Poetic Flare (Kevin Manning 16-1), from Jim Bolger's establishment, has been hailed as the most complete horse ever.
Jim, 79, trains Poetic Flare for his wife Jackie. Kevin Manning, 54, is actually his son-in-law, so it was a total family Classic. Sir Lester Piggott was the last jockey to have won a 2,000 Guineas at such an advanced age, when Rodrigo de Triano blasted home in 1992.
Jim has prepared former great Champions like New Approach, Teofilo, Finsceal Beo, Alexander Goldrun, and Saint Jovite, but his Poetic Flare is absolutely the best ever.
Let us state that from the get-go, Poetic Flare pulled like a trooper running into that famous Dip, when clamping down on pacemaker Naval Crown, Master of the Seas, and Lucky Vega. Commentary was so intense, because these four were really glued together when the post came just in time for a short-head verdict.
Kevin also won on Poetic Flare's sire, Dawn Approach, in the 2,000 Guineas of 2013. Bookies were quick to slash odds way lower for the St. James's Palace Stakes at 7-2. If he recovers nicely, even the Irish Curragh edition is a possibility.
Conditioned by Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit (John Velasquez 12-1), maneuvered sweetly over Mandaloun (Florent Geroux 26-1), Hot Red Charlie (Flavian Pratt 5-1), and Essential Quality (Luis Saez 2-1), to excite a crowd of 51,838 in the $3 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Soup and Sandwich (Tyler Gaffalione 200-1), justified his odds by ending up last in nineteenth. Rock your World (Joel Rosario 7-1), was hampered from the Stalls, so that ended his plans.
Bob Baffert's seventh strike was just as moving as his first. John Velasquez backed-to-back after Authentic obliged last year, bringing his tally to four.
Round two of the Triple Crown will now turn its attention to Pimlico in a fortnight, for the Preakness Stakes. Medina Spirit clocked 2:1:2/10 over the 1.2-mile spectacular.