Sunday, May 2, 2021

Medina Spirit Edges Mandaloun in Derby; Victory is Record Seventh for Baffert

 HRFLA Staff Report

NOTE: We will have expanded coverage of the Kentucky Derby later on Sunday and on Monday.

Medina Spirit beat fellow longshot Mandaloun by a half-length in Saturday's $3 million Kentucky Derby (Grade 1), giving trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh victory in the classic race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Good Time Charlie finished third, a half-length behind Mandaloun. Essential Quality came in fourth, a head behind Good Time Charlie, in the 19-horse field.

Essential Quality came into the Kentucky Derby with wins in all five of his career starts and was the 5-2 favorite on Saturday.

Ben Jones trained six Kentucky Derby winners between 1938 and 1952.

Medina Spirit, sent off at 12-1 odds, led at every call and won in 2:01.20 on the dirt track listed as fast. He is the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby gate-to-wire since War Emblem, another Baffert trainee, in 2002.

John Velazquez rode Medina Spirit--for his fourth Kentucky Derby victory.

On Friday, Velazquez rode Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) winner Mathalaat for trainer Todd Pletcher.

He is the eighth jockey to ride the Oaks winner and Derby winner in the same year.

Mandaloun, at 26-1, was ridden by Florent Geroux. Brad Cox trains Mandaloun and Essential Quality.

The Kentucky Derby victory was the third in six career starts for Medina Spirit, who is owned by Zedan Racing Stables.

His previous four races this year were in stakes at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

He won the Robert B. Lewis (Grade 3) and finished second in the Sham (Grade 3), San Felipe (Grade 2) and Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1).

Medina Spirit is a Florida-bred son of Protonico out of the Brilliant Speed mare Mongolian Changa.

Zedan purchased him for $35,000 at the July 2020 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's sale. 


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