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Bob Baffert: Anti-Fungal Ointment Could Explain Medina Spirit's Positive Drug Test

In a statement released by Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert, he alleges that Medina Spirt's positive drug test could be explained by an ointment used to treat dermatitis on the racehorse.

Medina Spirit, who won the 147th Kentucky Derby on May 1, tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug. The legal limit is 10 picograms.

However, Baffert says the drug could be traced back to the ointment Otomax, which was used to treat dermatitis found in Medina Spirit. He claims that a veterinarian recommended the anti-fungal cream and was applied daily to heal the dermatitis and to stop it from spreading. 

"Yesterday, I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone," Baffert said in the statement. "While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit's positive post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the results." 

As a result of the positive drug test, Baffert has been suspended from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack while the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission conducts an investigation.

A month before the Kentucky Derby, Baffert won the appeal of his suspension from the Arkansas Racing Commission when two of his horses tested positive for the painkiller lidocaine. Baffert blamed those positive tests on a pain patch worn by his assistant, who saddled the horses.

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