Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Medina Spirit
While the results of the 2021 Kentucky Derby are now up in the air after winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test, those who placed bets on the horse will still get to keep their winnings, regardless.
And if Medina Spirit is indeed disqualified, with runner-up Mandaloun subsequently becoming the winner, bettors who put the odds in favor of Monadaloun initially still won't get winning cash.
Per the New York Times, this ruling stems from years back, when the winning horse was disqualified for drug reasons after the 1968 Kentucky Derby.
Dancer's Image was the winner of that race, but a four-year case concluded that the horse had drugs in its system. The Kentucky Horse Racing commission decreed runner-up Forward Pass be considered the victor, with the exception of parimutuel bets, according to the Courier-Journal.
On Sunday, Churchill Downs announced in a statement that Medina Spirit had tested positive for betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who has now been suspended from entering horses at the track, denied to reporters that Medina Spirit had taken the drug. "Yesterday I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something that I didn't do," said Baffert, who added that the drug test was an "injustice to the horse."
Former President Donald Trump even addressed the controversy in a statement, saying, "So now even our Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is a junky. This is emblematic of what is happening to our country."
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A second positive drug test, called a "split sample," is required before Medina Spirit can be disqualified. The results are expected in the coming weeks, according to the Times.
Medina Spirit won the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1, defeating 19 other horses to secure the win. The victory was also historic for Baffert, who broke the record for most Derby wins with seven.