2/2 © Reuters. 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky 2/2
By Rory Carroll (Reuters) -Medina Spirit claimed victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday to give coach Bob Baffert a record seventh victory in the Race for the Roses. Under jockey John Velázquez, Medina Spirit jumped to an early lead and fended off challenges on the stage to cross the line first in front of 51,838 fans at the largest US sporting event since the start of the pandemic. of coronavirus. The victory was the fourth for Hall of Fame jockey Velázquez in the first race of the Triple Crown, who returned to his usual place, on the first Saturday in May, after being postponed until September last year due to the pandemic. Baffert had downplayed his “little” horse’s chances for the race and was surprised to see the 3-year-old from dark bay maintain his speed for the 1-1 / 4 mile race on a fast track. of Earth. “I knew he was training well, but I’m really surprised,” Baffert said. “When I saw him with the easy advantage, I was expecting these horses to get close to him. But Johnny had him in a perfect spot, and if you have him leading the way, he will fight,” he said. “I can’t believe he won this race. That horse. It was all him, it was all guts.” That little horse has a big heart. “Velázquez said the excitement that comes with winning” the most exciting two minutes of the sport “has not diminished.” What an incredible feeling. This never goes out of style, “Velazquez said after Medina Spirit’s 12-1 win. Longshot Mandaloun was second, Hot Rod Charlie was 5-1 third and the 5/2 favorite, Essential Quality was forced to settle. with the fourth.