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Kentucky Derby Winner Fails Drug Check, May Lose Title
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Kentucky Derby Winner Fails Drug Check, May Lose Title

Closeup of Barbaro statue at Churchill Downs

Even when Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit is disqualified for a failed drug check, bets on the race are unlikely to be affected. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Betting outcomes would stay unchanged

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug check, placing the horse on the verge of disqualification. Medina Spirit examined optimistic for an “extreme” quantity steroid known as betamethasone, which can be utilized as a remedy for ache and irritation. The 21 picograms of the steroid had been twice the authorized quantity, based on Kentucky horse racing rules.

If the check outcomes maintain, Churchill Downs will disqualify Medina Spirit and runner-up Mandaloun will likely be declared the winner. Bob Baffert, the horse’s coach, has been suspended from Churchill Downs.

Medina Spirit bettors will nonetheless hold their winnings.

As for a doable disqualification’s impact on bettors, the easy reply is there received’t be any. Medina Spirit bettors will nonetheless hold their winnings. Mandaloun bettors – who would have received over $50 on a $2 guess – will nonetheless maintain dropping tickets. Medina Spirit’s staff and proprietor should return their $1.86m winner’s share, although.

Coach pleads harmless

For his half, Baffert known as the information of the failed drug check “the most important intestine punch in racing” and vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

“We’re going to do our personal investigation. We’re going to be clear with the racing fee, like we’ve at all times been,” Baffert mentioned in an announcement.

Baffert is a legendary horse coach who has over 3,000 wins on his document, together with seven Kentucky Derbies. He additionally, nevertheless, has a historical past of horses failing drug assessments. In simply over a yr, 5 of Baffert’s horses have failed assessments. A type of was Gamine, who additionally examined optimistic for betamethasone this previous September. Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown winner and Baffert’s most well-known horse, examined optimistic for scopolamine after successful the Santa Anita Derby in 2018, although it was by no means reported by the California Horse Racing Board.

Regardless of his adamant protest, Baffert is just not doing himself any favors within the media. Talking with Fox Information Monday morning, appeared to place the blame on society in some way, saying: “We reside in a special world now. This America’s completely different and…it was like a cancel tradition form of a factor.”

According to Louisville sports journalist Rick Bozich, Baffert additionally claimed that the optimistic check might need been the results of Medina Spirit consuming hay that had beforehand been urinated upon by a groom who had been taking cough medication.

Derby was a glimpse of normalcy

Earlier than the information of Medina Spirit’s optimistic drug check, the 2021 Kentucky Derby was a trigger for celebration. Bettors plunked down $155.4m on the race, not far off the Derby’s document deal with of $165.5m. Final yr’s deal with, within the early months of the pandemic, was simply $79.4m.

For the entire races on Derby Day, complete deal with was $233m, in comparison with $128.3m final yr. The document of $250.9m was set in 2019.

the most important crowd to attend a sporting occasion in the USA through the pandemic

Due to elevated COVID-19 vaccinations all through the USA and a greater understanding of the virus a yr later, attendance was additionally means up in 2021. 51,838 individuals had been at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, the most important crowd to attend a sporting occasion in the USA through the pandemic. That’s nonetheless solely a bit greater than a 3rd of the document attendance mark of 2019, although.

The wagering numbers had been pushed by on-line betting, which has expanded enormously prior to now yr. TwinSpires, owned by Churchill Downs, reported a document $62.7m in deal with for all of Derby Day and $40.8m for the Kentucky Race by itself. It additionally helped that 15 million individuals watched on tv, up from 9.3 million final yr, the bottom viewership within the Kentucky Derby’s historical past.



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