Medina Spirit went wire to wire to give trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh Kentucky Derby victory Saturday before 51,838 fans at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
Medina Spirit went off at 12-1 and held off 26-1 Mandaloun, 5-1 Hot Rod Charlie and 5-2 favorite Essential Quality in the stretch under jockey John Velazquez, who won his fourth Kentucky Derby.
A son of Protonico, Medina Spirit posted a winning time of 2:01.02 for the 1-1/4 miles and paid $26.20, $12.00 and $7.60.
Mandaloun finished second, with Hot Rod Charlie third.
Baffert’s colt Authentic won last year’s Kentucky Derby, which was held on Labor Day Weekend before no paying spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m just so thrilled, because when you win, you just never know if you’ll be back,” Baffert said minutes after Medina Spirit’s win.
Medina Spirit improved to 3-3-0 in six career starts. He entered the race following a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.
The University of Louisville marching band, as it traditionally has done, played “My Old Kentucky Home” before this year’s race. The song was performed by a bugler last year.
The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be run May 15 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.