MEDINA SPIRIT WILL BE PERMITTED TO ENTER 146TH PREAKNESS STAKES (GI) WITH CONDITIONS

Trainer Bob Baffert Agrees to Grant Full Access to Medical and Testing Results for Medina Spirit, Concert Tour and Beautiful Gift as a Condition of Entry

BALTIMORE, MD1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club announced today that Medina Spirit will be permitted to enter into the 146th Preakness Stakes (GI) to be run on Saturday, May 15th with rigorous conditions to entry along with a binding commitment from Bob Baffert to full transparency of medical and testing results that will allow for all results to be released to the public.

The decision comes following the May 9th announcement of a reported medication positive of betamethasone, an allowable therapeutic, as a result of the post-race blood sample testing following the 147th Kentucky Derby involving Medina Spirit trained by Bob Baffert. Baffert has disputed those claims.

As a condition of acceptance of the entry, Baffert has provided his consent to the Maryland Jockey Club to allow for rigorous testing and monitoring in addition to that conducted by the Maryland Racing Commission (MRC).

Those additional tests and monitoring are to ensure the fairness and integrity of the races entered by horses trained by Baffert, which are the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (GII) and the 146th Preakness Stakes (GI).  A copy of Baffert’s consent agreement is attached.  It has also been provided by Baffert to the MRC.

Medina Spirit and Concert Tour are presently entered into the 146th Preakness Stakes and Beautiful Gift in the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. All graded stakes races will be run free of race day medications.

Consistent with the fair procedures and practices established by 1/ST RACING and MJC, Baffert consents to the disclosure of information and results of the MRC and MJC tests, along with other relevant medical and administrative records to the MJC and Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer, 1/ST RACING.

If any of the three Baffert horses test positive for a banned substance, or at a level for a permitted therapeutic substance that is above the designated limit, or if after medical review, reasonable conditions warrant, Baffert or MJC on his behalf, will scratch the horse in question.
 

“Integrity, accountability and safety in our sport are principles that 1/ST RACING puts above all else. Our company has a track record of instituting process and protocols that have led to nationwide medication reforms and we are unwavering in our commitment to put horse and rider safety at the forefront,” said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING. “We are well aware of the public outcry and calls for action that have been the natural outcome of a medication positive in one of the most iconic races in our sport and we share the disappointment and concern. 

We are required to acknowledge in this instance that fundamental fairness compels us to respect the individual rights of participants in our sport to due process and adherence to agreed-upon and well-established rules. To this point, there has to our knowledge been no split sample testing as is required in every state in this country and no complaint or other official action has been announced by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission with regard to this incident.  While the integrity of our sport is of utmost importance it is the responsibility of those in authority to follow the rules even as we seek to enforce them. We cannot make things up as we go along and we trust that the competitors, bettors and fans will understand the importance of adhering to that principle.”

The Preakness meet operates under stringent veterinary testing protocols that are established and overseen by the Maryland Racing Commission’s Equine Medical Director, Dr. Elizabeth Daniel.  These protocols are shared with all trainers the month leading up to the Preakness and include, as examples:

  • Out of Competition Testing that can be administered at any time prior to and on race day; samples are sent to two independent laboratories for testing
  • All horses racing on Black-Eyed Susan Day and on Preakness Day are subject to TCO2 within minutes of the race
  • Horses entered on Black-Eyed Susan Day and on Preakness Day will be examined daily by either a regulatory veterinarian or an association veterinarian and a consulting board certified equine surgeon
  • On both Black-Eyed Susan Day and on Preakness Day, four Maryland Racing Commission veterinarians will be observing horses on the track for soundness in addition to three 1/ST RACING veterinarians, including Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer,1/ST RACING
  • Any horse that is deemed unfit for racing by the Maryland Racing Commission veterinary team will be recommended to be scratched by stewards

For additional information on Preakness 146 Veterinary Protocols, please visit https://www.preakness.com/veterinary-coverage.

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ABOUT THE STRONACH GROUP AND 1/ST

The Stronach Group is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the core.  The company’s consumer facing brand 1/ST (pronounced “First”) powers The Stronach Group’s forward-thinking 1/ST RACING, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, 1/ST EXPERIENCE, and 1/ST PROPERTIES businesses, while advocating for and driving the 1/ST HORSE CARE mission. 1/ST represents The Stronach Group’s continued movement toward redefining Thoroughbred horse racing and the ecosystem that drives it. 1/ST RACING drives the best-in-class horse racing operations at the company’s premier racetracks and training centers including: Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and San Luis Rey Downs (California); Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center (Florida); the Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course – home of the legendary Preakness Stakes, Rosecroft Raceway and Bowie Training Center (Maryland). 1/ST CONTENT is the newly formed operating group for all of 1/ST’s media and content companies including: Monarch Content Management, Elite, GWS and XBTV. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is horse racing’s largest racing and gaming technology company offering world-class products via its AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix brands. 1/ST EXPERIENCE blends the worlds of sports, entertainment and hospitality through innovative content development, elevated national and local venue management and hospitality, strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and procurement development. 1/ST PROPERTIES is responsible for the development of the company’s live, work and play communities surrounding its racing venues including: The Village at Gulfstream Park (Florida) and Paddock Pointe (Maryland).  As the advocate for critical industry reforms and by making meaningful investments into aftercare programs for retired horses and jockeys, 1/ST HORSE CARE represents The Stronach Group’s commitment to achieving the highest level of horse and rider care and safety standards in Thoroughbred horse racing on and off the track. For more information, please visit www.1st.com.