LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — If it seems like Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert just won the Kentucky Derby with Authentic, it's because he did.
Last year's Run for the Roses was held in September, when the Triple Crown schedule was turned upside down due to COVID-19. This year, the fastest two minutes in sports returns to its normal date on the calendar, the first Saturday in May.
Baffert, the Nogales, Arizona native and University of Arizona alum, is training Medina Spirit, his only entry in the race. Medina Spirit is not considered the race's favorite, and is listed at just 15-1 odds.
"It’s like saying he’s a really good basketball player, but he can’t dunk," Baffert joked. "He’s good. He’s got a great three point shot. He’s just a cut below. He’s run second to some nice horses. But, if he’s in the fight, or in the mix, he gives you so much more."
Baffert has won six times in the Kentucky Derby, tied for the most all-time victories by a trainer.
"The Derby this year is pretty wide open," added Baffert. "You don’t have that really dominant horse. You have Essential Quality who is undefeated. He’s a nice horse. You don’t have Justify or American Pharoah. Or, maybe we might see one we don’t know about. But going in, they’re all pretty close together."
Todd Pletcher, another University of Arizona alumni, has four horses in the Kentucky Derby.