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Ocala thoroughbred Medina Spirit wins Kentucky Derby

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s a big win for north central Florida.

Equine industry leaders said they’re proud a thoroughbred from Ocala won the Kentucky Derby.

Medina Spirit was purchased back in 2019 by Christy Whitman for the starting bid of just $1,000 dollars.

“He just was a really pretty colt and I like the way he was put together. He was very well balanced, had a great hip, athletic, all of the things that I look for when I’m looking for a horse. He caught my eye and nobody was looking at him because of his page, he doesn’t have a whole lot pedigree so he was really getting over looked,” Whitman said.

Whitman said she was the only one to bid on Medina Spirit.

She said this horse winning the Derby, is like winning the lottery.

“Yeah, it really is the ultimate Cinderella story. You literally can’t buy them any cheaper than a thousand dollars. It’s amazing. It’s an incredible feeling,” Whitman said.

After training as a yearling, Medina Spirit was sold again at Ocala Breeders Sales, this time for 35,000 dollars.

He is the fourth OBS graduate to win the Kentucky Derby. According to OBS President Tom Ventura, Medina Spirit joins Lil E Tee, Silver Charm, and I’ll Have Another in the OBS Kentucky Derby club.

“Everybody knows the Kentucky Derby and for us to win it for the fourth time is tremendous. It’s a Florida-bred. It’s been raised here for it’s entire life. It’s great for the community. It’s great for us, certainly for advertising piece but it’s just a sense of satisfaction for us,” Ventura said.

This is now Trainer Bob Baffert’s 7th Kentucky Derby win as well.

Related story: Medina Spirit gives trainer Baffert record 7th Kentucky Derby win

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