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Necropsy finds Medina Spirit may have died from a heart attack, no 'definitive cause of death' determined

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Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 14:37:38-05

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit may have died from a heart attack, a necropsy report has found. The report was inconclusive and did not indicate an exact cause of death.

Veterinarians and forensic experts at the University of California-Davis conducted the necropsy. The report states that an anti-ulcer medication and a diuretic were detected in the blood and urine samples, consistent with the medication listed in a report filed with the California Horse Racing Board.

"No other drugs, heavy metals (including cobalt), or toxicants were detected," according to the postmortem report.

The California Horse Racing Board said the findings of the examination showed swollen lungs, foam in the windpipe, an enlarged spleen, and mild bleeding in the horse which won the Kentucky Derby in May, as ESPN reported. The report said those symptoms are "common in horses dying suddenly." The board also said they are "compatible with, but not specific for a cardiac cause of death."

Medina Spirit died on December 6th on the track in Santa Anita, California. The colt won the Kentucky Derby last year but later failed a drug test. That led to trainer Bob Baffert's suspension and a legal battle over the testing. Baffert says an ointment caused the failed results.

A hearing to determine if Medina Spirit will keep the title of Kentucky Derby winner has not been scheduled.

This story was originally published by Jordan Mickle of WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.