Medina Spirit’s Death Could Lead to Disqualification Bettors Were Looking For
Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Medina Spirit and exercise rider Humberto Gomez
Medina Spirit’s sudden death on Monday created renewed interest in a federal class action lawsuit against trainer Bob Baffert and Zedan Racing, the owner of the horse who initially won the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
When Medina Spirit was disqualified after testing positive for Betamethasone, a steroid that reduces inflammation but is not allowed within two weeks of racing because it helps to serve as a masking agent to more serious doping drugs, the $1.86 million prize was returned. However, bettors who bet on Mandaloun, who became the winner, didn’t get their money.
Four bettors, Michael Beychock, Justin Wunderler, Michael Meegan and Keith Mauer, filed a federal lawsuit days later alleging that thejr inability to cash out on Mandaloun winning was racketeering and fraud.
“It’s a sad day for horse Racing,” Wunderler told The Action Network. “The people at top of food chain in horse racing will be the ones who get this great sport shut down. The gambler cares for the horse. Social Media was not the downfall of horse racing–cheating trainers are.”
Lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants were in court on Monday dealing with procedural issues when the news of the horse’s sudden death during a workout at Santa Anita was announced.
The two largest bettors — Beychok and Wunderler — said they would have made in between $10,000 and $100,000 if Mandaloun won the Derby or was given the win in the betting world. The bettors are asking for the money that they say is rightfully deserved plus additional damages, among other things.
In order for the bettors to have a shot at getting their money, Medina Spirit has to be disqualified officially, and Mandaloun has to be given the win. Because Medina Spirit didn’t do anything during the race to be disqualified and finished first at the time, the horse is still the first place horse for betting purposes. Results of a necropsy could affect that stance.
As a result of Medina Spirit’s failed of drug tests, Baffert was prohibited from entering his racehorses at races at Churchill Downs for a period of two years.
Beychok has stated, “Bob Baffert no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt.”