#US RACING: Medina Spirit’s Vet Gets Probation For Using ‘Dangerous Drugs’

Medina Spirit
Medina Spirit

Dr. Vincent Baker, who treated Medina Sprint until the colt’s sudden death in 2021, agreed to four years of probation after he was accused by California veterinary regulators of negligence in the use of “dangerous drugs” on at least 40 racehorses in the last 4 1/2 years.

The “stipulated settlement and disciplinary order” by the Veterinary Medical Board of the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs was filed July 21 and took effect Aug. 21. The 94 pages in the public order were put in the spotlight Thursday on X, formerly Twitter, by Justin Wunderler, a New Jersey resident whose @SwiftHitter account full of racing content has 12,885 followers. The news was then reported by Blood Horse.

“Baker prescribed, dispensed or administered a drug, medication, appliance, application or treatment to animal patients without performing an examination and forming a diagnosis of any condition that required treatment,” the state’s paperwork said.

According to confidential reports provided by the California Horse Racing Board, the veterinary board said “clusters of (Baker’s) equine patients were administered identical medications and treatments at the same time at the request of their trainers without medical examinations or necessity.”

Baker’s attorney Lisa Brown, who is based in Pasadena, Calif., had not yet responded to an email request early Friday from Horse Racing Nation asking for her reaction to the settlement.

The names of the horses were abbreviated in the state document “to protect the identities of the equine patients.” One who was called “equine patient M. Sp.” was said by the veterinary board to have been treated by Baker until the day Medina Spirit dropped dead at the end of a workout at Santa Anita.

In one of the causes for discipline, Baker was accused by the veterinary board of “dispensing dangerous drugs without medical necessity” to 40 horses, including “M. Sp.”


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