Medina Spirit, Disqualified 2021 Kentucky Derby Winner, Dies On Track

By Jason Hall

December 6, 2021

147th Kentucky Derby
Photo: Getty Images

Medina Spirit, the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for multiple failed drug tests, died of an apparent heart attack suffered during a morning workout at Santa Anita Park Monday (December 6) morning, CBS Los Angeles reports.

California equine medical director Dr. Jeff Blea told horse racing reporter Ray Paulick that the 3-year-old horse experienced "a sudden death after working five furlongs" at the California track Monday morning.

Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby in May, but tested positive for the anti-inflammatory steroid betamethasone and was banned from competing in the Belmont Stakes.

The horse's owner, Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert, was banned two years by Churchill Downs after the horse's second positive test in June.

Maryland officials allowed Medina Spirit and Concert Tour, another horse trained by Baffert, to compete in the Preakness -- the second leg of the Triple Crown -- in May, as well as his filly, Beautiful Gift, in the Black-Eyed Susan the previous day after all three horses past pre-race drug tests.

Medina Spirit finished third and Concert Tour ninth in the May 15 Preakness race, which was held without Baffert in attendance.

No additional details were available at the time of publication.

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