Mud in your eye: Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby in slop

Mud in your eye: Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby in slop

Favorite Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby in front-running style on Saturday, giving trainer Todd Pletcher his second victory in America's greatest horse race.

It was also a second success for jockey John Velazquez, who always had Always Dreaming in a good position near the pace throughout the mile and a quarter feature from his low draw. Lookin at Lee finished second, 2 3/4 lengths back, and Battle of Midway was third.

A total of 147 horses ran in the 14 races on Saturday, down from 155 horses on the Derby Day card previous year. The 3-year old won the Florida Derby earlier in 2017.

The 141st running of the Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday, May 20, at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.

The only horse that paid more than Always Dreaming in the streak was Orb, who was sent off at 5-1 in 2013. The next year Velazquez visited the winner's circle with Animal Kingdom but was riding for another trainer, Graham Motion.

Always Dreaming's primary ownership is comprised of Brooklyn Boyz Stables and Teresa Viola, whose Brooklyn-born husband Vincent owns the NHL's Florida Panthers. He steered Always Dreaming into an ideal trip behind pacesetter State of Honor, with mud flying in all directions on a track that resembled creamy peanut butter.

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In the end a very emotional Pletcher said, "It's even more special then the first one". The haul rises, however during the stretch run of races that all go a mile and an eighth. I said why don't we just name it Dreaming?

Although the sun was out by post time, off-and-on showers throughout the day swamped the track to make for a muddy run, but Always Dreaming put in a fine showing despite the conditions.

The weather is forecast to improve by the time the Derby is run around 6:46 p.m. That, Pletcher said, might create a truer snapshot of potential front-runners instead of inflating the reputations of early-campaign sprinters. Looking at Lee, with 33-1 odds, paid $26.60 and $15.20. The second step I had to ask him to break. "We didn't win because that horse ran well to the wire".

After pelting Churchill with rain, sometimes heavy, throughout the day, Mother Nature finally smiled on our Old Kentucky Home around 5:30 p.m., delighting the fans who had been hiding their Derby finery under ponchos. Given all the high-priced horse flesh in his barn, it was viewed as a bit of a disappointment that his only Kentucky Derby victory came with Super Saver in 2010.

After six furlongs went in a strong 1:11.12 Irish War Cry and Rajiv Maragh were in contention, as was Battle of Midway, in third and fourth positions. "I don't think I'm any better trainer than I was an hour ago, but I felt like another one would solidify it".

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