fog.png
Wednesday December 8th, 2021 10:28AM

Baffert mulling Medina Spirit's next step after Derby win

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Medina Spirit’s surprising Kentucky Derby victory gave Bob Baffert a good problem to have — figuring out where to hang another sign on his barn’s already crowded wall of glory.

As Baffert digests a record seventh Derby win that even caught him off guard, the Hall of Fame trainer and the horse's connections must determine whether the dark brown colt will turn around quickly for the 146th Preakness on May 15 in Baltimore, where a collection of rested horses and revenge-minded competitors await.

“He came out of it well,” Baffert said Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. “It takes about a week to determine, so I’m going to come back next weekend and see. I don’t see anything that would discourage me right now.”

Similar wait-and-see decisions loomed on the backside a day after the 147th Derby returned to its traditional first Saturday in May date.

Shorter than the Derby at 1 3/16 miles, the Preakness sets up well for horses that skipped Churchill Downs for the sprint at Pimlico Race Course. Not to mention a chance for redemption for competitors that fell short to Medina Spirit.

Trainer Doug O’Neill said third-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie would not be among them, looking instead to run the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes on June 5 in New York. Todd Pletcher, whose quartet of entrants finished no higher than ninth (Known Agenda), planned to return to New York to regroup and then "think about some major decisions with those horses.”

Meanwhile, Brad Cox planned to talk with connections for runner-up Mandaloun and 5-2 Derby favorite Essential Quality, who finished fourth. Though disappointed with falling short in his first Derby, the Louisville-born trainer was encouraged by both finishing in the top four of the 19-horse field.

After a head-scratching sixth in the Louisiana Derby, Mandaloun provided a pleasant surprise on Saturday by chasing Medina Spirit down the stretch before falling half a length short. Cox insisted Essential Quality was the Derby’s best horse and just created extra distance for himself in the turns trying to contend.

“He ran a huge race, very proud of his effort, he and Mandaloun,” Cox said. “He was fourth-best at a mile and a quarter. He lost a lot of ground around both turns.”

Asked if he wanted to run the Preakness, Cox said: “I have a desire if I feel like my horses are doing really well. I just really have to base it off of them.”

Baffert might throw another one of his pupils into the Preakness mix.

He preceded his availability with reporters by working Concert Tour, who finished third in the Arkansas Derby. A decision by owners Gary and Mary West looms for the colt with three wins.

In the meantime, Baffert basked in the afterglow of Medina Spirit’s biggest victory.

His lone Derby entrant was somewhat under the radar at 12-1 odds following consecutive second-place finishes, including one against Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby. Medina Spirit quickly set the line behind him, covering the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.02.

The two-time Triple Crown winner was careful not to make any projections about his latest Derby champ, whom he briefly paraded in front of a gathering outside his barn. Baffert then led him inside for a well-deserved rest before his next chapter.

“It was just a thrill to watch him do it and fight on,” Baffert said. “He came back, he’s handling it quite well. He wasn’t as tired as I thought he might be. A big race like that, but he handled it quite well.”

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Police fatally shoot gunman who killed 2 at Wisconsin casino
Authorities in Wisconsin say a gunman killed two people at a Green Bay casino restaurant and seriously wounded a third before he was shot and killed by police
3:03PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Baffert mulling Medina Spirit's next step after Derby win
As Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert digests a record seventh Kentucky Derby win that caught even him off guard, he and Medina Spirit’s connections must determine whether the colt will turn around quickly for the Preakness on May 15 in Baltimore
2:56PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Italian rapper accuses state TV of attempted censorship
Italian rapper Fedez has received a wave of public support after going public with attempts by RAI state television to censor his planned remarks calling attention to homophobia during a Workers' Day concert
2:54PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Braves put catchers Travis d'Arnaud, Alex Jackson on IL
The Atlanta Braves have put catchers Travis d’Arnaud and Alex Jackson on the injured list
12:56PM ( 2 hours ago )
Man United's game off after fans storm stadium in protest
Manchester United’s Premier League game against Liverpool was postponed after supporters stormed into the stadium and onto the pitch
12:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
Hamilton wins Portuguese GP, extends lead over Verstappen
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton wins the Portuguese Grand Prix for a 97th career win and extends his championship lead over Max Verstappen to eight points
12:22PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Police fatally shoot gunman who killed 2 at Wisconsin casino
Authorities in Wisconsin say a gunman killed two people at a Green Bay casino restaurant and seriously wounded a third before he was shot and killed by police
3:03PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Italian rapper accuses state TV of attempted censorship
Italian rapper Fedez has received a wave of public support after going public with attempts by RAI state television to censor his planned remarks calling attention to homophobia during a Workers' Day concert
2:54PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Dodgers' May put on injured list, latest setback for staff
Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Dustin May has been put on the 10-day injured list with an arm ailment, the latest setback for the pitching staff of the World Series champions
2:50PM ( 23 minutes ago )
US to launch trade talks on COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Two White House officials say the U.S. trade representative will begin talks in the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping poorer countries from making their own generic version of critically needed COVID-19 vaccines
2:39PM ( 34 minutes ago )
High jinx: New Portuguese bridge not for the faint-hearted
A narrow footbridge suspended across a river canyon that claims to be the world’s longest pedestrian bridge has been officially inaugurated in northern Portugal
2:36PM ( 37 minutes ago )