Medina Spirit stormed to victory Saturday in the Kentucky Derby to deliver trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh win in the Run for the Roses.
Jockey John Velazquez and Medina Spirit jumped to an early lead and fended off challenges from Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie and Essential Quality down the stretch to cross the line first in front of 51,838 fans in the largest U.S. sporting event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mandaloun finished second, with Hot Rod Charlie third.
The win was Hall of Fame jockey Velazquez's fourth in the Triple Crown race, which returned to its usual first-Saturday-in-May spot on the sport's calendar after being pushed to September last year because of the pandemic.
The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown, will be run May 15 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.