Disqualified Derby winner Medina Spirit’s ashes to be buried in Kentucky

Published 10:22 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

The ashes of disqualified 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit will be interred at a retirement farm for thoroughbred horses in Kentucky.

Old Friends said Friday the colt’s ashes will be interred in a memorial garden alongside 1999 Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic and 2002 Derby winner War Emblem.

The farm will host an open house on April 5 for fans to visit the gravesite.

Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout on Dec. 6 at Santa Anita in California. He was trained by Bob Baffert, who also trained War Emblem. A necropsy on Medina Spirit showed no definitive cause of death, according to the California Horse Racing Board, which released the results of the examination earlier this month. The colt was cremated.

“Medina Spirit was loved deeply by us and everyone at the barn,” Baffert and his wife Jill said in a statement. “We grieve his loss, but take comfort knowing he will be buried among some of racing’s all-time greats at Old Friends.”

Earlier this week, Medina Spirit was stripped of his victory in last year’s Kentucky Derby by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The colt tested positive after the race in May for a steroid, betamethasone, that is legal in Kentucky but banned on race day. Baffert was subsequently banned for two years by Churchill Downs.

Mandaloun, the second-place finisher, was elevated to first place. An attorney for Baffert said an appeal is planned.

Amr Zedan, whose Zedan Racing owned the colt, said, “He brought us great joy during his time, and we will forever cherish his spectacular win in the Kentucky Derby. Medina Spirit truly had the heart of champion, and it is very comforting to know that he will be laid to rest with many of racing’s greats and the wonderful people at Old Friends Farm.”