OwnerZedan Racing Stables Inc
Jockey (from last start)
Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Medina Spirit has risen from underdog to the winner of one of the most important races in the world in only three years.
The colt was one of 35 foals born from his sire Protonico’s first crop and sold for $1,000 early in his yearling year when breeder Gail Rice sent him through the sales ring. Selling for $35,000 as a 2-year-old the following season, the colt’s earnings have far surpassed his purchase price with every start since those days in the Ocala Breeders’ Sales ring.
Medina Spirit is one of only a handful of horses for Amr Zedan’s Zedan Racing Stable, which ran its first horse in 2017. But those horses have proven to be some of the best with Zedan also owning last year’s Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) winner Princess Noor.
That filly took her owner to some of the highest places in the sport, becoming his first Breeders’ Cup starter when fifth in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
Only a month after that experience, Medina Spirit burst onto the scene with a 3-length maiden special weight victory last December. Medina Spirit let Zedan Racing Stable enjoy the 3-year-old division with multiple first- and second-place finishes in Kentucky Derby prep races before winning the Kentucky Derby in May.
A horse who loves to be as close to the front as he can, Medina Spirit then went head-to-head with Midnight Bourbon throughout the Preakness Stakes (G1) to ultimately finish third in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Earning a break after the Preakness, Medina Spirit came back fresh and ready to go in late August when he won the listed Shared Belief Stakes. The race was an important steppingstone that he easily conquered with a 1 ¼-length victory at Del Mar, the same track he’ll be running on at the Breeders’ Cup.
His returned was further burnished when he won the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita in front-running fashion by 5 lengths when facing older horses for the first time.
Bred in Florida, Medina Spirit’s sire and dam never raced in Breeders’ Cup races, but his grandsires were both notable finishers in their respective races. Medina Spirit’s paternal grandsire is Giant’s Causeway, who was second by a neck to Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in one of the most memorable editions of the race. Meanwhile, his maternal grandsire is Brilliant Speed, who was third in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and followed that up the following year with a run in the Classic.
His owner won’t be the only one registering a second Breeders’ Cup runner when Medina Spirit steps into the gate. Rice also experienced the Breeders’ Cup for the first time as a breeder last year when Speech ran in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).
|December 11, 2020||LOS ALAMITOS RACE COURSE||1|
- October 12, 2021
Benefiting from Grade 1 victories in the Belmont Stakes and the Runhappy Travers Stakes, Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality has finished No. 1 in the final voting of the 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
- October 5, 2021
Godolphin’s Essential Quality moved back into first place by three votes over stablemate Knicks Go in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).