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With Medina Spirit winning the Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert states that life is good

Date posted: May 1, 2021, 11:11 a.m.

Last Updated: May 1, 2021, 12:53 PM.

Steve Bittenbender

Bob Baffert was supposed to bring a different horse, a better horse, to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby 147. But at the end of the day there was only the Medina Spirit. It turns out that it was enough to make history.

Kentucky Derby
Medina Spirit leads a group of 23 horses passing the Churchill Downs stand for the first time on Saturday's Kentucky Derby. He would be in the same place the second time, giving coach Bob Baffert his record-breaking seventh win in a class horse race. (Photo: Casino.org)

With the exception of perhaps a step down, Baffert's lonely entry in this annual Run for the Roses never ended, and when he beat Mandaloun by half the length, he gave Baffert his record-breaking seventh classic 1-class win.

After the race, Baffert compared his last victory for his first Derby winner in 1997.

It was an exciting win, ”said Baffert. "As for that little horse, what he did today has as much Silver Charm in it as a warrior." (Jockey John Velazquez) gave him the lead and he was doing well. "

This is the second year in a row that Baffert and Velazquez, a four-time winner himself, have met among the winners. And just like Medina Spirit this year, the 2020 Authentic winner has gone online.

off at 12 - 1 course, Medina Spirit paid $ 26.20 to win, $ 12 for the show and $ 7 60 for the show. Mandaloun, one of two stallions trained by Brad Cox in the field, paid $ 23 and $ 13. 40. Hot Rod Charlie, who finished half a meter behind Mandaloun, paid $ 5. twenty.

Bookmakers' favorite Essential Quality, the second stallion co-trained by Cox, came fourth, headlong behind him.

With Medina Spirit and 45 - 1 Mandaloun at the top of the toteboard, the exotics paid handsomely. Exactly 2 $ paid $ 503. 60. A 50 - three cents paid $ 848. 45.

Baffert: Not About the Records

The Kentucky Derby wasn't Baffert's only record performance on Saturday. With Gamine's victory in the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff, Baffert scored his 220th. Baffert said he heard it was approaching this level a month ago, but never thought about it.

"I don't think about records," he said. “I just want to come back with a competitive horse. Kentucky Derby, there are other races, but the Derby is racing. I just wanted to come here with a competitor horse, I thought we had a competitor horse. "

But the horse that was supposed to be Baffert's best entry was Life is Good, a stallion who is undefeated in three starts. However, Baffert collided with him off the Triple Crown trail in late March after a promising candidate injured his leg in preparation for the Santa Anita Derby.

With the undefeated 2-year-old champion Essential Quality and others like Hot Rod Charlie and Rock Your World, the latter of whom defeated the Medina Spirit in the Santa Anita Derby a month ago, Baffert found himself in an unusual position.

"I really liked myself this year," he said. “I came here under the radar. I thought, well, maybe he'll get a piece or something. But Johnny kept telling me that if he got better from the last race, he would run well. "

The other Derby story just misses

Most in the crowd 51,838 thought Churchill Downs witnessed the first Louisville-based coach to win the Kentucky Derby. Cox had two chances on his first try. Mandaloun was temptingly close, but was never able to catch up with the winner.

His second favorite, the one Mattress Mack staked $ 2.4 million to win, came up early. Eventually, he stayed outside the herd for a mile and a half. Despite this wider-than-usual journey, he finished almost behind the winner.

"He leaned out in the far corner and Luis (Saez, jockey) said he shied away from other horses," said Cox. “We'll just have to regroup. Proud of both horses. They trained well and just wanted the finish order to be a little different. "

In a cruel twist of fate, Cox would win the next race at Churchill Downs for 14-1 shots. But when he went to the circle of winners for the photo, Baffert was still answering journalists' questions.

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