Trainer Bob Baffert won his record seventh Kentucky Derby Saturday. This time, it was 12/1 shot Medina Spirit that prevailed with jockey John Velazquez taking him wire-to-wire to hold off big longshot pace-presser Mandaloun (26/1) by a half length.
The Derby favorite, Essential Quality, finished fourth and a head behind Hot Rod Charlie.
Medina Spirit has now won 3-of-6 starts and also has three runner-up finishes, including in the Santa Anita Derby. He was a leading contender for the Run for the Roses prior to the Santa Anita Derby, where he finished second as the prohibitive favorite. That moved his Kentucky Derby odds to double-digits, and bettors cashed in at a bigger price.
“I cannot believe he won this race,” said Baffert. “That little horse has heart.”
The Hall of Fame trainer added, “He’s always shown that he’s an overachiever.”
— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) May 2, 2021
Kentucky Derby betting was big on race day, and Medina Spirit rewarded his backers with a $26.20 return on a $2 win bet. The $2 exacta Medina Spirit on top of Mandaloun returned $503.60. The winning time for Medina Spirit was 2:01.02.
Medina Spirit will race next in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 15. A win in that race would set his trainer up for a run at a third Triple Crown. Baffert swept the Triple Crown races with American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).
Full order of finish of the 2021 Kentucky Derby field
- Medina Spirit
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Essential Quality
- O Besos
- Midnight Bourbon
- Known Agenda
- Highly Motivated
- Like the King
- Hidden Stash
- Brooklyn Strong
- Super Stock
- Rock Your World
- Dynamic One
- Soup and Sandwich
- King Fury (SCRATCH)