Justify—the colt that won horse racing’s Triple Crown last year—reportedly failed a drug test just before the Kentucky Derby, The New York Times reports. The horse reportedly tested positive for scopolamine, a banned substance that could enhance performance, just weeks before the Derby—the first race to qualify for the Triple Crown. Rather than Justify not competing in the Derby due to the drug test, the California Horse Racing Board reportedly took more than a month to confirm the results. The board reportedly decided the source of the scopolamine in Justify’s system could have been from contaminated food, and the board’s executive director told the Times regulators had to move carefully because of this.
After the results were confirmed four days before the Derby, the board did not file a formal complaint or hold a hearing on the matter, according to the Times. Instead, the case was dropped after the Triple Crown victory and his breeding rights were sold for $60 million. Bob Baffert, Justify’s trainer, has been previously scrutinized by the board for giving horses a thyroid hormone. He did not respond to requests for comment.