospect of a disqualification from the most prestigious horse race in the world. The track where the annual event is held, Churchill Downs, has also decided to suspend Bob Baffert. With Medina Spirit, the great trainer came close to claiming his seventh Kentucky Derby victory. The ban will remain in effect for a minimum of two years.

The horse’s fate, as to whether or not it will be disqualified, is uncertain. A ruling on Medina Spirit’s performance in the May 1 race has not yet been issued by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. A representative for the commission, Sherelle Roberts-Pierre, told ESPN that impartiality and openness are paramount in the eyes of the agency. Fans of sports betting in Canada should anticipate more details to be released in the future.

Yet Another Failed Drug Test

At the time of its initial drug test, Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone in its blood. This would have been twice the legal limit before last summer’s amendment to Kentucky’s racing regulations, which made even the tiniest amounts of the drug illegal. The second test, conducted in a UC Davis laboratory, revealed 25 picograms in the horse’s system.

At first, Baffert said that his crew will look into the failure of the first test on their own. On Fox News the following Monday, he blamed cancel culture for the negative drug test results.

His lawyer, Craig Robertson, stated that betamethasone was present in the Otamax ointment Medina Spirit was using at the time of the positive test. He reported on Wednesday that the commission had agreed to send the original blood and urine samples from the horse to a lab for testing to determine whether or not the presence of the steroid was the result of Otamax use.

Losing Bets in Mandaloun

Mandaloun, the Derby’s runner-up, would be considered the winner if Medina Spirit were to be disqualified. Even if this occurs, the rules of the commission prohibit people who bet on Mandaloun from collecting their winnings. Some Canadians who enjoy sports betting are frustrated by this, as they believe they are entitled to a victory.

At the Kentucky Derby, there were a total of $155.4 million in wagers placed in the pari-mutuel pool. Of this total, between $11 and $12 million was bet at odds of 12-1 on Medina Spirit. The astronomical 26-1 odds against Mandaloun amounted to a cool $3–$4 million.


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