Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit Named Florida-Bred Horse of the Year

Medina Spirit (Protonico) was named the 2021 Florida-bred Horse of the Year in a vote by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association board of directors and announced at the FTBOA Awards Gala held Monday night at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala. Bred in Florida by Gail Rice, who was honored with her second consecutive Needles Award Monday evening as the Association's small breeder of the year, and Medina Spirit's dam Mongolian Changa (Brilliant Speed) was also named the FTBOA Broodmare of the Year in a vote by...

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KHRC Aims to Rewrite Transparency Regulations

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is on the cusp of approving rewritten rules aimed at increasing transparency. The major changes include lifting prohibitions on the public disclosure of alleged violations, new guidelines that establish a 60-day time frame for holding hearings, and the opening of those hearings to anyone who wants to observe them. Tweaks to the equine drug-testing process are also in the pipeline. They include a requirement for owners and trainers to select an approved lab for split-sample testing within five days of being provided with the...

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Baffert, Zedan Again Denied Relief in KY Court of Appeals

Two weeks after a Kentucky Court of Appeals judge denied trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan an "emergency" stay in their fight against the penalties levied against them by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) over Medina Spirit (Protonico)'s betamethasone positive in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby, a separate three-judge panel denied a motion for interlocutory relief that will keep the case from proceeding any deeper in that same court. The Apr. 15 ruling did, however, note that the judges' order was not a ruling on the merits of...

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Letter to the Editor: Jenine Sahadi

Since the FBI announced in 2020 that their years-long federal investigation into cheating allegations in horse racing had caught admitted "doper" Jorge Navarro, suspected "doper" Jason Servis and a host of other co-conspirators, the lines separating these criminals and most of the rest of the industry's participants with largely minor legal drug positives have been significantly blurred. Fast forward to the 2021 Kentucky Derby, a full 14 months after Navarro and Servis were arrested and charged with federal conspiracy charges related to drugging of their horses, social media erupted with...

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“No Grudges”: Zedan Returns to Ky Derby

Less than a year after an apparent win in the GI Kentucky Derby turned into a nightmare for Amr Zedan, the owner is set to return to Churchill Downs with a chance to wash the bad taste out of his mouth. A win by GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Taiba (Gun Runner) would be a redemptive one after his Medina Spirit (Protonico) was disqualified from the win in the 2021 Derby after testing positive for the substance betamethasone, which kicked off what has been a bitter fight waged by...

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Baffert, Zedan's Motion for Emergency Stay Denied

The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday denied a motion by trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan to stay their penalties related to Medina Spirit's betamethasone positive in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. This means the most severe of the sanctions, an under-appeal 90-day suspension imposed on Baffert by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), will now go into effect as ordered on Monday, Apr. 4. In accordance with suspension-related regulations in California where Baffert is stabled at Santa Anita Park, signage was already being removed from his barn...

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Medina Spirit To Be Buried At Old Friends

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY., will inter the ashes of multiple graded stakes winner Medina Spirit on Tuesday, April 5. Medina Spirit will be laid to rest in Old Friends's Nikki Bacharach Memorial Garden alongside such champions as Kentucky Derby Winners Charismatic (1999) and War Emblem (2002), as well as Eclipse Winner Hidden Lake and Breeders' Cup Classic Winner Alphabet Soup. Old Friends will host an open house Tuesday, April 5, 2022 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm to offer fans an opportunity to visit the grave site...

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Uncashed Winning Nightmare

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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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CDI: Baffert's Derby Lawsuit a 'Manufactured Emergency'

The gaming corporation that owns Churchill Downs told a federal judge in a late-night Tuesday court filing that Bob Baffert's lawsuit to try and get his private-property banishment and exclusion from the GI Kentucky Derby lifted would not only harm the corporation's portfolio of tracks, but would hurt the owners and trainers of other horses who have rightfully earned Derby berths but would be precluded from entering if the court rules they had to be pushed off the qualifying list to make room for the barred trainer. "This lawsuit is...

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More Confusion Added to Baffert Appeal Process

With the clock ticking toward the Apr. 4 deadline for trainer Bob Baffert's looming 90-day suspension, a Kentucky Court of Appeals judge now wants to figure out whether the original venue chosen for legal action last month by the owner and trainer of disqualified 2021 GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit constitutes the correct county-level court. Dick Downey of the Blood-Horse first reported on the judge's order requesting briefs from the movants (Baffert and Zedan) and the respondent (the KHRC) covering just that single issue to be filed with the...

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This Side Up: Horses, Not Humans, Back At The Epicenter

First things first: let's give their chance to the guys off the bench. Okay, so there are going to be plenty of eyeballs rolled now that three of Bob Baffert's four Derby migrants are joining a former assistant, on the same circuit, with a total of 38 starters to his name this year—especially as it was the handling of another Baffert medication violation that reportedly caused the scuffle between this same gentleman and a fellow trainer at Clocker's Corner one morning last April. (Both were fined $500.) The wiseguys will...

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