Medina Spirit, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby back in May for the first leg of the Triple Crown, took the horse racing world by storm after it tested positive for the steroid betamethasone.
This past Friday, it was ruled that the steroid came from an ointment, and not an injection, yet you still had those who thought the horse should be stripped of its win. Trainer Bob Baffert was under some intense heat.
However, it has been announced that the horse shockingly died on the track today, according to the Paulick report. The three-year-old horse collapsed on the track after a workout.
According to Dr. Blea, former American Association of Equine Practitioners president, an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death:
“I spoke to the attending veterinarian, and when they got to him on the track he had already expired. Not sure where on the track it happened but it was post wire.
I will have them draw blood and pull hair and will try and get urine for testing. He’ll go out to UC Davis in San Bernardino, for a full and comprehensive necropsy including toxicology, forensics and tissue sampling.
We will take a close look at the heart to try and identify the cause of death.”
Baffert expressed his sadness for the whole situation:
“My entire barn is devastated by this news. Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family who was loved by all, and we are deeply mourning his loss.
I will always cherish the proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and his tremendous spirit.”
Regardless of the controversy, Medina Spirit was having quite a run in 2021, finishing third at the Preakness, along with victories at the Shared Belief Stakes and the Awesome Again Stakes.
He finished second at his latest event at the Breeders Cup Classic on November 6th, finishing second to Knicks Go. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has not yet held a hearing to disqualify the horse on its Kentucky Derby win.
I have no words.
Rest in peace, Medina Spirit. You were the first Kentucky Derby winner I ever got to do photos of while you wore your yellow saddle cloth and thundered around Churchill Downs.