'No Ill Feelings': Medina Spirit Owner Amr Zedan Returns To Kentucky Derby With Lightly-Raced Taiba - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘No Ill Feelings’: Medina Spirit Owner Amr Zedan Returns To Kentucky Derby With Lightly-Raced Taiba

Gary Young (center) on the Kentucky Derby winner’s stand with his girlfriend Jennifer Knight, trainer Bob Baffert, owner Amr Zedan and Zedan Racing president Troy Mulligan

One year after his colt Medina Spirit crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby, owner Amr Zedan will return to the first Saturday in May with another promising 3-year-old in Taiba, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Despite the saga of the intervening months – from the announcement of a positive test for betamethasone, Medina Spirit's sudden death after a workout, and the recent disqualification and 90-day ban of trainer Bob Baffert – Zedan tells the Thoroughbred Daily News he isn't feeling resentful ahead of the first Saturday in May.

“I go into the Kentucky Derby with absolutely no ill feelings toward anyone,” Zedan told TDN. “I carry no grudges. I just keep walking, keep going. The due process is in process and I firmly believe that when it comes to our case we will have a satisfactory ending to to the saga. Absolutely, there will be no sense of redemption or wanting to get even with anybody.”

Taiba, the lightly-raced son of Gun Runner, was a $1.7 million purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Saddled by Baffert for his debut on March 5, the colt dominated a six-furlong maiden special weight race by 7 1/2 lengths.

When Baffert's suspension began on April 4, Taiba was among those transferred to the care of trainer Tim Yakteen, a former Baffert assistant. Yakteen and bloodstock agent Gary Young recommended that Taiba not be entered in the Santa Anita Derby, but Zedan had faith.

“Amr was just over the moon,” Yakteen told Santa Anita publicity after Taiba's win in the 100-point Derby prep. “All the credit obviously has to go to him (for running the horse), because in my professional opinion, I advised him to take a different route in Taiba's next start.

“But Amr made an educated decision, based on the information that was given him, and it resulted in a big pay day ($450,000 to the winner). All the credit goes to him on this.”

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