Medina Spirit gives Baffert record 7th Kentucky Derby win

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Jockey John Velazquez, left, watches as trainer Bob Baffert holds up the winner's trophy after they victory with Medina Spirit in the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By BETH HARRIS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Medina Spirit fought off three challengers in the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby, making Bob Baffert the winningest trainer in the race’s 147-year history with seven victories. Jockey John Velazquez earned his fourth Derby victory aboard the dark brown colt that was purchased as a yearling for $1,000 and cost current owner Amr Zedan $35,000. Baffert and Velazquez won back-to-back Derbies, having taken last year’s edition with Authentic without spectators in the stands because of COVID-19. The Derby went off this year with attendance of about 51,000 spectators. That’s about 100,000 fewer than usual. Fans were told to wear masks inside the track, but plenty of them did not. Mandaloun finished second, Hot Rod Charlie was third and favorite Essential Quality finished fourth.