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Medina Spirit drug test confirmed; Derby win in jeopardy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert’s lawyer said Wednesday that a split-sample test of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit came back positive for the presence of the steroid betamethasone, which could lead to the horse’s disqualification and discipline for the Hall of Fame trainer.

Attorney Craig Robertson said the second test showed 25 picograms of the steroid, after 21 picograms were found initially. Even a trace amount of betamethasone — a picogram is a trillionth of one gram — is prohibited on race day in Kentucky, Maryland and New York, which are home to the sport’s Triple Crown races, and considered a violation.

Robertson said additional testing is being conducted to try to trace the source of the drug to an ointment to treat a . . .

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Essential Quality is 2-1 morning line favorite for Belmont

NEW YORK (AP) — Essential Quality was set Tuesday as a 2-1 favorite for the Belmont Stakes, which will be run Saturday without a horse from trainer Bob Baffert pending an investigation into Medina Spirit’s failed drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby.

Preakness winner Rombauer and Essential Quality headline a field of eight horses for the third jewel of the Triple Crown. Baffert has no horses running at Belmont Park because the New York Racing Association suspended him in light of Medina Spirit’s positive drug test for a corticosteroid at the Derby.

Essential Quality, who drew the No. 2 post position, went off as the Derby favorite and finished fourth. Brad Cox’s other . . .

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New York suspends Bob Baffert pending Kentucky Derby probe

Bob Baffert was suspended Monday from entering horses at New York racetracks, pending an investigation into Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s failed postrace drug test.

Baffert will temporarily not be allowed to stable any horses at Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack and Saratoga Race Course or run any of his horses at the New York Racing Association’s tracks. That ban includes races at Belmont Park, with the Belmont Stakes coming up June 5.

“In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “That responsibility demands the . . .

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11-1 Rombauer wins Preakness after skipping Kentucky Derby

BALTIMORE (AP) — Preakness champion Rombauer’s trainer, Michael McCarthy, lobbied hard to get the bay colt entered into the Kentucky Derby.

The horse’s owners, Diane and John Fradkin, just didn’t think that was the right move. Instead, they wanted to point to the second leg of the Triple Crown. No one will ever know what might have happened if Rombauer had been allowed to go to Churchill Downs.

At Pimlico on Saturday, the 11-1 shot showed up right on time. Rombauer came from behind to win the Preakness with a stirring stretch . . .

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Baffert: Antifungal meds given to Medina Spirit had steroid

BALTIMORE (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with an antifungal ointment containing the steroid betamethasone that may have caused the horse to fail a postrace drug test, trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday.

In a statement issued by his lawyer, Baffert said Medina Spirit was treated for dermatitis with the ointment once a day leading up to the May 1 race and that equine pharmacology experts have told him this could explain the test results. Baffert said the horse tested positive for 21 picograms of the substance, which is typically given to horses therapeutically to help their . . .

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Baffert says Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that his barn has been told Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test, the latest doping scandal for horse racing and arguably the sport’s premier trainer.

Flanked by his attorney Craig Robertson in a morning news conference at Churchill Downs on Sunday, Baffert said Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing, in a postrace sample.

That is the same drug that was found in the system of Gamine, another Baffert-trained horse who . . .

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