Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with an anti-fungal ointment that contained the anti-inflammatory drug for which he tested positive after the race, trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday morning in a statement.
Baffert said Medina Spirit developed dermatitis on his hind end after his second-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby and that his veterinarian recommended treatment with the ointment, called Otomax. The colt received treatments with this ointment until the day before the Kentucky Derby, Baffert said.
The Hall of Fame trainer had previous said Medina Spirit was not treated with betamethasone, the medication for which he tested positive after the Kentucky Derby. If a split sample also tests positive for the anti-inflammatory drug, Medina Spirit will lose his Derby victory.
Baffert said he did not realize Otomax contained betamethasone until he was informed Monday.
“While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results,” Baffert said in his statement.
Medina Spirit arrived at Pimlico Race Course on Monday ahead of a planned run in Saturday’s Preakness. He jogged once around the track Tuesday morning as the racing world awaited word on his status for the second leg of the Triple Crown. Preakness organizers said Sunday they would review all the relevant facts before deciding whether he could run. Baffert’s attorney has threatened to request a temporary restraining order if the Derby champion is barred from the race.