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Trump Calls ‘Junkie’ Kentucky Derby Winner ‘Emblematic of What Is Happening to Our Country’

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Former President Donald Trump has released a statement following the report that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test.

“So now even our Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is a junky. This is emblematic of what is happening to our Country. The whole world is laughing at us as we go to hell on our Borders, our fake Presidential Election, and everywhere else!” Trump said.

Churchill Downs released a statement on Sunday regarding the incident: “It is our understanding that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample indicated a violation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s equine medication protocols.

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“The connections of Medina Spirit have the right to request a test of a split sample and we understand they intend to do so. To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”

Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert was suspended following the failed drug test, according to The Associated Press.

“Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack,” the Churchill Downs statement continued.

“We will await the conclusion of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commissions’ investigation before taking further steps.”

Should the Kentucky Derby winner be disqualified?

As The Western Journal previously reported, Medina Spirit, the horse whose rags-to-riches story captivated the country, showed 21 picograms of the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone in a post-race urine test, which is above Kentucky’s limit of 10 picograms per milliliter, according to the Racing Post.

Baffert demanded hair testing plus DNA analysis of the positive test sample and said Medina Spirit was never treated with the drug.

“This is the biggest gut-punch I’ve had in racing and it’s for something I didn’t do,” Baffert told reporters, according to the Racing Post. “It’s an injustice. I don’t know what’s going on in racing now but it’s not right.

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“I cannot believe that I’m here,” he said. “I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I was wronged. We’re going to do a complete investigation. He’s a great horse and he doesn’t deserve this.”

The president’s statement is not the first time Trump has spoken out regarding the Kentucky Derby.

He blamed “political correctness” for the controversial decision in 2019 to award victory to the horse that finished in second place due to interference by the original race winner.

“The Kentucky Derby decision was not a good one. It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a beautiful thing to watch,” Trump tweeted at the time, according to Business Insider.

“Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby – not even close!”

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

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Ice fishing on Jacobs Pond in Norwell

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Ice fishing on Jacobs Pond in Norwell

Matt Stone is an award-winning photojournalist who has been working at the Boston Herald for the past 26 years. Matt has won numerous awards for his work in the area of spot news, sports, photo essays and features. Thanks to the success of our New England sports teams, Matt has been able to bring Herald readers along for the championship runs of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins.

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Celtics Notebook: It’s them against the world

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Celtics Notebook: It’s them against the world

In a time-worn ritual — the one where an underperforming team bonds together because of outside doubt and criticism — the Celtics are standing against the world, according to Marcus Smart.

Jaylen Brown believes this is exactly the approach the Celtics need.

“The season hasn’t gone the way we expected as far as ups and downs, but we always try to find ways to come together as a team,” said Brown. “So the mentality of us against the world is the right frame of mind to be in. If these are the guys that we’ve got, the guys that we’re rolling with, then we’ve got to make the best of our situation regardless of the media or whatever other people are saying. I would support that.

“There’s always urgency, always a sense of urgency, for sure,” he said. “Whether you’re winning or you’re losing, there’s always gotta be that approach of, you know, we’ve had some ups and downs this season and put some stretches together, and we’re looking to do so more as we took what we learned from the first half of the season into All-Star break and beyond. I think that we have improved in a lot of areas offensively, as a team, as a coaching staff, as players, I think we’ve gotten a little bit more comfortable. We’ve just got to keep that sense of urgency and keep building on top of it.”

Tatum’s 51

Thinking back to Jayson Tatum’s 51-point performance on Sunday against Washington, Ime Udoka believes it was a perfectly balanced display.

“For Jayson, it’s, we’ve talked about it quite a bit. He’s just got to do what he does,” said the Celtics coach. “The thing we liked about last game was he mixed it up well. You like to see him getting something early, going toward the basket, but in that game he did a little bit of both.

“He shot it well from the start and got downhill, made the right plays, whether he’s scoring or making passes,” he said. “So for a natural scorer like himself you’d like to see a layup or a free throw or something easy, but he can go the opposite way, as well. And he got it going from the 3-point line early, and was attacking the basket. For the most part getting to the right shots, which he’s been taking, make or miss, and you see the result when he sticks with it and stays confident.”

All-Star uncertainty for Brown

Brown was 10th amongst Eastern Conference guards in All-Star voting, according to the NBA’s most recent release. But whether or not he gets a second straight All-Star designation, it’s not something he lives for, says Brown.

“I think I’ve improved, I’ve gotten better — All-Star to be honest is more about political, etc., and things like that,” he said. “Obviously it would be a great honor to be an All-Star but it’s not in my control so why even worry about it. I think a lot of guys are having great years, so I’m focused on improving day-to-day. I didn’t pick up a basketball to be an All-Star. I picked up a basketball to win and to utilize my platform and to make change. If the question is am I losing sleep, or something that I’m thinking about, it’s not.” … Tatum is fourth in the voting for Eastern Conference frontcourt players.

