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Bob Baffert wins record seventh Kentucky Derby

1 May 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated announced today that Medina Spirit claimed the Garland of Roses in the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve. The Company reported that 51,838 fans reveled under cloudless skies to watch as the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” triumphantly returned to the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $233.0 million up 85% compared to the 2020 Kentucky Derby Day program. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was $155.4 million up 96% from last year’s Derby race.

All-sources handle for Opening Night, Saturday, 24 April, through Derby Day, Saturday,1 May, was recorded at $314.6 million, up 79% from last year.

TwinSpires, one of the largest and most profitable online wagering platforms for horse racing, sports and iGaming in the U.S., and the official wagering partner of the Kentucky Derby, recorded preliminary record handle of $62.7 million on Churchill Downs races for the Kentucky Derby Day program, an increase of 66% over the prior year. TwinSpires recorded preliminary record handle on the Kentucky Derby race alone of $40.8 million, up 75% over 2020.

Medina Spirit, owned by Zedan Racing Stables, and bred in Florida by Gail Rice led from the start, held off a spirited rally from Mandaloun and prevailed in a thrilling finish by a 1/2 length. Trainer Bob Baffert secured his 7th Kentucky Derby win eclipsing the record previously shared with Ben Jones. Jockey John Velazquez recorded his 4th Kentucky Derby victory and capped a successful weekend by winning both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.

“Today it was incredibly gratifying to welcome our fans back to Churchill Downs for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We will continue to invest in this iconic event as we create unique and once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the coming years for our guests.”

Churchill Downs introduced two new charity efforts this year. A naturalization ceremony was hosted in the Winner’s Circle of Churchill Downs as U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky Benjamin Beaton administered the Oath of Allegiance to five new citizens representing five different countries on the day of America’s Greatest Race. CDI hosted nearly 300 representatives from Kentucky’s Foster Care sector as guests in the first-ever Kentucky Derby Foster Family Initiative partnership with Jim “Mattress Mack” and in cooperation with Louisville nonprofits Maryhurst and Boys & Girls Haven.

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