LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On another first Saturday in May, the beauty of America’s oldest game bowed the neck due to the stretch with its overlooks, as a Colgate named Medina Spirit elegantly posed the challenge set from Manduvadon. Got it.
They moved in tandem like four-legged ballet dancers – effortlessly, beautifully. There was no one here who absolutely loved racing after moving from Medina Spirit’s second-place horse half the length and comfortably ahead of Hot Rod Charlie and comfortably pre-race favorite quality.
With the Colts’ victory, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won his seventh Kentucky Derby, surpassing Ben Jones, who collected his blankets of roses in 1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949 and 1952.
It was a win that came with an asterisk, as achievements in horse racing often do.
A lot of news has been made by Buffert recently. Not good. Arkansas regulators upheld a ruling last month that a prohibited substance was found in two of Baffert’s horses, but decided to reduce their suspension to a fine.
Buffert is the leading competitor and the most questioned in his sport, having recently passed a federal law requiring the Anti-Doping Agency in the United States – law and order enforcement organization in the Olympic Games – to monitor horse racing Will inspire
“I am the luckiest man in the world,” said Buffert, moments after his record-breaking victory. “I’m bringing these heavy horses here, and this little horse has a big heart.”
After the Medina Spirit victory, Bittersweet threatened to eclipse the feats of Colt rider Johnny Velazquez. At the age of 49, the Hall of Fame jockey was not left for dead at all, but was thought to be able to draw colors early in his career.
It was his fourth derby victory, and was topsy-turvy in a calendar by a coronovirus epidemic that left all of us in nine months.
Pandemic forced organizers to run 2020 derby Last September in front of empty seats, but now America’s largest horse racing was back.
like. Mint jullies swept through, while the extremely long caps and pocket chowks rang through the grandeur and clubhouse of this famous racetrack. But all of them were few: Churchill Downs was a third of its 150,000-person capacity, especially in the first day, when it felt like the club’s way back to the last call.
There were also some newcomers who promised to bring new, more favorable attention to horse racing. Kendrick Carmouche, In his first kentucky derby At 37, trying to become the first black jockey in 119 years to win the race. His appearance on a long shot named Bourbonic added to the Black Raiders’ long history in the game: Oliver Lewis won the first derby in 1875, and 15 of the first 28 editions of the race were won by black jockeys, most recently in 1902. Jimmy Winkfield.
Carmouche and Bourbonic finished 13th.
Previously undefined required quality, excitement to watch the game and promised a new lens.
Until he did.
A gray son of Tapit, Essential Quality came here with a flamboyant résumé, as a 2-year champion and owner of a 5-for-5 record. His trainer, Brad Cox, is a Louisville native coming off the best year of his career, has won four Breeders’ Cup races and has been named champion trainer for 2020.
Riders of the required quality, Louis saiz, Is one of the top young jockeys in the country and was looking for redemption after guiding Colt for the first time as the Maximum Security across the finish line here in 2019. Only to be disqualified for almost knocking at the opponent’s horse And to slow down the pace of others.
Next year, Max Security’s trainer, Jason, will be more than service 27 people accused By federal prosecutors in an elaborate scheme to secretly dope horses and betray the public.
When it came to controversy, however, doping and disqualification was a distant second. Questions surrounding the owner of the required quality, The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
Sheikh Mohammed has spent a lot of money in Central Kentucky to build a breeding and racing operation, but has failed to win the Derby in the last 11. While horse racing wanted to talk about their money and perseverance, human rights advocates here and abroad focused on the role of the Sheikh in the disappearance of one of her daughters, Sheikha Latifah bin Mohammed al-Maktoum.
Sheikha Latifa is seen in several videos that her father has held her captive in Dubai and fears for her life. “He only cares about himself and his ego,” she said.
The United Nations has demanded that Sheikh Mohammed provide evidence that his daughter is still alive, and a group at the University of Louisville Law School filed a complaint with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, stating that it was Sheikh and Derby Prohibit the required quality from. .
This claim was quickly rejected for the myriad reasons that can be seen on a rustic drive through the heart of the Bluegrass region where the Sheikh has gathered fields and fast horses.
The required quality finished fourth in a game. Saez did not receive his redemption. Cox was deeply saddened to see his second horse, Mandaloune, reduced.
And, at the end of the day, a game that both Transfix and Repples did again.
“It never gets old,” said Velzczek, one of the happiest men in horse racing after his victory.
Yes, well, a lot of times it does.