Ky Derby winner Medina Spirit romps to win at Santa Anita
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Medina Spirit, the Kentucky Derby winner who failed a postrace drug test, romped to a five-length victory in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday for embattled Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert at Santa Anita.
Medina Spirit led from the start and was able to hold it throughout the stretch under Hall of Famer John Velazquez who flew in form the East Coast. They covered 1 1/8 miles in 1: 49.67.
The victory earned Medina Spirit an entry fee-paid into the $6 million Breeders Cup Classic at Del Mar next year.
Medina Spirit was the 6-5 favorite out of eight and received $4. 60, 4 20, $4.
The Kentucky Derby victory of the colt has been in doubt for almost five months. As part of the investigation into Medina Spirit’s positive test for betamethasone, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has yet not to issue a final verdict. Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs for two years.
Despite the turmoil, Baffert enjoyed Saturday’s win for Amr Zedan.
” I’m happy for Zedan, and all that we have had to face,” Baffert stated. “We kept our eyes on the horses. Fans came out to support this horse. The crowd noise was evident. They all support him. It’s an emotional win .”
Medina Spirit originally was set to race in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby last week, but Baffert didn’t like his position.
” I keep saying it, and I probably sound like an old record, but this man, he has tons of heart,” Velazquez said. Velazquez has ridden Medina Spirit six times in his six previous starts. He’s competitive and gives everything he can to the horses when they come to him. You can’t ask for more from a horse than that. Maybe they will give him the credit he deserves now.”
The victory, worth $180,000, increased Medina Spirit’s career earnings to $2,525,200.
Stilleto Boy received $25. 40, $12 were the longest shots in the field at 54-1. Express Train was paid $4. 20 was the show.
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