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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By HRI Staff — Over the weekend it was widely reported that trainer Bob Baffert was “cleared” of wrongdoing when recent test results confirmed by Dr. George Maylin indicated that betamethasone levels present in Medina Spirit post-Kentucky Derby was as a result of the use of a topical ointment to treat a skin issue, not the result of an injectable.

This morning, Medina Spirit collapsed and died after working five furlongs at Santa Anita.

“Medina Spirit, winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, collapsed and died Monday morning while breezing at Santa Anita. No cause of death was announced, but the early indications are that it was a heart attack. A necropsy will be performed.,” reported Los Angeles Times special correspondent John Cherwa.

“The 3-year-old colt was breezing around 7:45 a.m. when he collapsed around the finish line. He had just finished a five-furlong workout when he collapsed. The horse ambulance was brought out and he was taken off the track. The death was confirmed by the California Horse Racing Board.

“Right after the wire, he looked odd, and you could see the horse stagger and then he just laid down past the wire,” said Dr. Jeff Blea, equine medical director of the CHRB.. “Track vets got to him right away, but he was already gone. These types of things are presumed to be cardiovascular events,”

Stated in a release, the Animal Wellness Action group had this reaction:

“Condolences to the owners and fans of Medina Spirit after his untimely death. This high-performing Thoroughbred will always have an asterisk by his name because of medication abuses that caused extreme controversy following the horse’s Derby win, and connection to Bob Baffert…

We have to wonder if doping contributes not only to on-track injuries and death but also to post-track health risks.

This in an ongoing story

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