King of the Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert, never count-out.
Medina Spirit has taken the lead earlier that week and never let him take the lead in winning Saturday’s run for the Roses. She was one of Baffert’s “best five or 10 horses.”
In Churchill Downs, announced 51,838 crowds, Baffert won his seventh Derby, and the most a trainer in the course’s 147-year history broke a tie with Ben Jones.
Baffert remarked, “I don’t think records. “I want to be back with a competitive horse. Other races exist, but the race is Kentucky Derby.”
In 2:01.02 on a fast track, Medina Spirit covered the 1 1⁄4 miles. He made a $26.20 win wager of $2 at 12-1 odds.
For the second consecutive year, Authentic won the races last year and was delayed until Labor Day weekend due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the two Baffert and Velazquez partnered to win the Derby.
Fans couldn’t attend last September, but on the glorious Spring Saturday, the 50,000-plus was finished narrowly. Mandaloun was second-half-long, while Hot Rod Charlie was third-half-long. Essential quality, the favorite after-time 5-2, ended fourth in the head back.
Baffert remarked of the Medina Spirit: “I thought he trained well, but I’m really, really very shocked. “I kept waiting for the horses to come to him when I saw him on the easy lead, but Johnny had him in wonderful condition. And he’s going to fight if you’ve got him on the lead.