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Bob Baffert wins Kentucky Derby for a record 7th time, with Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit, with jockey John Velazquez in the

Medina Spirit, with jockey John Velazquez in the saddle, after winning the 147th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday evening, awarding a seventh Kentucky Derby win to trainer Bob Baffert and a fourth to jockey John Velazquez.  Credit: Bloomberg/Luke Sharrett

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Medina Spirit fought off three challengers in the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby by a half-length Saturday evening, making Bob Baffert the winningest trainer in the race’s 147-year history with seven.

Jockey John Velazquez earned his fourth Derby victory aboard the dark brown colt that was purchased as a yearling for $1,000 and cost current owner Amr Zedan $35,000.

Medina Spirit ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.02. Sent off at 12-1 odds, he paid $26.20, $12 and $7.60. Mandaloun finished second and returned $23.00 and $13.40. Hot Rod Charlie was another half-length back in third and paid $5.20 to show.

Essential Quality, the 5-2 favorite, finished fourth.

Baffert won back to back, having tied Ben Jones with his sixth win last year when the Derby was run in September without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Velazquez became the first jockey to win consecutive Derbies since Victor Espinoza in 2014-15. He also completed the Kentucky Oaks-Derby double for the first time since 2009, having won the race for fillies on Friday on Malathaat.

The Derby went off under a blue sky with attendance of 51,838 — about 100,000 fewer than usual.

New York Sports