BALTIMORE — Bob Baffert, trainer for Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit on Tuesday revealed how the horse may have tested positive for an increased level of the steroid betamethasone, following the race.
Through his lawyer, Baffert claimed the horse had developed dermatitis on his hind end following the Santa Anita Derby, and he was prescribed an ointment to treat it that contained betamethasone.
"I had him checked out by my veterinarian who recommended the use of an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax. The veterinary recommendation was to apply this ointment daily to give the horse relief, help heal the dermatitis, and prevent it from spreading," said Baffert. My barn followed this recommendation and Medina Spirit was treated with Otomax once a day up until the day before the Kentucky Derby. Yesterday, I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone," Baffert said.
The legendary trainer stood by the horse's Kentucky Derby performance, citing experts who told him the amount of steroid detected would not have impacted the outcome of the race.
A picogram is defined as one-trillionth of a gram. An initial test found 21 picograms in Medina Spirit following the derby.
"Medina Spirit earned his Kentucky Derby win and my pharmacologists have told me that 21 picograms of betamethasone would have had no effect on the outcome of the race. Medina Spirit is a deserved champion and I will continue to fight for him," said Baffert.
READ MORE: Preakness week begins with controversy
The horse racing world is now waiting to see if Medina Spirit will be allowed to enter Saturday’s Preakness.
The Maryland Jockey Club says it is consulting with the Maryland Racing Commission and reviewing the facts after Medina Spirit failed a drug test following the Derby.
Baffert said Monday he will not attend the Preakness to avoid creating a distraction.
The draw for the Preakness is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.