Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby on sloppy track at Churchill Downs

Always Dreaming wins 143 rd running of the Kentucky Derby on sloppy way at Churchill Downs

Always Dreaming splashed through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby by 2 3/4 lengths on Saturday, devoting trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez their second victories in the race but their first together.

Pletcher and Velazquez have teamed up often over the years and are the sports resulting fund wins. On their own, they were a combined 2 for 63 coming into Americas greatest race.

Together, they were unbeatable on a cool and rainy at Churchill Downs.

Sent off at 9-2 odds, Always Dreaming stimulated it the fifth straight year that a Derby favorite has won, the longest such stretching since the 1970 s.

Always Dreaming was followed across the finishing line by a pair of longshots: 33 -1 Lookin At Lee and 40 -1 Battle of Midway.

Always Dreaming ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.59 and paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80.

Lookin At Lee returned $26.60 and $18.20, while Battle of Midway was another five lengths back in third and paid $20.80 to show.

Pletcher won his first Derby in 2010 with Super Saver; Velazquez won the following year with Animal Kingdom.

Going into his 17 th Derby, Pletcher saddled the post-time favorite for the first time. Much had been made of his 1 for 45 Derby record. Altogether, hes had 48 athletes, tying mentor D. Wayne Lukas for the most in Derby history.

Its becoming a little more respectable now, Pletcher said.

Always Dreaming win in 2:03.59 and paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80. Photograph: David J. Phillip/ AP

Velazquez utilized his colts speed out of the gate to get good posture early in a chaotic start that insured several horses, including Classic Empire, get sandwiched. He steered Always Dreaming into an ideal trip-up behind pacesetter State of Honor, with mud flying in all directions on a track that resembled creamy peanut butter.

On the final turning, Always Dreaming took command as State of Honor faded. Despite chasing a quick early pace, Always Dreaming was still full of operate. No other horses threatened him down the stretch and Velazquez furiously pumped his right arm as they crossed the finish line.

Always Dreaming earned his fourth straight victory, proving that his five-length win in the Florida Derby was no fluke.

By winning the Derby, he accomplished something his sire Bodemeister couldnt do. Bodemeister finished second in the 2012 race.

Classic Empire finished fourth, followed by Practical Joke, Tapwrit, Gunnevera, McCraken, Gormley and Irish War Cry. Hence was 11 th, followed by Untrapped, Girvin, one-eyed Patch, J Boys Echo, Sonneteer, Fast And Accurate, Irap, and State of Honor.

Pletcher also develops Tapwrit and Patch.

Thunder Snow, the Dubai-based entry, didnt finish. He transgressed poorly out of the starting gate and began bucking. He was caught by the outrider and he strolled back to the barn on his own.

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