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?