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Medina Spirit Set For Santa Anita Derby
Medina Spirit (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Medina Spirit Set For Santa Anita Derby

ARCADIA, CAMedina Spirit, twice runner-up to Life Is Good, worked 4 furlongs Sunday in 48 seconds flat as he prepares to deputize for his undefeated but sidelined stablemate in this Saturday’s Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1).

“He went very nice (under jockey Juan Ochoa),” said Bob Baffert, who is seeking to add to his record of 9 Santa Anita Derby victories. “I also worked Hozier (5 furlongs in 1:00.80), Charlatan (4 furlongs in 48 flat), and Gamine (5 furlongs in 59.60).”

Malibu Stakes (G1) winner Charlatan and Eclipse Award champion female sprinter Gamine are scheduled to run in a pair of 7-furlong Grade 1s at Churchill Downs on Derby Day: Charlatan in the Churchill Downs Stakes and Gamine in the Derby City Distaff.

Both Charlatan and Gamine were disqualified for failing multiple post-race drug tests in 2020, including Charlatan’s victory in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Life Is Good was favored to win the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1) before a small chip in his left hind ankle was detected following a workout on March 20, forcing him to miss the race and necessitating surgery by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky 2 days ago.

“The surgery went well,” Baffert said. “I received great reports on it. It was minor, so that was good and he should be back (racing) a lot sooner than we thought he would.”

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