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By Gary B. Braves

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Medina Spirit’s stunning Kentucky Derby victory gave Bob Baffert a very good downside to have — determining the place to hold one other signal on his barn’s already crowded wall of glory.

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

“He came out of it well,” Baffert mentioned 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 choices loomed on the bottom a day after the 147th Derby returned to its conventional first Saturday in May 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. Not to say an opportunity for redemption for opponents that fell quick to Medina Spirit.

Trainer Doug O’Neill mentioned third-place finisher Rock Your World wouldn’t be amongst them, trying as an alternative to run the 1¢-mile Belmont Stakes on June 5 in New York.

Meanwhile, Brad Cox deliberate to speak with connections for runner-up Mandaloun and 5-2 Derby favourite Essential Quality, who completed fourth. Though dissatisfied to not win in his first Derby, the Louisville-born coach was inspired by each ending within the high 4 of the 19-horse discipline.

After a head-scratching sixth within the Louisiana Derby, Mandaloun supplied a pleasing shock on Saturday by chasing Medina Spirit down the stretch earlier than falling half a size quick. Cox insisted Essential Quality was the Derby’s greatest horse and simply created further distance for himself within the turns making an attempt to contend.

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

Asked if he desired to run the Preakness, Cox mentioned: “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 would possibly throw one other certainly one of his pupils into the Preakness combine.

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

In the meantime, Baffert basked within the afterglow of Medina Spirit’s greatest victory.

His lone Derby entrant was considerably beneath the radar at 12-1 odds following consecutive second-place finishes, together with one towards Rock Your World within the Santa Anita Derby. Medina Spirit rapidly set the road behind him and didn’t relent regardless of stress, protecting the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.02.

The two-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 just a thrill to watch him do it and fight on,” Baffert mentioned. “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.”




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