Judge Thomas Wingate issued a written decision on June 16 regarding plans for the remaining urine sample of Kentucky Derby first place finisher Medina Spirit, reports bloodhorse.com. The decision follows a June 11 hearing in Franklin County Circuit Court, in which Judge Wingate determined that the legal team for Medina Spirit’s connections will be permitted to do extra testing on a urine sample (the “split sample”) taken from the colt after the Kentucky Derby and held by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The case is based on the finding of betamethasone in a post-race sample of Medina Spirit, collected immediately after the colt crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby.
Counsel for Medina Spirit’s trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Stables filed a civil suit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission last week demanding their right to test the split urine sample, which sat undisturbed in the commission’s freezer. Remnants of the original biologic samples were initially sent to be tested for those ingredients, but they were reportedly damaged before arrival at the plaintiffs’ choice of labs.
Judge Wingate ordered Wednesday that the remaining urine sample will be flown to the plaintiffs’ choice of lab for testing, that two KHRC representatives travel with the sample, and that plaintiffs will fund the flight. Upon arrival, the KHRC will retain 5 milliliters of the sample, while the remainder will be tested for clotrimazole, gentamicin, and betamethasone valerate.
Those are the three active ingredients in Otomax, a topical cream which attorneys for Baffert and Zedan claim is behind the positive finding of betamethasone in Medina Spirit. Attorneys for Baffert and Zedan went to court to push for the the testing because they believe lab evidence backing up the presence of Otomax’s ingredients would prove to be exculpatory or mitigating when Kentucky stewards eventually conduct a hearing on the case.
Jennifer Wolsing, general counsel for the KHRC, declined to speculate on whether a topical administration of betamethasone would require an exoneration in the case or whether it could be considered a “mitigating circumstance” with regards to penalty. She did point to the commission’s drug classification guidelines, which make reference to betamethasone without specifying what route of administration would result in a Class C finding. The only question at hand for the June 11 proceeding, she asserted, was what was to be done about further testing of the remaining biological samples.
Read more at bloodhorse.com.
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