SANTA ANITA, Cali — Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout at a track in California on Monday.
According to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), Medina Spirit was completing a workout on the main track at Santa Anita when he collapsed near the finish line.
Medina Spirit's trainer Bob Baffert also confirmed the news in a statement his office sent to WHAS11 News. Baffert said he and his entire team are devastated by the passing of the 3-year-old colt. The horse died of a heart attack, Baffert said.
Baffert's full statement about Medina Spirit's death
"It is with great sadness that I am reporting Medina Spirit passed away today from a heart attack at Santa Anita following a workout. 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. Our most sincere condolences go out to Mr. Amr Zedan and the entire Zedan Racing Stables family. They are in our thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult time."
Medina Spirit will undergo a full necropsy, which is required by the CHRB.
Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid betamethasone after winning the Kentucky Derby race on May 1 and was facing disqualification.
On Friday, December 3, an attorney for trainer Bob Baffert says split-sample urine testing of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has shown that a steroid present in the colt’s system came from a topical ointment and not an injection.
In May, Churchill Downs imposed a two-year ban on Baffert following the confirmation of the results from a split sample test.
Baffert had said an ointment used to treat the colt for a skin condition daily up until the Derby included the substance.
Baffert's attorney, Craig Robertson, says the new testing showed Medina Spirit was never injected with a steroid. Instead, the testing confirmed the steroid's presence came from an ointment.
Medina Spirit was allowed to participate in the Preakness and finished third.