LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Medina Spirit, the Kentucky Derby-winning horse
that failed a drug test afterward and cast a cloud over the victory, died today
of during a workout at Santa Anita race track.
The 3-year-old colt’s owner, Amr Zedan, confirmed the horse’s death to
Thoroughbred Daily News. Jeff Blea, equine medical director for the
California Horse Racing Board, told the publication he saw a video of the
horse’s workout, and Medina Spirit appeared to labor toward the end.
“He looked like he was struggling the last part, and the rider was
pulling him up,” Blea told Thoroughbred Daily News.
Blea said the horse collapsed just after reaching the wire at the end
of his workout, and by the time the track veterinarian reached Medina Spirit,
the colt was already dead.
“Sudden death is the cause of the death,” Blea told the publication,
speculating that “oftentimes, these are cardiovascular.”
The horse, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Kentucky Derby in May but
later tested positive for a steroid, leading to challenges to the validity of
the victory. Officials at Churchill Downs announced that Medina Spirit would be
disqualified if the test was confirmed.
Baffert and his attorney have insisted that the positive test was the
result of a topical ointment known as Otomax being used to treat a skin
condition, not an injection aimed at enhancing the horse’s performance in the