Medina Spirit and the most exciting two minutes in sport once again delivered unrivaled stories on Saturday, as Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby for the seventh time. The success means that Baffert is now the stand alone record holder for most wins in the history of Run for the Roses.
Medina Spirit was in excellent form, as he managed to make all the running and claim the win by half a length. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Oaks went the way of the favorite in the betting; as Malathaat managed to hold off the challenge laid down by Search Results.
Medina Spirit Wins Kentucky Derby
Medina Spirit was around a 14/1 at many of the Kentucky Derby future books leading up to the Kentucky Derby. The three-year-old claimed the biggest win of his career in the Triple Crown race, as he made all the running. Medina Spirit led from the first furlong and traveled strongly throughout as he batted off the pressure put under him by the chasing pack.
Mandaloun caught and passed him briefly in the stretch but Medina Spirit battle back to get the victory. Medina Spirit trainer Baffert, was somewhat shocked that he was able to get the win. He admitted afterwards, that he was ‘surprised’ by how his horse performed on the day.
The victory was also a huge one also for jockey John Velazquez, as he won the Kentucky Derby for the fourth time in his career. The prohibitive favorite for the race, Essential Quality, finished in fourth place; a length and a half back of the winner after being joustled at the start and going wide throughout most of the race.
Our big each-way chance Mandaloun performed excellently, as he finished in second place. Meanwhile, Hot Rod Charlie finished back in third. The Doug O’Neill trained horse always traveled strongly but never looked to have the pace to lay down a challenge.
Malathaat Wins Kentucky Oaks
Fans also witnessed a pulsating renewal of the Kentucky Oaks this weekend, and there was a stunning display in the featured race on the Friday by Malathaat.
The Todd Pletcher-trained horse was exceptional in the running. She bided her time behind the leaders before making her move to the front with 100 yards remaining. The victory ensured that the three-year-old remained perfect in her five career starts, and there is real excitement about what could be next for Malathaat following this success.
It was a poignant success for the three-year-old, as the win came just a month after the death of Shadwell founder Hamdan Al Maktoum. Shadwell Stable owns Malathaat, as well as many of the most talented horses around the globe. The victory for Pletcher also saw him claim a fourth win in the Oaks, which leaves him tied for the second most all-time wins.
It was an exciting finish to the race, as Search Results looked in excellent shape going towards the line. However, a bump from Malathaat coming down the final stretch looked to have an impact, as she couldn’t match the eventual winner in the final furlong.
Will’s Secret, who was our place pick, finished in third. The Dallas Stewart-trained horse finished just under three lengths behind the unbeaten Malathaat. Clairiere finished back in fourth, while Travel Column finished fifth.
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