After all, he was the trainer of Essential Quality, the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby who had 5-2 odds.
He was such a favorite that a man reportedly bet $2.4 million on Essential Quality.
But it was Media Spirit overcoming 12-1 odds to give trainer Bob Baffert his seventh Kentucky Derby win, with Mandaloun, also trained by Cox, and Hot Rod Charlie rounding out second and third.
Essential Quality finished fourth.
Kentucky Derby 2021:Medina Spirit wins, snagging trainer Bob Baffert his 7th Derby
"He didn’t get the greatest trip as he was wide around both turns," Cox said. "That can happen when you start from the 14 hole, especially when don’t get off to a good start. He was leaning out on the far turn and Luis (Saez) said he was shying away from the other horses. We will just have to regroup. Proud of both horses. They trained well and just wish the order of finish was just a little different.”
There were a lot of reasons to like Essential Quality for the race. After winning the Grade 2 Blue Grass on April 3 at Keeneland, Essential Quality had the most points, with 140, leading up to the Kentucky Derby. He was undefeated in all of his five starts.
In the race, Essential Quality began to move up from the far outside as the thoroughbreds made their way around the far turn. After the final turn, Medina Spirit and Mandolun emerged as the top leaders while Hot Rod Charlie and Essential Quality closed in on them from the outside.
But no one could catch up with Medina Spirit at the end.