Lawyers for the owner and trainer of Medina Spirit, first of the Kentucky Derby 2021, say that tests carried out by a New York lab have “definitively confirmed” that the horse tested positive for a corticosteroid not by injection but by cause of an ointment used to treat a rash.
Craig Robertson, attorney for Bob Baffert, and Clark Brewster, representing owner Amr Zedan’s Zedan Racing Stables, said tests performed by Dr George Maylin, who runs a drug lab at Morrisville State College in New York, have showed the presence of betamethasone valerate, which they claim is found in Otomax ointment. Otomax, made to treat ear infections in dogs, lists betamethasone as one of its ingredients. The test, said Robertson and Brewster, also confirmed the absence of betamethasone acetate, the injectable corticosteroid used to treat inflammation.
“In other words,” Robertson said in a statement, “it has now been scientifically proven that what Bob Baffert has said from the start is true – Medina Spirit has never been injected with betamethasone and the findings that followed the Kentucky Derby were solely the result of the horse being treated for a skin condition with a topical ointment – all under the direction of the veterinarian of Medina Spirit.
The Paulick Report asked Robertson and Brewster for a full copy of Maylin’s report.
Robertson said the test result “should definitely resolve the issue in Kentucky and Medina Spirit should remain the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby.” Brewster had similar sentiments, stating that “Zedan is proud to have supported Bob and is delighted that Medina Spirit receives the honor of his great victory. “
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Council of Commissioners have yet to hold a hearing into the failed Medina Spirit drug test, and until a hearing is conducted, Medina Spirit will remain the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Following the failed drug test, Baffert was barred from all leads owned by Churchill Downs Inc. until the conclusion of the Spring / Summer 2023 meeting at the company’s flagship track in Louisville, Ky. Churchill Downs has also stated that horses trained by Baffert are not eligible for qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.
A spokesperson for the commission could not be reached to comment on Maylin’s tests, which lawyers for Baffert and Zedan requested through a court order.
Kentucky racing rules do not seem to differentiate between administering betamethasone or other drugs by injection or by other means. In section 1 of the Regulation on Medicines, Testing Procedures and Prohibited Practices, the definition of “administer” reads: “to apply or cause the introduction of a substance into the body of a horse”.
Robertson and Brewster’s full statements follow:
Craig robertson: The MEDINA SPIRIT fractional urine sample test has now been completed by Dr. George Maylin, director of the New York Drug Testing & Research Program. By order of the Franklin Circuit Court of Kentucky, this urine was tested “to determine whether the suspected topical administration of OTOMAX could have led to the discovery of betamethasone” in MEDINA SPIRIT after the Kentucky Derby of 2021. These results have now definitively been found. confirmed that the betamethasone present in the MEDINA SPIRIT system was indeed from the topical ointment OTOMAX and not from an injection. In other words, it has now been scientifically proven that what Bob Baffert said from the start was true – MEDINA SPIRIT was never injected with betamethasone and the findings that followed the Kentucky Derby were only the result of treatment. of the horse for a skin condition. topical ointment – all under the direction of the MEDINA SPIRIT veterinarian.
Betamethasone in an injection is betamethasone acetate. The betamethasone in the topical ointment is betamethasone valerate. Only betamethasone acetate is covered and regulated in the Kentucky Racing Rules. Thus, the presence of betamethasone valerate in MEDINA SPIRIT, which results from topical ointment, is not a violation of the rules. Dr. Maylin’s tests not only confirmed the presence of betamethasone valerate, but also the absence of betamethasone acetate. That should definitely settle the matter in Kentucky and MEDINA SPIRIT should remain the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
Since May, Mr. Baffert has been the subject of an unfair haste in trial. We have always asked everyone to wait for the facts and the science to be revealed. Now that Mr. Baffert has been scientifically proven to be truthful, that he didn’t break any racing rules, and that MEDINA SPIRIT’s victory was due only to the heart and abilities of the horse and nothing else, it is time for all racing members to come together for the good of the sport. Mr. Baffert has been a tremendous ambassador for the sport throughout his 46-year Hall of Fame career and he fully intends to continue to do so.
Clark brewster: As legal counsel and on behalf of Abr Zedan and Zedan Racing Stable, owner of Medina Spirit, winner of the 147th Kentucky Derby, it is extremely gratifying to learn that the New York Racing Laboratory, through its director Dr. George Marlin scientifically confirmed that no betamethazone acetate was found in the urine sample after running Medina Spirit. Dr Maylin reported that the components of an ointment used to treat a skin lesion were confirmed by confirmation of the metabolite and that no acetate that is part of betamethazone injection was present. The Kentucky Racing Commission has firmly adopted rules for injecting corticosteroids into joints and has established a clear rule that no injections are allowed within 14 days of a race. Now, there is no doubt that the 14 day rule that a certain thought could have been violated by earlier less specific tests is being revealed as premature judgment. This baseless accusation has no scientific basis.
Zedan is proud to have supported Bob and is delighted that Medina Spirit receives the honor of his great victory.
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