Triple Crown victor Justify failed drug test before Kentucky Derby

Triple Crown victor Justify failed drug test before Kentucky Derby

Dr. Rick Sams, who ran the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission from 2011-18, told the New York Times that the amount of scopolamine found in Justify - 300 nanograms per milliliter - indicated doping. Justify tested positive for the banned substance scopolamine, which veterinarians say can enhance performance.

We may have to put an asterisk next to Justify's 2018 Triple Crown win.

Justify failed a drug test one month before the 2018 Kentucky Derby, and the California Horse Racing Board made a decision to dismiss the case after the colt went on to win the Triple Crown, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Despite only racing six times in a career that spanned just six months, Justify stamped himself one of the greats of American racing in becoming the second horse to win the Triple Crown without losing a race.

The Santa Anita Derby win earned Justify a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

The documents reviewed by the Times showed no evidence of tampering by Justify's owners.


Instead of immediately disqualifying the Kentucky Derby favorite, the California Horse Racing Board took more than a month to confirm the results and withheld from publicly disclosing the results when it did, according to the report.

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

Rick Baedeker, executive director of the CHRB, stated that regulators moved cautiously due to the fact that scopolamine can be found naturally in jimsonweed and then inadvertently mixed into horse feed.

The report Wednesday said that Justify shouldn't have been able to participate in any of last year's Triple Crown events.

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

Two months after dismissing the Justify case, the California board changed the penalty for a failed scopolamine test from a disqualification to a fine and a possible suspension. "We weren't going to do that".

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