Triple Crown victor Justify failed drug test ahead of Kentucky Derby win

12 Septembre, 2019, 07:10 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Report: 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify failed drug test before running in Kentucky Derby

Justify's incredible Triple Crown triumph previous year may be tainted.

Joe Drape, a journalist at the New York Times, has claimed that Justify failed a drug test after winning the 2018 Santa Anita Derby - a win which qualified the son of Scat Daddy for the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Instead of disqualification, the CHRB took more than one month to review the results, affording time for Justify to become the first Triple Crown victor since American Pharoah and 13th in the sport's history.

However, the Times said California regulators waited until April 26, nine days before the Kentucky Derby, to inform Bob Baffert, Justify's Hall of Fame trainer. The newspaper also reported that instead of filing a public complaint, the board made decisions behind closed doors as it moved to drop the case and lighten the penalty for horses found to have scopolamine in their systems.

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The report said the failed drug test would normally have meant Justify's disqualification and forfeiture of entry into the Kentucky Derby. Dr. Rick Sams, former laboratory director for LGC Science Inc., told the Times scopolamine can act as a bronchodilator and that the amount detected in Justify "was excessive".

However, the New York Times has reported Justify had returned a positive swab for scopolamine, a performance enhancing drug that is banned on raceday, after his win in the Santa Anita Derby. "That's impossible. Well, that's not impossible, that would have been careless and reckless for us to tell an investigator what usually takes you two months, you have to get done in five days, eight days".

"I think it has to come from intentional intervention", he said. Rather than filing a complaint and holding a hearing, nothing happened until August 23, four months after the failed test and two months after Justify had completed his Triple Crown run by winning the Belmont Stakes.

The California Horse Racing Board investigated Baffert in 2013 when seven of his horses unexpectedly died at Inglewood's Hollywood Park over the course of 16 months. Country House was then named the victor.

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