Justify Tested Positive For Scopolamine After Santa Anita Derby, CHRB Dismissed Case

Justify #1 ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park

Justify #1 ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park

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

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the colt tested positive for the banned substance scopoloamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby in April of that year, a violation that should have ruled him out of the Kentucky Derby a month later.

The news could have massive ramifications on the Australian breeding industry with Justify standing at Coolmore Australia after the breeding operation purchased the colt for $60m Dollars.

Justify had to win the Santa Anita Derby in order to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Justify, who already had qualified for the Derby, tested positive for scopolamine with a victory in the April 7, 2018, Santa Anita Derby. "I think this horse, what he did today, shows us his natural talent", Baffert said.

The California Horse Racing Board took three weeks to confirm the positive test and alerted Justify's trainer, Bob Baffert, just nine days for the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Rick Baedeker, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, said the case was delicate because of its timing and claimed that regulators moved slowly because scopolamine could be found in jimson weed, which could be mixed with horse feed.

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Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018, becoming one of only two horses in the 21st century to win it.

In an email to Reuters late on Wednesday, Baedeker said: "We take seriously the integrity of horse racing in California and are committed to implementing the highest standards of safety and accountability for all horses, jockeys and participants". However, the board's medical director said in 2016 that the odds of getting a positive scopolamine test from food "is rather low".

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.

He added that the board would have a further response on Thursday.

A group of owners, who hold a majority stake at WinStar Farm - a horse breeding and racing farm - reportedly sold Justify's breeding rights to Coolmore Stud for $60 million after the horse's victory at Preakness Stakes - the second race in the Triple Crown circuit.

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