Medina Spirit and Bob Baffert cleared for the Preakness Stakes

Medina Spirit and Bob Baffert cleared for the Preakness Stakes

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas defends Bob Baffert after Derby winner’s failed drug test

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas says Bob Baffert is ‘innocent’ after failed drug test for Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.

Controversial thoroughbred trainer Bob Baffert will be able to compete for this third Triple Crown following Medina Spirit passing three rounds of prerace drug testing and being cleared to run in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. 

The three-year-old dark bay colt won the Kentucky Derby – the first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown – but was almost immediately enmeshed in a scandal when it was revealed that Baffert’s horse tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. 

Maryland racing officials said Friday tests on Medina Spirit showed nothing that would cause them to scratch Baffert’s horse. from the 146th running of the Preakness at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course.  

Bob Baffert brought Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit out for fans to see on the morning after the race. Medina Spirit is Baffert’s seventh Kentucky Derby winner. 

“Consistent with the fair procedures and practices established by 1/ST RACING and MJC, the additional tests and monitoring were conducted as part of the rigorous condition of entry agreement to ensure the fairness and integrity of the races with horses entered by Baffert,” the racetrack said in its announcement.

Samples were drawn from the horses on May 6, 10 and 11 after Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms of prohibited betamethasone in a post-race drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby. Baffert had pointed to a fungal ointment as a “possible source” of the result and denied that Medina Spirit or any other horses he trained had been with the drug.

“MEDINA SPIRIT earned his Kentucky Derby win and my pharmacologists have told me that 21 picograms of betamethasone would have had no effect on the outcome of the race,” Baffert previously said in a statement. “MEDINA SPIRIT is a deserved champion and I will continue to fight for him.”

Medina Spirt is listed as the favorite of the race at 9-5 in the field of 10 horses. Concert Tour is running at 5-2.

Pimlico said that all horses entered in the races will remain under veterinary observation and security surveillance leading up to the events.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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