Miracles and Magic at Churchill Downs

The big story coming out from behind the twin spires is that of Medina Spirit, the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

MEDINA SPIRIT winning the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
MEDINA SPIRIT winning the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Picture: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

As a foal he nearly died and then when he started to grow into a nice looking horse nobody wanted him as his pedigree wasn't glamorous.  But while it may not have been glamorous at first glance, deep down in there was quality which was going to show through eventually.  He was finally bought by Amr Zedan for $35,000 and proceeded to impress everyone until he joined Baffert's main stable.  He started to accumulate a series of good results and eventually finished up as Baffert's Derby horse and delighted everyone who knows the horse and his story with his gutsy win.  Baffert describes him as a horse "with the heart of a champion".

He led at every stage of the race and would not let Mandaloun or Hot Rod Charlie even think about passing him.  Favourite Elusive Quality was fourth.

It seems highly probable that Baffert will now head Medina Spirit to the Preakness.

It was a good weekend for John Velzquez as he rode both Malathaat to win the Oaks and Medina Spirit to win the Derby.

On Oaks Day Maxfield defeated Visitant 12/1 to win the Alysheba.  Gift List romped away with the Edgewood winning by 4 ½ lengths over Barista 23/1.  Shedaresthedevil showed her class in the La Troienne with Evoutant 4/1 one length away in second.

Obligatory won the Eight Bells by a length from Dayoutoftheoffice and Fast Beat kept up a fast beat to win the Sprint from Sombeyay.

On Saturday the Distaff Turf Mile went to Blowout who started favourite followed by New York Girl and Zofelle.  Gamine showed she was back winning the Derby City Distaff by 1 ½ lengths.  Du Jour was another winner for Baffert in the American Turf with Lucky Law second and Winfromwithin third.

The Turf Classic was a thriller which finished up as a Dead Heat between Colonel Liam and Domestic Spending with Smooth Like Strait third.

The restricted crowd seemed well-behaved and cheerful – not as loud as usual but then that isn't a bad thing in our books.


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