Photo courtesy kentuckyderby.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Animal Kingdom won the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Nehro finished second and Mucho Macho Man, whose owners live in Suwanee, was third.
Shackelford led for most of the race but lost the lead down the stretch, but jockey John Velazquez, who got the ride after Robby Albarado was injured earlier this week, rallied Animal Kingdom down the stretch.
Mucho Macho Man is owned by the Reaves family from Suwanee, who have only been in the horse business a few years. The path to the Derby has been one full of long odds and improbable stories.
A couple years ago during the Derby, Mucho Macho Man's trainer Kathy Ritvo was in a hospital waiting for a heart transplant.
USA TODAY: Kathy Ritvo's heartstopping path to the Derby
And it was supposed to be another jockey altogether. A couple months ago Eibar Coa was the man in the saddle, but he was seriously injured while riding another horse the night before Mucho Macho Man's race. Rajiv Maragh filled in and won. Coa was still paid as if he had won by the Reaves family and has made what doctors have called "a miraculous recovery" after suffering a spinal injury.
And the story goes, everyone thought the horse had died at birth. For several minutes, the horse showed no signs of life. Then, suddenly, the foal that would become known as Mucho Macho Man sprang to his feet and galloped away, seemingly skipping the awkward dance with balance that nearly all newborn horses experience when standing for the first time.