How did Medina Spirit die? Horse racing fans call for trainer Bob Baffert's suspension

A Twitter user wrote, 'He is the CANCER of the sport!!!'


                            How did Medina Spirit die? Horse racing fans call for trainer Bob Baffert's suspension
Medina Spirit's trainer Bob Baffert under fire after the colt's sudden death (Rob Carr/Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has died. The 3-year-old purebred horse belonged to Saudi businessman Amr Zedan. The much loved and cheered for colt earned several awards alone this year, including Robert B. Lewis Stakes, Shared Belief Stakes, Awesome Again Stakes, before competing at the Kentucky Derby which he initially won. Weeks later he was stripped off the winner position after failing a drug test. Trainer Bob Baffert had received immense criticism at the time for administering performance drugs to the horse which could have life-threatening effects. Months later, the young horse has died resulting in fury among people who loved the colt for its spirit are calling for Baffert's suspension.

Before diving any further into the tragedy, we'd like to highlight several fan-favorite animals who lost their lives this year. 'Dolphin Tale' star Winter died aged 16 at Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida after battling severe gastrointestinal issues. Patrons who had visited her with their families over the years were as heartbroken as the mammal's caretakers and many of them took to social media to tell endearing stories of how Winter helped them smile in the toughest of times. Internet pet Goop the Cat who became famous after the owner began sharing their adventures on Twitter died in June leaving a "goop shaped hole" in the hearts of her followers. The oldest living bat in captivity, Statler, who captured the hearts of millions on the internet died in July this year while napping in the arms of the caretaker. Statler suffered from arthritis, was rendered flightless, and only had one eye but he continued to enjoy an active routine courtesy of the people who cared for him. His death affected fans worldwide.

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Jockey John Velazquez #3 riding Medina Spirit leads the field in the first pass during the 146th Running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

 

How did Medina Spirit die?

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) confirmed the colt's tragic death saying he died near the finish line just as he was about to complete the workout. "Following the completion of a routine morning workout, Medina Spirit collapsed on the track at Santa Anita Park and died suddenly of a probable cardiac event according to the on-site veterinary team who attended to him." Santa Anita Park said in a statement. Bob Baffert too sent out a statement after the horse's death, a part of which read, "My entire barn is devastated by the news." The University of California, Davis, will conduct a full toxicology and necropsy test to determine the cause of Medina Spirit's death.

Baffert was banned from fielding any horses at Churchill Downs for two years after the Kentucky Derby controversy. Washington Post report states, at least 74 horses died in Baffert's care in California since 2000, Medina being the latest fatality. Calls grow for the suspension of his licenses and a full investigation in the wake of Medina's death. "I'm heartbroken to learn that Kentucky Derby winner (later disqualified under suspicious circumstances), Medina Spirit died of a heart attack this morning while training. A FULL INVESTIGATION OF BOB BAFFERT NEEDS TO BE DONE IMMEDIATELY. He is the CANCER of the sport!!!!" wrote a devastated Twitter user. "Been a long time coming but there needs to be a serious investigation into Bob Baffert," read another tweet. "If there's a more bullshit "sport" than horseracing, and a more bullshit "trainer" than Bob Baffert, I'd be curious to know them," wrote a third. "Horse racing is animal cruelty. Screw people like Bob Baffert who profit off of drugging these gorgeous animals," an irate user tweeted. 

Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness entrant Medina Spirit is bathed following a training session for the upcoming Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 12, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland (Rob Carr/Getty Images)


 



 



 



 

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