Always Dreaming wins 143rd Kentucky Derby

The sun rises at Churchill Downs before the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race Saturday

The sun rises at Churchill Downs before the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race Saturday

He was bred in Kentucky and is owned by a syndicate. Always Dreaming has now won three consecutive races this year after finishing second and third in his first two races.

Always Dreaming, ridden by John Velazquez, broke on top but surrendered the lead to State of Honor going into the first turn. The offspring of Baffert's Bodemeister delivered, sweeping to a 2 ¾ length victory in 2:03.59.

Churchill Downs officials say attendance for the Kentucky Derby was 158,070. "Nothing against all the others, but this was the best horse. He did it himself from there".

By Saturday, he hit the gate in post No. 5 as the first choice among bettors, poised to become the fifth straight favorite to win a race that used to scorn favorites.

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"We've run a lot of horses in it, and some of them may not have run so well", said Pletcher. "I was a little anxious down the backside".

Then Irish War Cry staggered to an inexplicable seventh-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Lookin at Lee finished second, 2 3/4 lengths back, and Battle of Midway was third. The exacta paid $336.20. She paid $7.60 to win. But they had nothing down the stretch on the sloppy track.

Always Dreaming co-owner Anthony Bonomo was sitting on the dais answering questions when he looked down at his phone. He was never racing.

Bonomo and Viola were just kids from Brooklyn who liked to sneak into Aqueduct racetrack with $6 in their pocket, begging an adult to place a bet for them. Entering the homestretch, Always Dreaming found his stride and it was clear he wasn't going to be caught on the muddy Churchill Downs surface. Always Dreaming won by. You can pick a long shot, you can pick the favorite. Trainer Todd Pletcher has now won the race twice in his career with his last win coming in 2010 with Super Saver.

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The win did not come without moments of anxiety, however.

It was the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Always Dreaming, who was second at the quarter-mile mark, w. That, Pletcher said, might create a truer snapshot of potential front-runners instead of inflating the reputations of early-campaign sprinters.

"We felt like he sitting on 'go, ' nearly to the point where our main focus was trying to deliver at 6:45 on Saturday and not 6:45 on Thursday morning".

This makes Always Dreaming the 143rd victor of the single biggest event in racing, and gives him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to seize racing's greatest prize, the Triple Crown, by winning the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes in the weeks to come.

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Your reward for this gruelling battle? an even more powerful Master Sword, apparently, which throbs with energy at all times. This is a horde-like mode where we'll start without any gear, and have to fight our way through 45 waves of enemies.

As it stands now, barring injury or any other unforeseen circumstance, Always Dreamingwill be participating in the Preakness on May 20, followed by the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, on June 10.

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