A necropsy performed on Medina Spirit wasn't as revelatory as many had hoped. The California Horse Racing Board announced Friday the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner had no definitive cause of death.
Medina Spirit's necropsy showed he had injuries "common in horses dying suddenly" such as an enlarged spleen, swollen lungs, foam in his windpipe and mild hemorrhages in other tissues, per the Associated Press. As for medications, Medina Spirit had only omeprazole and Lasix in his system, both of which were listed in the attending veterinarian's report.
The CHRB hasn't announced any disciplinary action yet, but it will do so if needed upon further review of the necropsy findings.
Medina Spirit – who tested positive for betamethasone, a banned race-day substance, the day of his Kentucky Derby win – died after a Dec. 6 workout in California's Santa Anita Park. In a statement shortly after his death, trainer Bob Baffert said the horse suffered a heart attack.
Churchill Downs gave Baffert a two-year suspension on June 2, with CEO Bill Carstanjen saying "reckless practices and substance violations that jeopardize the safety of our equine and human athletes or compromise the integrity of our sport are not acceptable." Carstanjen added "as a company we must take measures to demonstrate that they will not be tolerated." The measures Churchill Downs took toward Baffert will force him – and anyone else from his stable – to miss the next two Kentucky Derbys.
Medina Spirit's last appearance was a third-place effort at November's Breeders' Cup. That race capped off a massively successful year for the colt, as he won the Kentucky Derby in May along with the Shared Belief Stakes in August and Awesome Again Stakes in October.
According to The New York Times, racing officials will meet in Kentucky on Monday to discuss whether they will vacate Medina Spirit's Kentucky Derby win.