Medina Spirit won the 2021 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve by a half-length May 1 at Churchill Downs to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record seventh win in the race and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez his fourth Derby win.
For Baffert, Medina Spirit might be his most unlikely Kentucky Derby winner. He was sold at auction twice, once for $1,000 at the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. winter mixed sale and then for $35,000 to current owner Zedan Racing Stables at the 2020 OBS July sale of 2-year-olds and horses of racing age.
Medina Spirit was bred in Florida by Gail Rice. He is from the first crop of unheralded sire named Protonico, who stands for a fee of $5,000 at Castleton Lyons in Lexington. Medina Spirit's dam (mother), Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed, was a $9,000 purchase at auction as a yearling who won one of six career starts.
In his final two Kentucky Derby prep races, Medina Spirit finished eight lengths behind stablemate Life Is Good in the $301,000 San Felipe Stakes and 4 ¼ lengths behind Rock Your World in the $752,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby in his final prep race for the run for the roses. Yet, it remains true that no horse has ever passed the determined Medina Spirit, and none of his 18 opponents in the Kentucky Derby could get past the pacesetter in the biggest race of their lives.
Get to know a little more about 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit with this terrific slideshow featuring images from both Eclipse Sportswire and Coady Photography.