Opinion: As another excuse arises, Pimlico won’t hold Bob Baffert accountable for Medina Spirit’s positive test

Medina Spirit is going to run in the Preakness after all. Trainer Bob Baffert has a new person to throw under the bus. And thus, the attempted whitewash of a positive drug test that is likely going to cost Baffert his seventh Kentucky Derby title has begun in earnest. 

After abandoning the ridiculous pretense that Medina Spirit was somehow sabotaged or a victim of cancel culture — yes, Baffert went there in multiple interviews Monday — he took another step closer to the truth Tuesday when he acknowledged in a statement that Medina Spirit had been treated for dermatitis with an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax up until the day before the Kentucky Derby. One of the ingredients in Otomax? Betamethasone, the steroid that showed up in Medina Spirit’s post-race drug test. 

Meanwhile, officials at Pimlico agreed to let Medina Spirit and another Baffert-trained horse, Concert Tour, run in Saturday’s Preakness with some conditions including pre-race drug testing and monitoring. 

You can see what’s happening here. Just two days after a revelation that will taint horse racing for years to come, the collective will of horse racing to hold Baffert accountable already looks like it’s teetering. 

Assuming the split sample of Medina Spirit’s test also comes back positive — we won’t know for several days or perhaps weeks — he will be officially stripped of the Derby win. So what’s the next move in Baffert’s playbook? Blame the veterinarian, deny knowledge, shirk responsibility. Rinse and repeat. 


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