Baffert hoping to make history in May 15 Preakness Stakes
At 0h46, on May 3, 2021 • By PIMLICO
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who became the winningest trainer in Kentucky Derby (G1) history by saddling Medina Spirit for an upset victory Saturday at Churchill Downs, is hoping to make history again in the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
Zedan Racing’s Medina Spirit became the seventh Kentucky Derby winner trained by Baffert, who had been tied with legendary Ben Jones for most victories by a trainer in the Run for the Roses.
In this year’s Preakness, Baffert will seek to break a tie with Robert Wyndham Walden, who saddled seven Preakness winners between 1875 and 1888. Baffert has been represented in the Preakness winner’s circle by Triple Crown champions Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015), as well as Lookin At Lucky (2010), War Emblem (2002), Point Given (2001), Real Quiet (1998) and Silver Charm (1997).
Medina Spirit, who held gamely to register a 12-1 upset Derby victory by a half-length after setting a solid pace was very much in the Preakness picture for Baffert Sunday morning.
“So far he came out of the race well,” Baffert, who was scheduled to return to California Sunday, told the assembled media Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. “I’ll watch them closely. I’ll come back next weekend. But right now, I don’t see anything that would discourage me.”
Baffert has never failed to win the 1 3/16-mile Preakness when he’s come to Pimlico with a horse who won the Derby in May. He finished a close second last October with Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, the eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year, when the Preakness was delayed until a month after the Derby. Authentic lost the Preakness by a neck to the filly Swiss Skydiver.
The Florida-bred Medina Spirit now has three wins and three seconds in six lifetime starts, earning $2,175,200. The son of Protonico was Baffert’s fourth Kentucky Derby winner who had previously finished second in the Santa Anita Derby, following Silver Charm, Real Quiet and Authentic.