- 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit suddenly died after a training session on Monday.
- The colt marked the 75th horse that has died under Bob Baffert’s care and people are calling for him to retire.
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Seven months after winning the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout on Monday. The three-year-old colt suffered a heart attack while training in Santa Anita, and his trainer Bob Baffert has fallen under scrutiny once again.
Baffert, who is the most successful trainer in horse racing history, is extremely controversial. He has had at least 31 of his horses fail drug tests fail drug tests in the past.
That includes Medina Spirit in May. Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone after the Derby, which is a legal medication that is not allowed on race days.
Baffert’s attorney Craig Robertson released a statement last Friday that said tests done by a New York lab “definitely confirmed” that Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid. However, he said that the colt tested positive not through an injection, but due to an ointment for a skin rash.
Now, three days later, Medina Spirt has tragically passed.
The colt had just completed five furlongs in his second workout since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar a month ago.
“My entire barn is devastated by this news,” Baffert said. “Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family who was loved by all, and we are deeply mourning his loss. I will always cherish the proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and his tremendous spirit.”
As required by the California Horse Racing Board, the colt will undergo a full necropsy. It will determine the cause of death.
Medina Spirit had five wins in 10 career starts and accumulated $3,545,200 in career earnings. Amr Zedan was his owner, who competes as Zedan Racing Stables.
“Our most sincere condolences go out to Mr. Amr Zedan and the entire Zedan Racing Stables family,” Baffert said in his statement. “They are in our thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult time.”
According to the Washington Post, this is the 75th horse that has died in Baffert’s care. He is the most controversial personality in the sport, but also the greatest and most successful.
In response to the Medina Spirit news, the internet called for Baffert to retire from the sport:
Bob Baffert NEEDS to retire in disgrace.
Medina Spirit deserved better 💔
— Greg Jones (@WOOKIE318) December 6, 2021
I’ve bet a lot of money on this sport. I love horse racing but enough is enough. Until Bob Baffert is suspended and licenses are revoked then I am from this moment not betting a single dollar on horse racing. Medina Spirit deserved better
— Cameron Roberts (@CDRCam) December 6, 2021
those in charge of horse racing have no one to blame but themselves for the state of this sport
they’ve allowed the “inmates to run the jail” for years & today Medina Spirit had to pay the ultimate price
I do hope every owner takes their horses from @BobBaffert today…
— TracksideMikeN (@TracksideMikeN) December 6, 2021
Are y’all gonna stop defending Bob Baffert now or does he need to dig his grave like 10 feet deeper still before it kicks in that he’s simply a piece of shit
— Shelby Dennis (@sdequus) December 6, 2021
I'm heartbroken to learn that Kentucky Derby winner (later disqualified under suspicious circumstances), Medina Spirit died of a heart attack this morning while training.
A FULL INVESTIGATION OF BOB BAFFERT NEEDS TO BE DONE IMMEDIATELY.
He is the CANCER of the sport!!!!
— Game Hunter (@MrGameHunter) December 6, 2021
Bob Baffert should face criminal charges.
— Jessica Washington (@JWashington2020) December 6, 2021
Bob Baffert should never come within 1,000 feet of a horse ever again.
— Brady (@BKchalk) December 6, 2021
Drug-disgraced Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, died after a workout with its trainer, Bob Baffert.
This is the 75th horse to die suspiciously training under Baffert.
Call me naive, but if an NFL trainer had 75 players die suspiciously, he would be on trial.
— Alex Kaseberg (@AlexKaseberg) December 6, 2021