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Medina Spirit returns to win Shared Belief S.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Making his first start since the Preakness (G1), Medina Spirit returned victorious in Sunday's $100,000 Shared Belief S. at Del Mar as he begins his fall campaign.

Tasked with facing Grade 1 winner Rock Your World, Medina Spirit was hustled out of the gate by jockey John Velazquez. Medina Spirit got the lead going into the first turn, but Rock Your World was within a half-length as they sped through the opening quarter-mile in :22.52.

The pace slowed slightly down the backstretch, with the running order unchanged. On the final turn, Rock Your World got almost on even terms with Medina Spirit, but the pacesetter found more in the stretch and pulled away to win by 1 1/4-lengths in 1:37.29 for the mile on the fast track.

“I did not have any intention of running him in this race until a couple weeks ago,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I started thinking about it, figuring it couldn't come up that tough. Then [ my son] Bode said, 'You know Rock Your World's running there?' For what this horse has gone through, he's such a game horse, and I wanted to run him here and see if he likes Del Mar. I've never had a Derby winner come back and win here so that's a first. He looks good and John said he feels better than ever. There's still some good racing for him out there.”

Medina Spirit, who is owned by Zedan Racing Stables, has now earned $2,345,200. 

Baffert 2013