LOUISVILLE -- There was no trouble keeping Always Dreaming on the track for the one time that it counted, the Kentucky Derby.
Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby with a time of 2:03.59. Jockey John Velazquez guided the Thoroughbred through the 1.25-mile dirt track at at Churchhill Downs. The colt had struggled during the week staying on the track, running away during practices.
He ran in second for most of the race on Saturday, but he was able to take the lead on the final turn and pull away in front of State of Honor, claiming the victory and garland of roses. Anthony Bonomo is the owner of Always Dreaming, and Todd Pletcher is the trainer.
Always Dreaming wins the 143rd Kentucky Derby!! pic.twitter.com/6L14DBKK15— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 6, 2017
Always Dreaming paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80. Looking at Lee paid $26.60 and $15.20, with Battle of Midway returning $20.80.
State of Honor slipped all the way to the back, and Lookin at Lee finished in second two and three-four lengths behind the winner.
The rains cleared away in time for the main event, but the track was as sloppy as ever, splashing up in the jockeys' faces. It was the first time Always Dreaming had raced on a sloppy track. He was the favorite going into the race with 9-2 odds, starting in the 5th position.
The Derby is his second major victory of the year. The 3-year old won the Florida Derby earlier in 2017.
Jockey Victory Espinoza, racing Gormley, wasn't able to grab his fourth Derby victory this go-round. He would have been the fourth jockey to do so. He finished in ninth.
Rajiv Maragh, who suffered a major injury at Belmont Park in 2015 in which he said he felt he was close to death, made a comeback just by making it to the Derby with Irish War Cry. He finished in 10th.
The fan favorite, Patch, who lost his left eye, finished 14th.
Thunder Snow did not finish the race. He was bucking out of the gate.
11Alive Tegna Partner Courier Journal contributed to this story.
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