The Medina Spirit colt, presented in top condition by Bob Baffert and masterfully driven by Puerto Rican John Velázquez, prevailed from end to end and in great form in the 147th edition of the Kentucky Derby, held last Saturday at Churchill Downs, Louisville.
When the game was ordered, the steed presented by Baffert, jumped from track position number eight to command the batch of 20 participants in front of the 51.838 fans who returned to populate the stands of the legendary Kentucky racetrack, which last year were left empty at the cause of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the strong pressure that Soup And Sanduwich imposed on him for most of the route and Mandaloun's advance in the final corner, where it seemed that past, the one driven by Velázquez reacted to keep the lead and score the victory in time of 2 : 01.02, for the two kilometers.
Mandalou retained second place ahead of Hot Rod Charlie. Fourth place went to the favorite Essential Quality, who suffered some setbacks in the opening meters and was unable to complete the run over. He closed the board O Kisses.
Velázquez achieved his fourth victory in the famous race that he had previously conquered in 2011 with Animal Kingdom, in 2017 with Always Dreaming, then in 2020 he also beat Authentic sorrel from end to end.
For Baffert, it was his seventh victory in the competition, he won with Silver Cham in 1997 and in 1998 with Real Quiet. In 2002 he flawlessly introduced War Emblem to follow American Pharoah into 2025 and achieve the Triple Crown. His next win was with the triple-crowned Justify in 2018, to be completed with Authentic in 2020.
Medina Spirit is a son of Protonico in Mongolian Changa, by Brillant, winner of three in six starts, who will enlist for the Preakness Stakes, second step of the Triple Crown, scheduled for May 15 in Pimlico Baltimore in 1.900 meters and then to the Belmont Stakes.