Baffert mulling Medina Spirit’s subsequent step after Derby win

As Bob Baffert digests a document seventh Kentucky Derby win that even caught him off guard, the Corridor of Fame coach and Medina Spirit’s connections should decide whether or not the colt will flip round rapidly for the Preakness on Might 15

As Baffert digests a document seventh Derby win that even caught him off guard, the Corridor of Fame coach and the horse’s connections should decide whether or not the darkish brown colt will flip round rapidly for the 146th Preakness on Might 15 in Baltimore, the place a group of rested horses and revenge-minded rivals await.

“He got here out of it properly,” Baffert stated Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. “It takes a few week to find out, so I’m going to return again subsequent weekend and see. I don’t see something that might discourage me proper now.”

Comparable wait-and-see choices loomed on the bottom a day after the 147th Derby returned to its conventional first Saturday in Might date.

Shorter than the Derby at 1 3/16 miles, the Preakness units up properly for horses that skipped Churchill Downs for the dash at Pimlico Race Course. To not point out an opportunity for redemption for rivals that fell brief to Medina Spirit.

Coach Doug O’Neill stated third-place finisher Scorching Rod Charlie wouldn’t be amongst them, trying as an alternative to run the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes on June 5 in New York. Todd Pletcher, whose quartet of entrants completed no larger than ninth (Identified Agenda), deliberate to return to New York to regroup after which “take into consideration some main choices with these horses.”

In the meantime, Brad Cox deliberate to speak with connections for runner-up Mandaloun and 5-2 Derby favourite Important High quality, who completed fourth. Although disenchanted with falling brief in his first Derby, the Louisville-born coach was inspired by each ending within the prime 4 of the 19-horse area.

After a head-scratching sixth within the Louisiana Derby, Mandaloun offered a nice shock on Saturday by chasing Medina Spirit down the stretch earlier than falling half a size brief. Cox insisted Important High quality was the Derby’s greatest horse and simply created further distance for himself within the turns attempting to contend.

“He ran an enormous race, very happy with his effort, he and Mandaloun,” Cox stated. “He was fourth-best at a mile and 1 / 4. He misplaced lots of floor round each turns.”

Requested if he wished to run the Preakness, Cox stated: “I’ve a want if I really feel like my horses are doing rather well. I simply actually should base it off of them.”

Baffert may throw one other one in every of his pupils into the Preakness combine.

He preceded his availability with reporters by working Live performance Tour, who completed third within the Arkansas Derby. A choice by house owners Gary and Mary West looms for the colt with three wins.

Within the meantime, Baffert basked within the afterglow of Medina Spirit’s largest victory.

His lone Derby entrant was considerably beneath the radar at 12-1 odds following consecutive second-place finishes, together with one in opposition to Rock Your World within the Santa Anita Derby. Medina Spirit rapidly set the road behind him, overlaying the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.02.

The 2-time Triple Crown winner was cautious to not make any projections about his newest Derby champ, whom he briefly paraded in entrance of a gathering outdoors his barn. Baffert then led him inside for a well-deserved relaxation earlier than his subsequent chapter.

“It was only a thrill to observe him do it and combat on,” Baffert stated. “He got here again, he’s dealing with it fairly properly. He wasn’t as drained as I believed he is perhaps. A giant race like that, however he dealt with it fairly properly.”

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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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