Bob Baffert added another twist to the Medina Spirit drama on Tuesday. The trainer announced in a statement that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with an anti-fungal ointment, which contained the steroid betamethasone. According to Baffert, the ointment was the reason that Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test.
The ointment was used to treat Medina Spirit's dermatitis. It was given to the horse once a day leading up to the Kentucky Derby on May 1. After the race, Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, which is meant to help with joint issues.
Medina Spirit will be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby and, as a result, stripped of its first place finish if a second round of testing showed high-level traces of betamethasone.
"My investigation is continuing, and we do not know for sure if this ointment was the cause of the test results, or if the test results are even accurate, as they have yet to be confirmed by the split sample," Baffert said in the statement, according to the AP. "I have been told that a finding of a small amount, such as 21 picograms, could be consistent with application of this type of ointment."
The ointment reveal is a change of direction from what Baffert has been saying since it came out that Medina Spirit failed a drug test.
During a press conference on Sunday, Baffert stated that he didn't know how betamethasone got into Medina Spirit's system. Then on Monday, he said the horse is a victim of "cancel culture" and claimed the horse may have eaten hay that was urinated on by a groom that was taking cough medicine.
Baffert's lawyer, Craig Robertson, says that the plan is still for Medina Spirit to participate in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. The post position draw is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.