Kentucky Derby Results 2021: Race Highlights, Video Replay and Reaction

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2021

John Velazquez riding Medina Spirit, right, leads Florent Geroux on Mandaloun, Flavien Prat riding Hot Rod Charlie and Luis Saez on Essential Quality to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby offered a surprising winner in Medina Spirit, another victory for Bob Baffert and a hotly contested race over the course of a little more than two minutes. 

In short, it was everything you hope for from The Run for the Roses. 

NBC Sports posted the video replay of Medina Spirit's surprising win:

NBC Sports @NBCSports

Medina Spirit is the winner of the @KentuckyDerby! 🏇🏆 Watch the full #KyDerby race from start to finish. #DerbyAtHome NBC Sports // @WhiteClaw https://t.co/cHYh3VgXz8

Medina Spirit might have had the advantage of the legendary Baffert in his corner but he was far from a favorite. The winning colt who was sold as a yearling for just $1,000 went off at 12-1 odds.

Essential Quality was the post-time favorite at 5-2, with Rock Your World 9-2 and Hot Rod Charlie 5-1 not too far behind with oddsmakers. They finished fourth, third and 17th respectively.

Here's a look at how the 19-horse field fared Saturday.


2021 Kentucky Derby Finishing Order and Payout

1. Medina Spirit (Zedan Racing Stables Inc; John Velazquez): $1.86 million

2. Mandaloun (Juddmonte Farms [Khalid Abdullah]; Florent Geroux): $600,000

3. Hot Rod Charlie (Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, LLC and Strauss Bros Racing; Flavien Prat): $300,000

4. Essential Quality (Godolphin, LLC; Luis Saez): $150,000

5. O Besos (Bernard, L. Barrett, Tagg Team Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds; Marcelino Pedroza): $90,000

6. Midnight Bourbon 

7. Keepmeinmind 

8. Helium 

9. Known Agenda 

10. Highly Motivated 

11. Sainthood 

12. Like The King 

13. Bourbonic 

14. Hidden Stash 

15. Brooklyn Strong 

16. Super Stock 

17. Rock Your World

18. Dynamic One

19. Soup and Sandwich



This race was primarily about two things: Bob Baffert's legendary status and the underdog story of Medina Spirit.

Heading into the race Baffert said he thought his colt was "a cut below" the top horses in conversation with Tim Sullivan of the Louisville Courier Journal. San Felipe Stakes winner Life is Good was the most hyped horse in Baffert's stable this year but was unable to be in the field because of an ankle injury.

It's the second year in a row that Baffert's "backup horse" won the Derby.

Joaquin Jaime @TVGJoaquin

Last year, Charlatan and Nadal were injured. Baffert still wins the Derby with Authentic. This year, Life Is Good was injured. Bob still wins with Medina Spirit. No trainer has won more Derbies than Baffert. That’s 7, 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Jockey John Velazquez deserves credit too. He put his trust in letting Medina Spirit run early, and the horse responded by nearly going wire to wire with the lead.

Jim Gluckson @BCRacingguy

Congratulations to Bob Baffert and John Velazquez on becoming the first trainer-jockey combination to win the @KentuckyDerby in consecutive years since Lucien Laurin and Ron Turcotte did it with Riva Ridge in 1972 and Secretariat in 1973. https://t.co/HmX7s7eU2m

According to ESPN Stats & Info, both Baffert and Velazquez etched their name in the history books with the win.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

John Velazquez aboard Medina Spirit gives Bob Baffert his 7th Kentucky Derby win, breaking a tie with Ben Jones for the most wins all-time by a trainer. Velazquez also becomes just the 3rd jockey over the last 30 years to win consecutive Derbies. https://t.co/NA5jFLJvxo

Baffert was certainly soaking in the moment:

NBC Sports @NBCSports

BOB BAFFERT STANDS ALONE! A record 7th @KentuckyDerby win! https://t.co/c3GP7a7kun

The Action Network's Darren Rovell provided some background to Medina Spirit's rise to stardom. There wasn't much competition to buy him as a yearling:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

Medina Spirit was bought for the minimum price of $1,000 when he was a yearling. No one made a second bid. Medina Spirit just went nearly wire to wire to win the Kentucky Derby.

Where there is the thrill of victory, there is always the agony of defeat. Famed bettor Mattress Mack reportedly put $2.4 million on Essential Quality, and we all got to see what it looks like to lose that kind of money in around two minutes:

br_betting @br_betting

Mattress Mack watching the Kentucky Derby His $2.4M bet on Essential Quality did not cash https://t.co/Gi3HXs97Rz

Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form broke down some of the action and where it went wrong for Rock Your World and Known Agenda, two horses who had especially rough trips.

Jay Privman @DRFPrivman

Other observations from watching replays: No positional change 1-2-3-4 final 1/4 mile. Midnight Bourbon ran amazing race considering early position. Rock Your World got crushed at start, thus being put in a position completely foreign to him (behind, on dirt) Known Agenda plods https://t.co/tYmz1FDvRx

Now the focus shifts over to the Preakness which is set to take place May 15. Medina Spirit certainly won't be overlooked there. The 1 3/16th-mile race figures to play to his strengths quite well, but challengers new and old will meet him there.

His Kentucky Derby win gives him the opportunity to run for history over the next few weeks.