Feinstein Seeks ‘Thorough, Transparent And Independent’ Investigation Of Medina Spirit Death

Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator and a Senate co-sponsor of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 that is now law, has written to the California Horse Racing Board to urge the regulatory body to conduct a “thorough, transparent and independent investigation” into the sudden death of Medina Spirit, the first-place finisher in the 2021 Kentucky Derby who collapsed following a workout at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Dec. 6.

The letter, to the CHRB’s executive director, Scott Chaney, said the board’s role is “beyond critical to protecting these horses and strengthening the integrity of the sport.”

Medina Spirit and the colt’s trainer, Bob Baffert, are the subject of an investigation by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission over a positive drug test for the corticosteroid betamethasone detected in a post-race sample from the Derby. Attorneys for Baffert and the horse’s owner, Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., contend a test they commissioned from a New York laboratory proves the drug positive resulted from an ointment used to treat a skin rash on Medina Spirit and was not from an injection of betamethasone.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Mr. Chaney, 

As the California Horse Racing Board proceeds with the investigation into the jarring death of Medina Spirit, I urge you to ensure such efforts are thorough, transparent, and independent of any outside influence. Further, I ask that you provide my staff with regular updates on the investigation and any recommended actions necessary to prevent additional fatalities. 

As you well know, Medina Spirit is one of 71 racehorses who have died at California racing facilities thus far in 2021. While this represents a reduction in deaths from prior years, it is apparent that more work is necessary to prevent these tragic fatalities. The continuation of racehorse deaths across the country illustrates why states’ cooperation is especially critical to support the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. As you know, this law establishes national, uniform safety standards for horseracing, which will take effect on July 1, 2022. 

I recognize that Governor Newsom and the CHRB have worked to improve the safety of horseracing, and I expect this matter will be treated with the seriousness and professionalism it deserves. As a lifelong horse-enthusiast, I appreciate your prioritizing the welfare of racehorses. Your oversight role in this investigation and beyond is critical to protecting these horses and strengthening the integrity of the sport. Please let me know if I can be helpful. 

Sincerely,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

The post Feinstein Seeks ‘Thorough, Transparent And Independent’ Investigation Of Medina Spirit Death appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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