Kentucky Derby Bets Still Paid on Medina Spirit’s Victory

Kentucky Derby Bets Still Paid on Medina Spirit's Victory Medina Spirit, trained by trainer Bob Baffert, with jockey John Velazquez up, wins the Kentucky Derby Medina Spirit, trained by trainer Bob Baffert, with jockey John Velazquez up, wins the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1. (Scott Serio/AP)

By Jeremy Frankel | Sunday, 09 May 2021 08:33 PM

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, now-suspended trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday. Baffert, a Hall of Fame trainer, said in a live video stream the corticosteroid was never given to the horse and the finding will be challenged.

Medina Spirit's victory is at risk of being invalidated. However, even if the horse's victory is overturned in the end, USA Today noted pari-mutuel wagering will probably not be affected.

The article noted 1968 was the last time a Kentucky Derby winner (Dancer's Image) was disqualified for a positive drug test. Afterward, the Kentucky Horse Racing commission ordered the second-place finishing horse to be considered the winner in every respect other than pari-mutuel payoffs.

Furthermore, pari-mutuel betting was not affected by the ruling that disqualified another Baffert-trained horse, which finished third in the 2020 Kentucky Oaks.

Bob Heleringer, author of "Equine Regulatory Law," told The Courier Journal in Louisville, once a race is official, the betting results are final, regardless of an appeal or a mistake by the track. Heleringer added it is the law in every state, calling it "one of the most irrevocable standards in racing."