- Medina Spirit has tested positive for a banned substance after winning the Kentucky Derby and a second test has confirmed the results.
- The trainer, Bob Baffert, had been suspended from entering horses into the Belmont Stakes due to the investigation.
- Essential Quality, the pre-race favorite at the Derby, is the betting favorite with the shortest odds for the Belmont Stakes.
ELMONT, NY. – One of the biggest stories around the Belmont Stakes, and horse racing as a whole, was the pending investigation into Medina Spirit’s positive drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby.
Now, a second test has confirmed the positive test result, and Medina Spirit is set to become the second horse to be disqualified due to a drug test in the 147 years of the Kentucky Derby.
Bob Baffert Moving Forward
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) suspended Baffert from entering any horses into any races in the state, including the Belmont Stakes. That suspension is still active and the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown, will go off on Saturday with no Baffert horses in the field.
Just how long this suspension lasts or if any other tracks will follow is yet to be seen, but Baffert and his affiliated lawyers will continue to file appeals in hopes to find a loophole and avoid any punishment. In the meantime, not much has changed regarding Baffert’s future other than potentially having to give back his Kentucky Derby winnings.
The Belmont Stakes Field
With no Baffert horses and a couple of scratches, the 2021 Belmont Stakes field will have the fewest number of horses in the field since 2015 with just eight horses. Horse racing bettors will find Essential Quality as the betting favorite on Saturday for this year’s running of the Belmont Stakes.
Belmont Stakes 2021 Betting Odds
- Essential Quality +225
- Rombauer +375
- Hot Rod Charlie +400
- Rock Your World +425
- Known Agenda +600
- Bourbonic +1800
- Overtook +2500
- France Go De Ina +2800
Rombauer, the reigning Preakness Stakes winner, currently has the second shortest odds despite a jockey change while Hot Rod Charlie rounds out the top three choices on the board. Legal betting sites seem to think the field is more or less wide open considering the lack of a heavy favorite and the number of horses with odds short of +600.
How To Watch
The 2021 running of the Belmont Stakes is set to begin around 6:47 p.m. EST on Saturday, June 5. Coverage will be on NBCSN throughout the day with the main event airing on NBC.
Nick is a sports writer and die-hard sports fan. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast/Journalism. In his free time, he enjoys kicking back and relaxing with a good video game.