Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit will be permitted to race in the Preakness Stakes this weekend after trainer Bob Baffert agreed to grant “full access” to medical and testing results, officials said Tuesday.
The Maryland jockey Club and 1/ST Racing announced in a statement that Medina Spirit will be able to participate on Saturday under “rigorous conditions to entry along with a binding commitment from Bob Baffert to full transparency of medical and testing results that will allow for all results to be released to the public.”
The decision came just hours after Baffert revealed that a “possible source” of positive drug test following the Kentucky Derby may have been from a fungal ointment that contained betamethasone.
“As a condition of acceptance of the entry, Baffert has provided his consent to the Maryland Jockey Club to allow for rigorous testing and monitoring in addition to that conducted by the Maryland Racing Commission (MRC),” the statement added. “Those additional tests and monitoring are to ensure the fairness and integrity of the races entered by horses trained by Baffert.”
Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone in a post-race drug test. Baffert vehemently denied that the horse was ever treated with the drug, but on Tuesday he revealed a possible explanation for the result.
“Following the Santa Anita Derby, MEDINA SPIRIT developed dermatitis on his hind end,” his statement read. “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.”
“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 claimed there was no confirmation that the ointment was responsible for the positive results, which have yet to be confirmed.
If any of Baffert’s horses test positive for the substance, they will be removed from the race, the racetrack said.