The 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve is in the history books, and Medina Spirit was the hero of the day, winning the Derby on the lead the whole way.
Trainer Bob Baffert gave interviews and showed off Medina Spirit at his barn on Sunday morning.
The win gave trainer Bob Baffert the all-time lead in Kentucky Derby wins with seven, one more than the 6 by Ben Jones. In addition Jones and Baffert are the only trainers with two Triple Crown winners. Asked if he can break that tie this year, Baffert said on Sunday, "Can he win the Triple Crown? I don't know. But he's the Derby winner, and that's all that matters. I was coming in here, thinking, I wasn't sure (if Medina Spirit could win the Derby), everything had to go perfect for him. We were going to go to the lead, and see what happened. What if they challenged him? He made the lead pretty easily, for him, and the other speed horse (Rock Your World) didn't break . That's what it's like in the Derby: You have to get the trip; the other speed horse didn't get the trip. And he came back, he's handling it quite well. He wasn't as tired as I thought he might be. A big race like that, but he handled it quite well. It takes about a week to determine (if he will contest the Preakness, so I'm going to come back next weekend and see."
Medina Spirit may have to go against his stablemate Concert Tour at Pimlico. Baffert added, "But I don't see anything discouraging right now. Concert Tour worked well this morning (five furlongs in 1:00.60 at 5:50), I'll sit down and talk to Mr. (owner Gary) West. He wants that horse to develop and we're not rushing things. We know he's a good horse, so we'll see next week how he is. The thing is how they're training. They both would have to be training well."
Medina Spirit poses on Sunday morning.
Discussing the trip further, Baffert said, "Going down the backside, he was doing it easy, you could tell he was enjoying himself. His ears were forward. And turning for home, they came for him, and he just dug in. I didn't know if he was going to do it. He fought hard, and ran sort of the same race that he did at Santa Anita when he won the Robert Lewis. They came to him, and he fended them all off. I couldn't believe it, at the 1/16 pole he was fighting and fighting. It was just a thrill to watch him do it, and fight on.
"When they turned for home, I was still not convinced. We didn't start screaming and yelling until about the 1/16 pole, when it looked like it was do-able. In that last 100 yards, we all were screaming and yelling like it was my first Derby. We were like crazy, crazy. That's what the Derby does to you. There's no other race like it. The seven hasn't quite sunk in yet. And to do it with a $35,000 horse. It gives people hope, keeps their dreams alive. Actually he was the cheapest yearling, since he cost $1,000. But he's a beautiful horse, a good-looking horse. I stand here in front of you guys, and you don't know how much I appreciate winning this, especially as you get older. It gets tougher as you get older. … I'd love to have 10 in there if I could, but you know that won't happen. To have one who has a chance. To win it with him, it's a Cinderella story, he's just a blue-collar horse, just digging in. He reminded me of Silver Charm. It's another Kentucky Derby dream that came true."
Medina Spirit (inside) and Mandaloun at the finish of the Derby.
Trainer Brad Cox was trying to be the first Louisville-born trainer to win the city's best known event, but came up short as Mandaloun finished second and favorite Essential Quality finished fourth. Cox said, "It was a wild experience being in the Derby for the first time. In every previous Derby I've attended, I've been a fan. I've seen the media interviews, the playing of 'My Old Kentucky Home' and everything leading up to the race. Being in the race, all of those things are sort of a blur. You're so focused on the job at hand. We were so grateful that both of our horses ran as well as they did. Essential Quality got a tough trip being so wide but coming that close to a Derby win makes me want more. We'll be back."
Medina Spirit parades for the fans after winning the Derby.
2021 Triple Crown quick links:
Medina Spirit best in the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Saturday at Churchill Downs, Medina Spirit went to the front early and held on by a half length to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) over Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie. Favorite Essential Quality was bumped at the start but got up for fourth. This makes trainer Bob Baffert the all-time top Derby trainer with 7 wins total. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Derby Follow-up - Trainer Bob Baffert had a press conference at his barn on Sunday morning and brought out Derby winner Medina Spirit to pose for the media. Check out the comments and photos.
Kentucky Derby Undercard Stakes Results - There were 6 other stakes on the card with the Derby, including the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) won by both Colonel Liam and Domestic Spending in a dead heat, the Derby City Distaff (G1) won by Gamine, the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) won by Blowout, the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) won by Flagstaff, the American Turf (G2) won by Du Jour, and the Pat Day Mile (G3) won by Jackie's Warrior. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Malathaat wins the 2021 Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Favorite Malathaat broke poorly but got the lead in the stretch and held on to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1) by neck at Churchill Downs on Friday. Search Results was second and Will's Secret was third. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results - There were 5 other stakes on the card today with the Oaks, including the La Troienne (G1) won by Shedaresthedevil , the Alysheba (G2) won by Maxfield, the Eight Belles (G2) won by Obligatory, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) won by Fast Boat, and the Edgewood Stakes (G3) won by Gift List. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Free past performances for the Derby contenders here and here (look for Essential Quality) from BrisNet.com.
April 23 Kentucky Derby Photos - the arrival at Churchill Downs of four of trainer Bob Baffert's horses on Friday afternoon. Includes Medina Spirit, Beautiful Gift, Triple Tap, and Charlatan.
2021 Kentucky Derby Entries - A field of 20 was entered for the 147th Kentucky Derby on Tuesday As expected, undefeated Essential Quality was set as the morning line favorite at 2-1 from post 14.
2021 Kentucky Oaks Entries - On Monday morning the post positions were drawn for the 147th Longines Kentucky Oaks and a full field of 14 3-year-old fillies made the entry box, with 5-2 morning line favorite Malathaat drawing post 10.
Kentucky Derby Winners and Auction Prices - Bigger may seem better, but in the case of Kentucky Derby horses who sold at auction, less is more. Here is a look at how (badly) high priced auction purchases have done in the Kentucky Derby and the auction prices for this year's top Derby contenders.
2021 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules with no onsite parking were enforced in 2018, and are in effect again this year. Be sure to read the rules if you are attending. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Kentucky Derby Prep Races - What races should a horse prep in to win the Kentucky Derby? Some races may seem obvious, but have not produced a Derby winner in many years. Find out which races are the best preps here.
Kentucky Derby Traditions - Find out all about the big Derby Traditions: the rose garland, the trophy, the Twin Spires, mint juleps, singing "My Old Kentucy Home", fancy hats, celebrities and the annual Derby glasses.
Fillies in the Kentucky Derby - a look at the 39 fillies who have contested the Run for the Roses and how they did. So far there have been 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 5 thirds.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.