Last month’s debut winner MEDINA SPIRIT went straight into graded stakes company for his second start at Santa Anita Park to contest the Sham Stakes (G3). The newly turned 3-year-old was stretching out to a mile after his debut romp by open lengths at Los Alamitos Race Course.
The small, but stacked field of the Sham (G3) featured several “TDN Rising Stars”, including Parnelli – half to Monomoy Girl – plus highly-regarded stablemate Life is Good. Abel Cedillo retained the mount on MEDINA SPIRIT for trainer Bob Baffert.
While Life is Good used his early speed to bound away with the lead, MEDINA SPIRIT tracked a clear second to the odds-on favorite. Around the far turn MEDINA SPIRIT began to roll, slowly cutting into the surmountable lead Life is Good had established as he lugged in the stretch. Relishing the added distance MEDINA SPIRIT ran an excellent race in defeat, he closed to within less then a length of the favorite at the wire, 13 lengths clear of third place finisher Parnelli.
As just the second Kentucky Derby prep in Southern California, MEDINA SPIRIT accumulated four points in the Sham (G3) towards the Classic race, (hopefully) the first Saturday in May. MEDINA SPIRIT also posted a 99 Beyer for the effort.
Bred in Florida by Gail Rice, MEDINA SPIRIT is from the first crop of Protonico (Giant’s Causeway). The first foal out of juvenile winner Mongolian Changa (Brilliant Speed), he is from the immediate family of champion Forest Flower (G1) and multiple Grade 1 winner High Yield. He was purchased for a mere $35,000 at the OBS July 2-year-old Sale.