Medina Spirit has won the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby, kicking off the 2021 race for the Triple Crown. Medina Spirit, ridden by jockey John R. Velazquez, came into the race at 12-1 odds.
Trainer Bob Baffert has now won a record-breaking seventh Kentucky Derby. Essential Quality, which came into the race undefeated at 5-0 earning a spot as the favorite at 3-1 odds, came in fourth place.
“That little horse has got such a big heart,” Baffert said following the race.
The win also gave Velazquez his fourth Kentucky Derby victory, putting him one win behind the all-time record shared by jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack. Arcaro also holds the records for most wins at the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes, taking home the trophy for both races six times each.
“There’s no words to describe it,” Velazquez said. “This doesn’t get old.”
The derby resumed its traditional place on the first Saturday in May this year after thethrew the horse racing schedule into chaos in 2020. Last year, the Kentucky Derby was pushed back to September and was run after the Belmont Stakes, which is traditionally the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Churchill Downs was capped at 50% capacity for this year’s Run for the Roses after the race took place without spectators last year. The attendance was announced as 51,838, making it the biggest sports event in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic. That record will likely beat the end of May.
Check out CBS Sports’ coverage of the Kentucky Derby here.