Can I Get My Bet on Medina Spirit Back?

There was controversy in the world of horse racing in 2021. The horse Medina Spirit ultimately became just the second horse to be disqualified from a win in the Kentucky Derby. This has prompted some bettors to ask a reasonable question. They want to know, can my winning bet on Medina Spirit be taken back?

EZ Horse Betting has the answer to this important question. What about the bet that you may have made on Mandaloun, the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby? Let’s begin with a look at how the sport of horse racing found itself in this unfamiliar territory.

Medina Spirit Makes Horse Racing History

Most trainers and horse racing owners dream of making history by winning the Kentucky Derby. Only a select few can claim that they have made history by both winning and losing the iconic race. Just two times have horses managed to win and lose the Kentucky Derby in the same year.


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In 2021 the excitement for the Kentucky Derby was high. Bettors and horse racing fans were ready for a return to the track after the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Triple Crown series got back to its normal schedule, with the Kentucky Derby taking place on the first Saturday in May.

It was an exciting race in true Derby fashion, with Medina Spirit outlasting Mandaloun for the win. Bettors cashed their winning tickets on Medina Spirit, and Bob Baffert celebrated another Kentucky Derby win. The excitement for the trainer was not meant to last.

Drugs Found in Medina Spirit Invalidate Derby Win

It is a normal practice for horses that compete in the Kentucky Derby to be tested for illegal drugs after a win. In fact, this is the process at every race track in America for every race. Horses are not allowed to compete on banned substances.

Within a few days the results of Medina Spirit’s drug test came back. The results were disappointing. The horse was found to have betamethasone in its system. The use of this drug is strictly prohibited on race day but is not generally illegal for the treatment of medical issues. The rules of the racing commission dictate that a horse with the steroid in its system be disqualified.

Medina Spirit was disqualified from the Kentucky Derby and the win was given to second-place finisher Mandaloun. Baffert and the horse’s connections filed an appeal. The matter was ultimately concluded in late February 2022. Officials ruled against the appeal and suspended Baffert for 90 days in Kentucky.

Perhaps the saddest part of the tale involves Medina Spirit. The horse collapsed and died before the decision was rendered. Many suspected that the horse’s death was due to the use of illegal medications. Baffert strongly denied the accusation.

The disqualification of the Kentucky Derby winner has only happened one other time in the history of the race. Dancer’s Image was disqualified in 1968. In both cases, some bettors wanted to know about the status of their bet. You may have wondered, can my bet on Medina Spirit be taken back? Here is the answer to your question.

A Horse Racing Bet is a Bet – When Losing Means Winning

If you made a bet on Medina Spirit in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, relax. Your winnings are secure. Your online racebook cannot take back your bet. The rules of racing in Kentucky are very clear on the subject:

“Payments of valid pari-mutuel tickets shall be made on the basis of the order of finish as declared ‘official’ by the stewards or judges. A subsequent change in the order of finish or award of purse money that may result from a subsequent ruling by the stewards, judges, or commission shall not affect the pari-mutuel payout.”

In Kentucky, like most other horse racing states, the bets have to be paid out on racing day. There is no time to wait for the results of a medication test. As such, the official race results as determined and certified by the track stewards governs the payout.

In other words, Medina Spirit may have ultimately lost the race, but the people that bet on the horse are still winners.

What About Those Who Bet on Mandaloun?

Now that Mandaloun has been declared the official winner of the Kentucky Derby, is there any recourse for those bettors who backed the horse in the Kentucky Derby? By the same rule that we mentioned above, no. You cannot get a refund on your bet with an online racebook.

Now, if you were betting with an online racebook like 5 Dimes there is some recourse. When you bet a certain amount at 5 Dimes the racebook will give you a rebate on your losing wagers. The size of the rebate that you receive depends on how many bets you make in a certain period. 5 Dimes is one of the few online racebooks that is offering a rebate program today.

The upside is that you may have additional opportunities to wager on Mandaloun. The horse is still competing in some of the richest horse races in the world today.

The Lasting Impact of Medina Spirit on Horse Racing

One cannot deny that the sad story of Medina Spirit is one that will have a lasting impact on the sport of horse racing. We are already seeing some of the fallout of the horse’s disqualification in the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Bob Baffert is largely regarded as the most successful horse trainer of the modern era. With two Triple Crown wins, it is hard to dispute his talent. Now, some will question the validity of his wins. Rightfully so. Kentucky has suspended Baffert for 90 days, and other states may follow suit.

It is unlikely that any changes will be made to the way that bets are paid out and the way that winners on race day are certified. To overhaul the system would require some method of drug testing that is done prior to the race or one that produces immediate results.

For Online horse betting, check our Bovada racebook review, AmWager, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review as they are all great choice if you are in the United States. 5Dimes review for folks outside the US!




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