By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Medina Spirit has won the 147th running of the prestigious Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The three-year-old went wire-to-wire to get the win.
“I kept waiting for all those horses to pass him,” Baffert said. “When he got to the eighth pole, we said, ‘This guy has got a shot.’”
Medina Spirit won in a photo finish.
The first leg of the historic Triple Crown moved back to its traditional first Saturday in May time slot. Last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was moved to September during Labor Day weekend.
More than 51,000 attended the event. Some fans wore masks, while others did not.
The event traditionally has more than 150,000 at full capacity.
With the win, trainer Bob Baffert claimed his seventh Kentucky Derby victory. He now has more wins at this event than any trainer in history.
He broke the tie with Ben Jones, who had six. Baffert has won two straight Kentucky Derby events.
The last time a horse, which was not trained by Baffert, was in 2019 when there was a controversial ending. Country House was declared the winner of the event.
Maximum Security was declared the winner. However, after a review and disqualification to Maximum Security, the long shot Country House won the big-money event.
It was decided that Maximum Security cost War of Will and Long Range Toddy a chance of placing better in the race after swerving into their path.
Country House was trained by William Mott. Flavien Prat rode the 30-1 morning-line favorite to the $1.8 million purse.
Medina Spirit jockey John Velasquez has won four Kentucky Derby events. He jockeyed Authentic when the horse won in September 2020 that was trained by Baffert.
“We got to the 16th pole and he put his ears down and kept fighting,” the jockey said. “I was so proud of him.”
26-1 favorite Mandaloun finished second. Hot Rod Charlie, who entered the race as a 5-1 favorite, finished third.
“I cannot believe he won this race,” the trainer said. “That little horse, that was him, all guts. He’s always shown that he’s been an overachiever. His heart is bigger than his body.”
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