147th Kentucky Derby Preview: Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit is the only Bob Baffert-trained horse in this year's derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WTVQ) – It feels like we were just talking about the Kentucky Derby, but there’s a reason for that.  The 146th Kentucky Derby was held back in September; the race pushed back due the pandemic.  Fast forward to May and it’s time for another derby, but this time at its rightful timing; the first Saturday in May.

You can’t talk about the 147th Kentucky Derby without talking about a man whose name is synonymous with the derby, Bob Baffert.

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Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has always been a safe bet at Churchill Downs and for good reason.  He’s won a record six Kentucky Derby’s; three in the last six years, including back in September with Authentic.

As we inch closer to Saturday, you’re not going to see a Baffert horse amongst the favorites. In fact, he’s only got one horse coming out of the gates for this year’s Run for the Roses.  Concert Tour, who’s here at Churchill Downs, won’t be running this week. Baffert wants to give the three year old more time to recover from his run at Arkansas Derby three weeks ago.  Baffert plans to run him at The Preakness.

As for the one horse that’s planning to run, Medina Spirit.  The Florida-born horse has one win in four career races and finished second in three. Baffert says it’s a top-10 horse in this field.

“He’s right there turning for home. He’s going to fight. He’s an over achiever. His heart’s bigger than his body,” says Baffert.

“He just tries so hard. I love that horse.” said Baffert.

Baffert even went as far to compare Medina Spirit to one of his horses who won the Kentucky Derby.

“That’s what made Silver Charm so great.”

Back in January, Medina Spirit won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes.  There he knocked off a horse many feel has a shot at winning the race this weekend.

“He’s a fighter and the race where he beat ‘Hot Rod Charlie’ and all those horses, he would not let them by.”

You can’t have a Kentucky Derby without a Baffert-trained horse in the conversation.  If you ask him, he feels Medina Spirit can run with the best of them.

“If he runs his race, he should get a piece of it.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com