From a $1,000 short yearling to $35,000 2-year-old in training to the winner’s circle of the 147th Kentucky Derby (G1), MEDINA SPIRIT is the best advertisement for how a top horse can come from anywhere.
The Florida-bred 3-year-old by Protonico, a $5,000 stallion, and from a limited female family was plucked out of a winter sale in 2019 by Christy Whitman, a Florida pinhooker who was looking for an affordable purchase for exercise rider Jose Gallego to re-sell. Whitman had the only bid on the youngster.
Medina Spirit is one of 19 foals from the first crop of Protonico, a son of Giant’s Causeway.
Gallego broke the colt and following a workout for the summer Ocala 2-year-old sale last year in which he sped 3 furlongs in 33.00, he brought a bid of $35,000 by agent Gary Young. Off the colt went to none other than Bob Baffert, who now has seven Kentucky Derby wins, a record.
Fans of the Ontario stallion SOUPER SPEEDY will note that Medina Spirit’s broodmare sire Brilliant Speed is a half-brother to ‘Speedy’.
Up next is the May 15 PREAKNESS STAKES (G1) at Pimlico at the slightly shorter distance of 1 3/16 miles.
Among Media Spirit’s opposition could be the much-hyped CONCERT TOUR, also trained by Baffert, who bypassed the Derby. A front-running colt, the presence of Gary and Mary West’s colt in the Preakness would make for some interesting pre-race discussion.
Not many of the other 18 horses in the Derby will head to Pimlico. Horse Racing Nation has sized up a possible Preakness field which will include, ROMBAUER and CROWDED TRADE, who both passed on the Derby. KING FURY, who spiked a temperature before the Derby and was scratched, plus others such as Japanese runner FRANCE GO DE INA who was sixth in the UAE Derby.