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Baffert faced previous scandals prior to Medina Spirit’s positive test

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - At Kentucky Derby 147, Medina Spirit was added to Bob Baffert’s win list.

A week later, the three-year-old colt added to a different list, Baffert horses that have tested positive for banned substances.

“I’m not a conspiracy therapist. I know everybody’s not out to get me. but there’s definitely something wrong,” Baffert said. “Why is it happening to me? There’s problems in racing, but it’s not Bob Baffert.”

Also on that list, Charlatan, Gamine and Justify.

In 2018, before his iconic run to a Triple Crown, the New York Times reported Justify tested positive for an excessive amount of scopolamine, a substance that can be used to clear a horse’s airway and optimize its heart rate.

Baffert claiming it came from tainted California jimsonweed the colt was eating in his hay.

“You would never intentionally administer scopolamine to a horse,” Baffert’s attorney Craig Robertson said.

Then 2020, his Derby favorite Charlatan and his Oaks favorite Gamine, tested positive for lidocaine after races at Oaklawn last May.

That’s a drug that can numb a horse to pain, and a drug that got Baffert a 15-day suspension from the Arkansas Racing Commission.

“It was an innocent mistake by my assistant Jimmy Barnes, who happened to be wearing a patch in days prior to the race,” Baffert said. “That’s how the lidocaine actually got on the horse.”

The Gamine news didn’t end there.

In February, she was disqualified from her third-place finish in Kentucky Oaks after she tested positive for betamethasone.

Baffert says the case with Gamine is different from the one with Medina Spirit.

“We did treat her. This horse was not treated with this and so that’s the scary part,” Baffert said. “I don’t know what’s going on with the regulators, things that are going on. But, I’m just at a loss for words for it.”

Baffert has promised his own investigation into what happened, an investigation that will determine if this sign stays on Barn 33 at Churchill Downs.

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