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Medina Spirit Best In Shared Belief
Credit: Benoit Photo

Medina Spirit Best In Shared Belief

DEL MAR, CA – Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit made his return to racing after a 3 1/2-month pause a winning one Sunday at Del Mar when he proved a smart length and 1/4 best in the 47th edition of the Shared Belief Stakes for 3-year-olds.

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The dark colt by Protonico made the lead out of the gate under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez and never gave it up, repelling the challenges of his primary opponent – Hronis Racing or Talla Racing’s Rock Your World, who also was coming off an extended break.

The two colts were the center of attention in a six-horse field for their mile testing and they didn’t disappoint, leading the field all the way around the mile oval through fractions of :22.52, :46.92, 1:11.81, 1:24.33, and 1:37.29.

“It went the way we wanted it,” Velazquez said. “Once I made the lead into the first turn, I felt better. He was moving well. When he got on the backside, his ears went up and he was really cruising. When a horse would come to him, he’d pick it up on his own. When we got to the 1/4 pole, I said ‘Let’s go; time to pick it up.’ And he was right into it. He finished strong and the gallop out was strong, too. He can build off this race.”

Rock Your World stayed lapped on his smaller opponent for a good portion of the trip but couldn’t keep up inside the 1/4 pole.

Finishing third in the $100,000 affair was Steve Moger’s Stilleto Boy, who was 2 1/4 lengths behind Rock Your World.

Medina Spirit was winning his fourth race in his eighth start and picked up a check for $60,000 to increase his bankroll to $2,345,200. He also has 3 seconds and a third. He is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert

“He looks good and John said he feels better than ever,” Baffert said.

Medina Spirit, the 9/10 favorite, returned $3.80, $2.40, and $2.10 across the board. Rock Your World paid $2.80 and $2.20, while Stilleto Boy returned $3.80.

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