Medina Spirit doped

Letter to the Editor: Joseph S. Bertino, Jr., PharmD, FCP, FCCP

I am writing to try to clear up some of the confusion concerning the science around betamethasone as it pertains to its use in racehorses. I am a (human) clinical pharmacologist and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Why are there different forms (salts) of betamethasone (in this case acetate and valerate)? Many drugs do not dissolve well in water, so other molecules are added to them so that they can dissolve in water in order to make useful dosage forms. Sometimes these other molecules are added to...

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Bettor Suing Baffert Leaving the Racing Game

Michael Beychok has been one of the most visible horseplayers in the sport for a while. He's a winner of the National Handicapping Championship, a horseplayer advocate and a public handicapper for the New Orleans Times-Picayune who has spent the better part of his life betting on the horses. Just not for much longer. Beychok, who is the leading figure in a class-action lawsuit filed by gamblers who say they would have made money on the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby had it not been won by Medina Spirit (Protonico), says...

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Baffert Can Run at Santa Anita, Del Mar, Monmouth

Following Wednesday's announcement from Churchill Downs Inc. that Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert would be banned for two years, the trainer was given the green light to run at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Monmouth Park. "The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has made significant progress in equine safety and welfare over the last several years and compliance with medication policies is an important component of that progress," said a statement released by Del Mar. "In that regard, we continue to gather information, including regulatory processes, related to the matter involving...

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Churchill Suspends Baffert For Two Years After Medina Spirit's Split is Positive

According to Craig Robertson, the lawyer representing Bob Baffert, a second-post race test has confirmed that Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for the prohibited corticosteroid betamethasone, which could lead to the horse being disqualified from this year's GI Kentucky Derby. In response, Churchill Downs Inc. banned Baffert for two years. "In response to the inquiries, this will acknowledge that the Medina Spirit split sample confirmed the finding of betamethasone at 25 picograms," Robertson said in a statement. "There is other testing that is being conducted, including DNA testing. We expect...

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Bob Baffert Releases Statement

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has been embroiled in controversy this week after the news broke May 9 that his GI Kentucky Derby win with Medina Spirit (Protonico) may be in jeopardy after the horse reportedly tested positive for betamethasone, released a statement via attorney Craig Robertson prior to the GI Preakness S. Baffert did not attend the Preakness and Medina Spirit finished third in the second leg of the Triple Crown behind Rombauer (Twirling Candy). The statement appears below in its entirety: "As Medina Spirit prepares to...

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This Side Up: Like It or Not, All in this Together

This time, it's not just the Susans that have a black eye. You'll forgive me a little hesitation before addressing the 146th running of a race that can seldom have been staged in so febrile a context. Two weeks ago, I was incautious enough in this column to hope for just a nice, boring Derby, after the rancour of 2019 and the dismal postponement of 2020. Then, last week, I asked why even his own industry had been so ungenerous to a trainer who had now won four of his...

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Baffert Team Will Fight If Banned From Preakness

While awaiting word from the Maryland Jockey Club concerning the status of Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit (Protonico) for the GI Preakness S., Baffert's lawyer Craig Robertson said he will seek a temporary restraining order if Medina Spirit is not allowed to run. His status became unclear Sunday when Baffert informed the media that he had been told by the Kentucky Racing Commission that Medina Spirit had tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone in tests conducted following the race. A few hours later, 1/ST, the owners of Pimlico, put out...

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