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Medina Spirit cleared to run in 146th Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winner passes drug testing prior to middle jewel of triple crown
Posted at 5:23 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 18:47:53-04

BALTIMORE, Md. — The Kentucky Derby winner has been cleared to run in the Preakness.

The Maryland Jockey club and Maryland Racing Commission will allow Medina Spirit and other horses trained by Bob Baffert to race at Pimlico after they passed three separate blood tests.

Medina Spirit underwent extra monitoring and testing this week. He failed a post-race drug test after the Derby which showed increased levels of the steroid betamethasone. His hall of fame trainer and seven-time Preakness winner Baffert is not in Baltimore this week. He said he wanted to stay away to not cause a distraction. His assistant, Jimmy Barnes, is at Pimlico. WMAR-2 News Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner spoke with Barnes on Friday morning following Medina Spirit’s final training session before the Preakness.

How did Medina Spirit look on Friday?

"Very good," answered Barnes. "He had a light-type gallop, which is typical before a big race."

The mood is getting more tense as we inch closer to Saturday.

"The atmosphere is just keep everything calm, quiet. Keep the horses happy, make sure they are eating well. Now it’s really just a waiting game now," said Barnes.

What about the other competitors? Do they believe it will be a fair race on Saturday? The ones Stepner talked to, including hall-of-famer D. Wayne Lukas, say yes.

"Oh yeah," said Lukas, who is training Ram. "The minute testing of the Derby and coming up with that positive had no bearing on the Derby winner’s performance in the Derby and it will have no bearing on tomorrow either."

Medina Spirit, Concert Tour and Beautiful Gift are all trained by Baffert. Medina Spirit and Concert Tour will run in the Preakness. Beautiful Gift will run in Friday's Black-Eyed Susan.

Post time for the ten horses in the 146th Preakness Stakes is set for Saturday at 6:47 p.m.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook