Medina Spirit wins 2021 Kentucky Derby

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jordan Freiman
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

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.

MEDINA SPIRIT HAS WON THE @KentuckyDerby ! pic.twitter.com/UWhOlqc9NY

— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 1, 2021

"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."

(L-R) Trainer Bob Baffert, jockey John Velazquez, and owner Amr Zedan of Medina Spirit raise the trophy after winning the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. / Credit: Getty Images
(L-R) Trainer Bob Baffert, jockey John Velazquez, and owner Amr Zedan of Medina Spirit raise the trophy after winning the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. / Credit: Getty Images

The derby resumed its traditional place on the first Saturday in May this year after the coronavirus pandemic threw 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 be broken by the Indy 500 at the end of May.

The next race in the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, will be held May 15.

Check out CBS Sports' coverage of the Kentucky Derby here.

Voters spar over race and recovery in "Face the Nation" focus group

Stunning science: COVID-19 vaccines' life-saving breakthrough

Gottlieb says U.S. "locking in" gains against COVID-19 as vaccinations continue