Always Dreaming wins muddy Kentucky Derby

In the end of the two-minutes, Always Dreaming, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, was able to pull ahead of Lookin at Lucky in the slop, to win the 143rd Kentucky Derby.

Always Dreaming has now won three consecutive races this year after finishing second and third in his first two contests, according to CBS Sports. On their own, they were a combined 2 for 63 coming into America's greatest race.

Watched by 158,070 at Churchill Downs, the UAE Derby victor emerged slowly from Gate 2 under Christophe Soumillon only to run about 50 metres before he transformed in to a bucking bronco.

Lookin at Lee, a 33-1 longshot, was second, 2 3/4 lengths back, in the first leg of US thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series for three-year-olds. Velazquez steered Always Dreaming to second around the first turn, then took the lead on the backstretch, and from there cruised to victory.

Always Dreaming ran 1 ¼ miles in 2:03.59 and paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80.

By winning the Kentucky Derby, he went one better than his sire Bodemeister in 2012.

Girvin, the victor of Fair Grounds' Risen Star and Louisiana Derby, the top qualifier (who had his training interrupted by a right-front quarter crack) finished 13th. "We wanted to get in a position we like to have, in a comfortable position".

Katie Couric had the best seat at the racetrack today at Churchill Downs at the Kentucky Derby - right next to the owners of the winning horse, Always Dreaming.

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

"Growing up as kids, we've won a lot Kentucky Derbies but never in reality", Bonomo said.

While the best hat victor may not have been taking part in the gambling, others were more than excited to bet on horses and explain their bets.

As of Monday, the betting favorites were Classic Empire and Always Dreaming.

Always Dreaming is owned by a partnership of Brooklyn Boys Stable, St. Elias Stable, and West Point Thoroughbreds (including former track announcer Tom Durkin).

Battle of Midway, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and riden by Flavien Prat, held on for third at 40-1.

You can check out pics from the epic race and award ceremony in the gallery above to get a look at all the horses, jockeys, and the final awards ceremony!

Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher have been racing's greatest team for years. Always Dreaming won handily, proving the less-than-enthusiastic bettors cheering for Classic Empire, Irish War Cry, and McCraken were wrong. "The second I had to ask him to straighten up and once I got under the wire for the first time, I was happy where I was".

Not Classic Empire. He was the morning line favorite, but he had to rally from 12th to finish fourth.

"Down the lane I thought they would really have to run hard to get us because he was really running", said Velazquez.

That hurdle cleared, Pletcher mapped out a cautious plan that had Always Dreaming skip the Fountain of Youth, a traditional prep for the Florida Derby, in favor of an allowance race on the same day at Gulfstream Park.

Godolphin runner Thunder Snow was obviously affected by the Derby hoopla as he broke very slowly and had no interest in competing thereafter.

  • Larry Hoffman