On Monday morning, Medina Spirit, the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, collapsed and died on the track after a workout at the Santa Anita Park racetrack in California. The three-year-old colt apparently died from a heart attack, though a necropsy will be completed to confirm the actual cause of death.
The horse’s derby win was marred by controversy after he tested positive for betamethasone after the race. Though the steroid is legal, it is one of the drugs that is prohibited on race day. Trainer Bob Baffert has stated that the drug was in the horse’s system because of a topical ointment that had been applied for a skin rash, reports NBC News.
Baffert commented on the unexpected and tragic loss of the champion horse:
“My entire barn is devastated by this news. 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.”
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