Medina Spirit, 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, dies after workout

Medina Spirit
(Image credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Racehorse Medina Spirit has died seven months after winning the Kentucky Derby.

The 3-year-old horse collapsed after a workout on Monday, suffering a fatal heart attack, trainer Bob Baffert confirmed to The Associated Press.

"My entire barn is devastated by this news," Baffert said. "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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California Horse Racing Board equine medical director Dr. Jeff Blea told The New York Times that "near the end of his breeze this morning," Medina Spirit "did not feel right and his rider tried to pull him up, but "he went down." Blea added, "Our vet on the scene got there immediately and he was already expired."

Medina Spirit came in first place at the 2021 Kentucky Derby, but it was later revealed that the horse tested positive for betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, leading to Baffert's suspension. "If the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit's results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner," officials said at the time. An attorney for Baffert recently said that testing showed Medina Spirit tested positive due to "the horse being treated for a skin condition by way of a topical ointment." According to AP, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has not yet held a hearing that could result in Medina Spirit's disqualification.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.