Always Dreaming wins the 143rd Kentucky Derby

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby on Saturday, raced over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.

The winning time for the 1 1/4 miles in the Run for the Roses was 2:03.59

Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Derby for the second time. John Velazquez was the jockey, and it was also his second Derby victory.

“It was pretty easy. He relaxed,” Velazquez said post-race. “He responded right away.”


Pletcher’s first victory in the Run for the Roses came in 2010 with Super Saver. The following year, Velazquez won his first Derby on Animal Kingdom.

“I think it’s even more special than the first one,” Pletcher said of his Derby victory. “I thought we had a good shot turning for home.”

Much had been made coming into the race of Pletcher’s record prior to this Run for the Roses. He had just one Derby winner in 45 previous starters.

“In 17 years, we have two wins, two seconds and three thirds,” Pletcher said.

Many of them, however, were long shots. Always Dreaming was anything but — the 9-2 favorite in the field of 20.

Always Dreaming returned $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80 for a $2 bet.

Lookin At Lee finished second at 33-1, 2 3/4 lengths back of the winner.

Battle of Midway was third at 40-1, another five lengths back.

Classic Empire finished fourth.

Patch — the horse with one eye, and a crowd favorite — came in 14th.

Always Dreaming, who won the Florida Derby in his previous start, is somewhat of a rarity as he did not win as a 2-year-old and went on to take the Run for the Roses.

One of the part-owners of Always Dreaming is Tom Durkin, who called many Triple Crown races as one of the premier announcers in the sport for decades.

Attendance on Derby Day was 158,070.

Next up in the Triple Crown is the Preakness on May 20 at Pimlico in Maryland. That will be followed by the Belmont on June 10.







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