Medina Spirit's Positive Steroid Test Costs Owner, Trainer

    • If disqualified, Medina Spirit owner Amr Zedan will have to return his earnings of $1.86 million.
    • The total purse for this year’s race was $3 million.

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Horse trainer Bob Baffert claimed Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was a victim of cancel culture after rumors swirled that the four-legged phenom tested positive for a steroid. 

On Wednesday, the University of California, Davis confirmed the positive results, increasing the possibility that Medina Spirit will be disqualified and Madaloun will be crowned champion.

A disqualification will cost owner Amr Zedan his winnings of $1.86 million — he bought Medina Spirit for $35,000 last year.

The total purse for this year’s Kentucky Derby was $3 million, with the first-place jockey and trainer each receiving a 10% cut.

Baffert was suspended by the New York Racing Association after the race and later said that Medina Spirit’s test had come back positive due to an ointment.

“I acknowledge that I am not perfect, and I could have better handled the initial announcement of this news,” said Baffert.

The trainer isn’t new to winning … or doping. 

  • He’s trained seven Kentucky Derby champions, including Triple Crown winners American Pharaoh and Justify.
  • Since 2019, five Baffert horses have failed drug tests.
  • In last year’s Kentucky Oaks race, Gamine — who finished third — tested positive for steroids, costing Baffert a $1,500 fine and a suspension that was overturned in April.

While it’s not clear how much Baffert will be fined for illegally winning a Triple Crown race, it will be a mere fraction of his income. In 2021 alone, he’s brought in over $7 million, with lifetime earnings of more than $321 million.