ARCADIA (CBSLA) –Medina Spirit, the horse who failed a drug test after placing first in this year’s Kentucky Derby race, died Monday at the Santa Anita Park race track in Arcadia.
According to Craig Robertson, lawyer for Medina Spirit coach Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit suffered a heart attack after a workout.
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“After completing a routine morning workout, Medina Spirit collapsed on the Santa Anita Park trail and died suddenly of a probable cardiac event according to the on-site vet team who attended to him. “, said officials of the track in a statement.
Blood, hair and urine samples from the racehorse were taken immediately after Medina Spirit’s death and sent to the California Horse Racing Board. A full autopsy will be performed by UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to determine the exact cause of death, according to track officials.
The 3-year-old took first place in the Kentucky Derby in May, but the victory is currently under investigation after Medina Spirit tested positive for the anti-inflammatory steroid betamethasone. The winning race is now under review by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
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Medina Spirit finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and third in the Preakness Stakes, but was banned from participating in the Belmont Stakes.
Baffert and his lawyer claim that Medina Spirit tested positive due to the use of a topical ointment known as Otomax to treat a skin condition, and not an injection meant to improve the horse’s performance.
In a statement to the Thoroughbred Daily News, Baffert said his entire barn was devastated by the news of Medina Spirit’s death.
“Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family who was loved by all, and we mourn her loss deeply. I will always cherish our proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and its great spirit, ”the statement read.
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Medina Spirit’s death would be the 21st on the track this year, following Restiany’s death on Thanksgiving Day.