The 2021 Kentucky Derby kicked off on Saturday, May 1 with a star-studded roster of attendees including Tom Brady, Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers. The annual horse race proved to be a success with a number of A-list celebrities in the stands watching as the 3-year-old colt Du Jour ran away with the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes race. With a 5-1 chance, Du Jour captured the victory under the guidance of jockey Flavien Prat in 1:42.49.
Bred in Kentucky by Woods Edge Farm and co-owned by husband-and-wife duo Jill and Bob Baffert, Du Jour’s winning record now stands at 3-1-1. “The key was getting him to relax down inside,” Du Jour’s jockey Prat says. “I actually sent him quite a bit out of the gate and then it’s always a question of if they can come back to you after that. It felt like they were going a good clip up front and that helped him to relax too. He traveled well and when I asked him to split horses, he did it nicely.”
Du Jour, also owned by Debbie Lanni, wife of bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, has been trained by Hall of Fame trainer Baffert for the last year and with the American Turf victory, earned a $500,000 prize.
“I’m just so happy for Jill. She has to deal with me as a trainer, and all the ups and downs. For that horse to win today, and to listen to her excitement, now she has something that’s hers,” Baffert says of his wife Jill. “I’m just thrilled to train a horse for my wife and our good friend Debbie and to win a big race like this on Derby day, it’s pretty exciting,” Baffert added. “I feel like I won the Derby.”
At the end of the weekend, Baffert did in fact capture his seventh Kentucky Derby victory with horse Medina Spirit, making Baffert the most won trainer in the Derby’s 147-year history.