Records broken in Medina Spirit Kentucky Derby run for Bob Baffert

MORE than 50,000 in attendance were at Churchill Downs, Kentucky USA for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby and the record-breaking seventh win for Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert.

The ‘Run for the Roses’ has always been a storied event, and the first Saturday in May was nothing short of a fairy tale come true for the little horse that could and renowned four-times career Derby winning jockey John Velazquez.

Medina Spirit on his way with renowned jockey John Velazquez aboard (red cap) to winning the 147th Kentucky Derby

Baffert and Velazquez ran late last September to win the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Authentic as a result of the pandemic. On time with the return of spectators for this year’s running, the pair did it again with a colt, one of 19 on the track, that sold for just $1,000 and later as a yearling to racing stables owner Amr Zedan for the unusually low price of $35,000.

“I knew he was training well but I am really surprised,” said Bob Baffert when he spoke just after the running of the Kentucky Derby on 1 May. “I kept waiting for these (18) horses to come at him. If you have him on the lead he will fight and when those horses came to him that little horse, that was him. He is all guts and I am the luckiest guy in the world.”

Medina Spirit jockey John Velazquez (left) and trainer Bob Baffert with the Kentucky Derby trophy at Churchill Downs USA

Fresh from his Triple Crown opening festival win on Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks, jockey John Velazquez was convinced that the little horse would be the one to beat. He and Derby winner Medina Spirit were in the lead for most of the 10-furlong race, holding off nearest threat Mandaloun followed by Hot Rod Charlie.

“There are no words to describe it, he was the horse to beat,” said John Velazquez just after his fourth Derby win. “Obviously winning the (Kentucky) Oaks and winning today, what an incredible feeling it just doesn’t get old. The pleasure is to be here and to win it again and I want to come back again next year.”

Medina Spirit is already on track at 7-2 odds in the Triple Crown’s second leg for the Preakness Stakes on 15 May and in June (Saturday, 5th) at the same odds for the final in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.


Tags: Kentucky Derby #medinaspirit #runfortheroses #triplecrown Bob Baffert John Velazquez

Image credits: Sky Sports

Video credit: NBC Sports

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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