What happens if Medina Spirit is disqualified?

What happens if Medina Spirit is disqualified?

Illustration for article titled What happens if Medina Spirit is disqualified?
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Only one horse has been disqualified for a drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby. That happened in 1968, when Dancer’s Image was DQ’d for testing positive for a banned anti-inflammatory. But Forward Pass, who finished in second was not declared the official winner until 1972.

Sound familiar to what’s happening now? It should.

After the controversial ’68 Derby disqualification, years of legal battles ensued over the prize money. Dancer’s Image would eventually lose out on that, too, with the cash going to the farm that owned Forward Pass in 1973.

Just yesterday, the 2021 Derby winner, Medina Spirit, failed a post-race drug test for an inordinate amount of betamethasone — a steroid occasionally used to treat pain and inflammation in horses. Two tests were conducted on race day. But another round of results to confirm the initial positive may take weeks to reveal. If the second set of tests come back positive, it will lead to the horse’s disqualification from this year’s Derby.

So, what would happen then?

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The Result

The Result

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Medina Spirit is still the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby at the moment. But that could change upon another failed drug test.

In a statement, Churchill Downs said, “To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”

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The Bets

The Bets

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Don’t worry, bettors, your money is the only thing that’s safe in this situation. If you bet on Medina Spirit to win, you won and get to keep the money. Even if the horse is DQ’d, nobody will come for your cash and you won’t have to return your winning ticket.

Mandaloun betters, though, will probably feel screwed. That horse had 26-to-1 odds and would’ve made for a great payday.

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The Purse

The Purse

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If Medina Spirit fails his second drug test, owner Amr Zedan will have to return the $1.86 million in prize money. And remember Dancer’s Image from 1968? Yeah, the second-place horse was awarded with the prize money then, so Mandaloun owners Juddmonte Farms would be see the cash.

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The Trainer

The Trainer

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Bob Baffert has already been banned from entering race horses at Churchill Downs. And this is not the first time the Hall of Fame trainer has been in the spotlight for his horse’s failed drug tests.

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The Preakness

The Preakness

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Oh, yeah. The second jewel of the triple crown runs this Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Medina Spirit is still in the program and will race unless decision makers at Pimlico or Maryland’s Racing commission change their minds. Yesterday, Preakness officials told ESPN “any decision regarding the entry of Medina Spirit in the 146th Preakness Stakes will be made after review of the facts.” That ruling could be made on Tuesday afternoon during the post position draw.

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The Triple Crown

The Triple Crown

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But what about Mandaloun? If he ends up “winning” the Kentucky Derby he could qualify for the Triple Crown. But there’s one problem... Mandaloun will not run on Saturday. If Medina Spirit is disqualified, the chase for the Triple Crown will be over.

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