CHRB Releases Statement Regarding Medina Spirit’s Death

The 2021 Kentucky Derby winner collapsed while completing a workout at Santa Anita Park, in California.

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Medina Spirit, KY Derby 2021
Medina Spirit wins the 2021 Kentucky Derby. | Courtesy Jamie Newell/

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has released the following statement following the death of 2021 Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit:

“The 3-year-old colt Medina Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, was just completing a workout on the main track at Santa Anita this morning (December 6) when he collapsed near the finish line. He died immediately. This is termed a sudden death. All horses that die within facilities regulated by the California Horse Racing Board undergo postmortem (necropsy) examination at a California Animal Health and Food Safety diagnostic laboratory under the auspices of the University of California, Davis. Cause of death cannot be determined until the necropsy and toxicology tests have been completed.”

Medina Spirit’s 2021 Kentucky Derby win came into question after the colt tested positive for betamethasone, a steroid prohibited in racing. His trainer, Baffert, later faced suspensions from multiple racing jurisdictions.


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The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care is an equine publication providing the latest news and information on the health, care, welfare, and management of all equids.

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