Trainer D. Wayne Lukas says Bob Baffert is ‘innocent’ after failed drug test for Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.
D. Wayne Lukas, who is looking for his record-tying seventh Preakness Stakes victory on Saturday, came to the defense of his friend Bob Baffert, whose latest Kentucky Derby win is shrouded in controversy.
Lukas opened up to Fox News Channel’s Janice Dean on “Fox & Friends” on Friday about his friendship with Baffert. The legendary trainer has come under fire after Medina Sprit tested positive for an increased level of betamethasone after winning the Kentucky Derby.
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“I admire him. I think he’s the No. 1 face of racing right now. I just feel like it’s been unjust what’s happened. He obviously is innocent but most people don’t understand it,” Lukas said.
“What they don’t understand is we have gone from basic chemistry testing system to a very, very sophisticated testing. Very sophisticated. And we haven’t changed the threshold levels. We haven’t got it down to where contamination and a topical salve like in the case of the Derby winner will be tested. And so we wake up and all of a sudden the testing is strong but the rules have not changed. We got to adjust them.”
PREAKNESS STAKES ALLOWS MEDINA SPIRIT ENTRY UNDER ‘RIGOROUS CONDITIONS’ AFTER KENTUCKY DERBY DRAMA
Exercise rider Jade Cunningham, left, walks with Preakness entrant Ram and trainer D. Wayne Lukas after a training session ahead of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Medina Spirit will be able to ride in the Preakness under “rigorous conditions to entry along with a binding commitment from Bob Baffert to full transparency of medical and testing results that will allow for all results to be released to the public,” the Maryland Jockey Club and 1/ST Racing announced.
Tuesday’s decision came just hours after Baffert revealed that a “possible source” of positive drug test following the Kentucky Derby may have been from a fungal ointment that contained betamethasone.
Baffert had previously defended his horse.
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Lukas is set to run Ram in the Preakness over the weekend. Ram is a 30-1 shot to win the race. Lukas’ last Preakness victory came in 2013. Lukas has six Preakness wins in his career as a trainer. If he picks up another victory, he would tie Baffert and R. Wyndham Walden.
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