June 22, 2024

Baffert says Medina Spirit treated with ointment containing betamethasone

Medina Spirit, with John Velazquez up, wins the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Photography by Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

Trainer Bob Baffert revealed on Tuesday that Medina Spirit had been treated with an ointment that contained betamethasone prior to the colt’s victory in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1).

In a statement released by his attorney, Baffert said Medina Spirit began receiving the ant-fungal ointment, called Otomax, after the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on the advice of his veterinarian to treat a case of dermatitis on Medina Spirit’s hind end. According to Baffert, Medina Spirit received the treatment on a daily basis until the day before the Kentucky Derby.

“(Monday), I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone,” Baffert said.

“While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results.”

Results of a post-race, split-sample test is still pending. Medina Spirit is expected to be entered in Saturday’s Preakness (G1) at Pimlico.

“…I had no knowledge of how betamethasone could have possibly found its way into Medina Spirit (until now) and this has never been a case of attempting to game the system or get an unfair advantage,” Baffert said. “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.”