Medina Spirit has been officially disqualified as the 2021 Kentucky Derby champion, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced on Monday. In addition, trainer Bob Baffert was suspended for 90 days. This all stems from Medina Spirit testing positive for a banned substance, betamethasone, shortly after winning the race. Betamethasone is legal in the state of Kentucky, but is illegal to be used on the day of a race.
Baffert was also fined $7,500 and all of the purse money from Medina Spirit's victory was forfeited. The official ruling was announced after the board of stewards held a hearing earlier in February. Less than a year after the controversial 2021 Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit died following a workout at Santa Anita racetrack in California on Dec. 6. Results from a necropsy were released recently and indicated no definitive cause of death for Medina Spirit.
With Medina Spirit being disqualified as the winner of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby, Mandaloun is now being recognized as the victor.
"Today Churchill Downs recognizes Mandaloun as the winner of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby and extends our congratulations to owner/breeder Juddmonte, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux," Churchill Downs said in a statement. "Winning the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting achievements in sports and we look forward to celebrating Mandaloun on a future date in a way that is fitting of this rare distinction."
Medina Spirit competed in four different races since finishing first at the Kentucky Derby in May of 2021. The colt finished third in the Preakness Stakes and won the Shared Belief Stakes and the Grade 1 Awesome Again. Medina Spirit had five career first place finishes and career earnings totaling $3.5 million.
Churchill Downs had already suspended Baffert for two years in June of 2021 shortly after Medina Spirit's failed drug test.