Always Dreaming wins 143rd Kentucky Derby

"We're just here having some fun, watching some horses, and winning some money actually", Caleb Farrabi said.

John Velazquez celebrates after riding Always Dreaming to victory in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Louisville, Ky.

Starting in the 15th gate, McCraken broke to the middle of the pack and worked to ninth in good position on the outside for the homestretch.

In the end, it wasn't even close: favorite Always Dreaming bolted to victory Saturday at the 143rd Kentucky Derby, leaving the competition several lengths behind.

The red carpet at the Kentucky Derby annually attracts a barrage of reality TV stars, athletes, media figures and other celebrities. "And I thought why not name the horse Always Dreaming", she said.

Earlier in the day, Limousine Liberal survived a sudden downpour and a stretch scramble to win the $500,000 Churchill Downs Sprint.

Always Dreaming won the Florida Derby as well.

He changed exercise riders and he installed "draw reins" on the horse that made him more manageable and thus trainable.

Always Dreaming completed the mile and a quarter in 2:03.59, and returned $11.40 on a $2 bet to win. Also on the undercard are the Grade II Churchill Downs Stakes, American Turf and Churchill Distaff Turf Mile and the Grade III Pat Day Mile.

I would have been ecstatic if he had won. "I mean, you can't help but root for him". The second step I had to ask him to break.

Battle of Midway finished third with 40-1 odds. He got his first win on January 25, the latest first victory for a Derby victor since 1933.

He should do nothing but improve.

Classic Empire, the Breeders' Cup juvenile victor and Eclipse Juvenile champion, qualified second with 132 points (and over $2 million in non-restricted stakes earnings) and was the morning line favorite. No other horses threatened him down the stretch and Velazquez furiously pumped his right arm as they crossed the finish line.

Bonomo said he spent Saturday night and Sunday morning responding to congratulatory texts. "I'm a little anxious, so I went ahead and bet on both of them", Blair said. I shot Triple-D down here, it's the best place in the world.

UAE Derby victor Thunder Snow bucked out of the starting gate and was immediately pulled up in the opening moments.

That left many bettors looking for the horses with a history of running well on sloppy tracks - with Thunder Snow, Hence, Classic Empire, Tapwrit, Battle of Midway, and Gormley all coming in with a strong record, the Los Angeles Times noted.

Girvin, the horse bred by Village of Gilchrist resident Bob Austin, finished 13th.

"He felt OK but he was struggling with the racetrack early on", Smith said. "A lot of times it doesn't", Pletcher said of the strategy devised with Bonomo and Viola. "I feel so happy for the horse and his connections".

"He got onto the bridle really attractive down the back straight and I was OK there until the quarter pole when I asked him to run".


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