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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Medina Spirit, ridden by John Velazquez and trained by the two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert, went to straight to the lead and then stayed there, holding off Mandaloun by a half length to capture the 147th Kentucky Derby in front of a limited crowd at sun-splashed Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Baffert, who won the 2020 Derby with Authentic, overtook Ben Jones for the most Derby wins by a trainer with seven. (Jones won six times between 1938 and 1952.)
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” Baffert said on NBC. “I’m so spoiled bringing these heavy-duty horses in here, and this little horse has a big heart.”
Velazquez, who rode Authentic last year, also rode the winner of Friday’s Kentucky Oaks, Malathaat. It was his fourth Derby victory; Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack own the record with five.
Sent off at 12-1 odds, Medina Spirit covered the mile and a quarter in 2:01.02 and paid $26.20 on a $2 bet to win, a huge sum for a Baffert horse.
Velazquez said the team discussed the…