Somewhere in California, Bob Baffert breathes a sigh of relief. Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and her concert tour were allowed to participate in the Preakness Stakes.
There were doubts about the foals participating in Saturday’s race. When it was first revealed that the winner of the Derby tested positive for the anti-inflammatory steroid betamethasone, this cast a shadow over Baffert and led to the suspension of the legendary Churchill Downs coach.
Maryland racing officials announced on Friday that Medina Spirit had passed her second wave of drug tests. The tests were part of a deal this was achieved to allow Baffert’s horses to participate in the Preakness. As long as they passed the tests, the horses could run.
“While we recognize the difficult circumstances that have led to this additional need for transparency, it reflects, above all, that the principles of integrity, accountability and safety in our sport are not negotiable,” said Craig. Fravel, CEO of 1 / ST Racing, which is part of the group that owns the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, site of the Preakness, by ESPN.
With that now in the rearview mirror, it’s game for Baffert’s horses. Her filly Beautiful Gift finished seventh in the Black-Eyed Susan on Friday.
Medina Spirit will start from post n ° 3 on Saturday while the Concert Tour will start at post n ° 10 in the peloton of 10 horses. At the time of this writing, they are the two favorites in the race with Medina Spirit (9-5) holding a slight advantage over Concert Tour (5-2).
Baffert chose to stay home this weekend so as not to be a distraction, The Washington Post reported.