The wait continues for the results of the Medina Spirit tests in New York
Speaking in court on August 9 before an attorney representing the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Bonds of Medina spirit , a Kentucky judge urged the parties to contact a New York lab for a schedule for the completion of the foal’s urine tests taken after his win in the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). However, test results are likely “at least several weeks away,” the lab director later told BloodHorse.
Medina Spirit of Zedan Racing Stables, Kentucky Derby Premier from May 1 to Churchill Downs, may be disqualified after an initial and follow-up test result indicates the prohibited presence on race day of betamethasone, a corticosteroid. Additionally, the colt’s trainer, Bob Baffert, could also be fined and / or suspended.
Medina Spirit’s lawyer argues that Medina Spirit’s test results are the result of treatment with an ointment called Otomax, which contains betamethasone, and not by injection, the usual way horses are given the anti-inflammatory drug.
A fractional sample of the horse’s urine was sent to the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Lab on July 14, with lawyers associated with Medina Spirit hoping to confirm the ingredients in Otomax. Such findings could prove to be exculpatory or mitigating when Kentucky stewards hold a hearing after testing is complete.
Franklin (Ky.) Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate on Monday chose not to issue an order but gave instructions to follow up with the lab.
“Well, the bottom line is that we need those results so that I can send this back to the (Kentucky) Horse Racing Commission, and you can all fight like cats and dogs out there to find out. who is the Derby (winner) and what has to happen to Mr Baffert. This is what has to happen, “Wingate said.
The New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory is still working on the sample due to specific tests, its director, Dr George Maylin, explained in a phone interview with BloodHorse.
In case of disqualification, Juddmonte Mandaloun , the Derby finalist, would become the winner and Medina Spirit would be placed last. First place in the Derby is worth $ 1.86 million, and the win can be worth millions more in potential stud value.
In court Monday, Jennifer Wolsing, general counsel for the KHRC, and Baffert’s attorney Craig Robertson also argued over the testing of an original urine sample. This sample was considered to be contaminated when an accompanying blood sample spilled on it when the package carrying the items was damaged in transit. The KHRC points to exhaustion of resources as evidence that the sample was tested, although neither received results from the New York lab.
Last month, the KHRC filed a petition alleging procedural violations and requesting disclosure of the results.
“The racing commission wants transparency about the results of these tests and the reasons why the court order was violated,” Wolsing told Wingate on Monday.
Robertson replied to Wingate that the KHRC motion was “much ado about nothing”. He noted that he had no test results and would only receive them when the KHRC did.
Wingate seemed more focused on setting a date for receiving the results.
Maylin did not participate by video conference in Monday’s hearing. Speaking to BloodHorse after the hearing, he said a completion date “is not set in stone.”
“It will be at least several weeks. We are still in the process of acquiring analytical standards to acquire,” said Maylin. “The judge ordered indisputable evidence, which means this is a research project in its own right.”
He said testing of ingredients specific to Otomax complicates the procedures and “is the delay, right there”.
“All of the results we have will be put together in one package,” he said referring to the original and split samples in New York.