Medina Spirit, the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, collapsed and died on Monday morning after completing a workout at the Santa Anita Park racetrack in California. The three-year-old colt’s shocking death is believed to be the result of a heart attack, though a necropsy by the University of California, Davis, will be completed to determine the racehorse’s exact cause of death.
In a statement, Santa Anita Park recounted the morning tragedy:
“Following the completion of a routine morning workout, Medina Spirit collapsed on the track at Santa Anita Park and died suddenly of a probable cardiac event according to the on site veterinary team who attended to him.”
Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby win was marred by controversy when post-race testing revealed that the horse tested positive for betamethasone – an anti-inflammatory steroid that is banned during the 14 days leading up to the race.
His trainer, Bob Baffert, claims that the positive result came from a topical ointment that had been applied to Medina Spirit for a skin condition.
On Monday, Baffert commented on the shocking death 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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