Triple Crown hero Justify alleged to have failed drug test before Kentucky Derby

Triple Crown hero Justify alleged to have failed drug test before Kentucky Derby

By Jack Haynes @anz_news

Triple Crown hero Justify alleged to have failed drug test before Kentucky Derby
Coolmore shuttle stallion American Pharoah (Pioneer of The Nile) in 2015.
Arthur said: “The fact of the matter is, even a high bute case can take 60-90 days to resolve.
There’s no way this case could have been resolved prior to the Kentucky Derby, which
would have been the only grounds for removing the points [needed to qualify for the first leg of
the Triple Crown].”
Justify, owned by China Horse Club, Head Of Plains Partners et al, followed success at
Churchill Downs with wins in the Preakness Stakes (Gr 1, 9.5f) and Belmont Stakes (Gr
1, 12f) to become the 13th US Triple Crown winner.

According to the New York Times, 300 nanograms per millilitre of Scopolamine was
found in the horse’s system, an amount Dr Rick Sams, who ran the drug lab for the Kentucky
Horse Racing Commission between 2011 and 2018, felt “suggested the drug was intended to
enhance performance”.

 

The penalty for a trainer’s first offence with a 4C drug – the least serious of drugs that are
prohibited in the sport and the classification for Scopolamine – is a maximum US$500 fine.
Scopolamine is found in jimson weed but its presence in a racehorse’s system can result
in disqualification.

Arthur said: “Jimson weed is a weed we see in California not infrequently. This is not a case
of someone drugging a horse. This is a case of a horse poisoning. The source of it is a poisonous
plant.
“The board, on my and the executive director’s recommendation, made the correct,
appropriate and the gutsy decision to dismiss the case.”
The undefeated Justify is standing the southern hemisphere breeding season at
Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley for a private service fee.
Baffert was expected to give a statement on Thursday afternoon after ANZ Bloodstock
News went to press.