Voting rights

One of Brown’s many platforms involves voting rights, or lack of the same in light of the inaction in Congress. But it’s all part of the system, he says.

“With regards to voting rights and the lack thereof, that’s something we’ve seen in this country for a long time,” said Brown. “If you’re asking me personally how I think about it, personally I feel the system is designed to orchestrate in a certain way, so whether you are participating in voting or not, the system is going to be the system. Voting rights and the lack thereof is something we’ve seen for some time now, and nothing has necessarily changed.”

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Mastrodonato: Good riddance to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens as they miss out on Hall of Fame honors for 10th and final time

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Mastrodonato: Good riddance to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens as they miss out on Hall of Fame honors for 10th and final time

When Barry Bonds was convicted of a felony for obstruction of justice in 2011, when he lied under oath about knowingly taking steroids, he walked out of court with a smile.

He laughed and waved at fans, holding the peace sign in the air.

He looked nothing like a person who felt remorse, and he was vindicated years later when another court overruled the charges.

Perhaps today, finally, Bonds feels sorry for the way he acted throughout a 22-year MLB career, one in which he was accused of repetitive violence with both his wife and his mistress, engaged in a detailed cheating scandal that rocked the country, and continuously deceived those who played and/or loved the sport.

In his 10th and final year on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Bonds was denied again on Tuesday night when it was revealed that he received just 66% of the votes, and will fall off the ballot for good. Roger Clemens, who also has a long list of folks who have accused him of steroid use and was once indicted on six related felony accounts, finished with 65% and will also fall off the ballot. And Curt Schilling, at 58%, also falls off the ballot.

With 77.9% of the votes, David Ortiz was the only player inducted via this year’s voting process.

Neither Bonds nor Clemens ever tested positive for PED use, but both played the majority of their careers before MLB began a testing program in 2004.

So often people have asked this question: was Bonds a Hall of Famer before he started using steroids?

It’s a ridiculous question. If someone commits a crime, do we skip punishment because of what kind of person they were before doing the crime?

Anyone who has read “Game of Shadows,” the 2006 book by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams that detailed Bonds’ extended steroid use and the impact it had on those around him, is well aware that Bonds essentially had two careers; pre-1999 and post-1999.

His first career was HOF-worthy. His second was HOF-worthy. But we don’t get to erase what happened for him to get there.

“Bonds was keenly interested in performance-enhancing drugs,” the authors wrote in “Game of Shadows.” “He asked their pharmaceutical names and then sought, through third parties, medical advice about the drugs. The medical advice was negative. You shouldn’t take the drugs, he was told, but (personal trainer Greg Anderson) said those concerns were overblown, and Bonds ignored the advice he had sought.”

Thriving in his mid- and late-30s thanks to comprehensive steroid use, Bonds forced the San Francisco Giants to hire his three phony trainers.

“The Giants’ training staff wanted nothing to do with Bonds’ three trainers and urged management to ban them from the clubhouse,” the book said.

His girlfriend and eventual mistress, Kimberly Bell, went on record to say Bonds would forcefully grab her and threaten to kill her.

“He put his hand around her throat, pressed her against the wall, and whispered, ‘If you ever (expletive) pull some (expletive) like that again, I’ll kill you, do you understand me?’,” the authors wrote in “Game of Shadows.”

Bonds’ first wife, Sun, had also accused Bonds of being violent with her. It was detailed in a 1995 Chronicle article: “In tears, she detailed at least five incidents, including being locked out of their apartment without any clothes on in the middle of the night, being pushed into a bathtub and being pushed to the ground and kicked while eight months pregnant.”

Yes, the Hall of Fame asks voters to consider “integrity” and “character.” Here’s a simpler way to put it: does this player deserve to be celebrated in the most honorable way possible?

Of course not. And as fellow Giants great Henry Aaron famously said in 2009, “There’s no place in the Hall of Fame for people who cheat.”

The argument in favor of Bonds usually goes something like, “it’s too hard to play judge and jury without all the facts,” or, “there are already known cheaters and wife-beaters in the Hall of Fame.”

So let’s just keep letting them in?

Or we can use the information we do have — and we have it all in Bonds’ case — to make informed judgments, because that’s what the Hall of Fame asks us to do. And it’s what baseball fans deserve.

Surely, there are players in baseball right now who are still finding ways to get illegal advantages. It’ll happen as long as there are organized sports, particularly those that pay players life-changing amounts of money.

But to continue to pull back consequences for those actions does little to protect future generations. How many up-and-coming ballplayers were paying attention to Bonds’ dominance when he set the new home run record in 2001? How many saw him get away with it when his felony charges were reversed in 2011?

Major League Baseball surely raked in billions of dollars thanks to the fame and attention brought to the sport by Bonds and other steroid-induced cheaters who took over the game in the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s true that former commissioner Bud Selig, admitted to the Hall of Fame by the veterans’ committee in 2016, oversaw the whole thing.

Here’s hoping the committee doesn’t do the same with Bonds.

Good riddance to the Phony Home Run King.

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