Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Cloud over Justify's Triple Crown win 11:28am

Report: 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify failed drug test before running in Kentucky Derby Cloud over Justify's Triple Crown win 11:28am
Shannon Reynolds | 12 September, 2019, 09:54

However, if the California Horse Racing Board had followed the rules, Justify would never have even run the Triple Crown's first race.

After Justify won the Triple Crown, the CHRB voted unanimously to throw out the inquiry into the horse's potential drug use, attributing the levels of scopolamine to potentially contaminated food, as the drug can be found in jimson weed that can potentially be mixed in with horse feed.

The Times indicates trainer Bob Baffert, who did not provide comment on the story, was informed of the positive before Justify shipped to Kentucky for the Derby, and exercised his right to a split sample test.

11 that 2018 Triple Crown victor Justify tested positive for scopolamine after his victory in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in early April 2018.

In the past, positive tests for scopolamine have resulted in disqualifications, purse reimbursements, fines and suspensions, according to the report. The California Horse Racing Board took more than a month to confirm the results and withheld from publicly disclosing the results when it was confirmed.

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Drape's article said that a handful of racing officials, and people connected to the horse, knew about the failed drug test.

"There was no way that we could have come up with an investigative report prior to the Kentucky Derby", Baedeker said, per the Times. 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". "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".

Such a result should have resulted in a disqualification, purse forfeiture and the removal of his Kentucky Derby entry.

However, the horse racing world is small and interconnected.

Justify was estimated to be valued at $75 million after securing the Triple Crown.

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