Always Dreaming wins 143rd Kentucky Derby

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Their record for wins as a jockey-trainer combination substantiate that definition. A headstrong horse with a mind of his own. Together, they harnessed their collective talents to win the Kentucky Derby.

The victor was trainer Todd Pletcher's second in 51 runners and jockey John Velazquez's second in 19 Kentucky Derby rides.

Always Dreaming, the Florida Derby victor who has won all four of his starts this year by a combined 231⁄4 lengths, will likely be joined in the Preakness field by Lookin At Lee, the 33-1 Derby runner-up who never left the rail during a dream trip over a track that seemed deeper the farther out horses raced.

Between them, he and Velazquez were two-for-63 in the fabled race that kicks off the coveted treble completed by the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

The skies have cleared just in time for mud hasn't On Saturday, Churchill Downs ushers in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, to kickoff the first race of the Triple Crown horse racing championship.

"Every day, I stop to think, 'My horse can win the Kentucky Derby, '" Sano said. "With all the success we've had in the past, winning important races, missing this one is definitely a big one". However, Always Dreaming was pushed by a pair of longshots at the end of America's Greatest Race, Lookin At Lee and Battle At Midway, who went off at 33-1 and 40-1 respectively.

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For Pletcher and Velazquez, it was their second taste of Kentucky Derby glory.

Velazquez also rode Animal Kingdom to a win in the 2011 Derby.

Velazquez was able to break well from the gates and used his colts speed to tuck in behind State of Honor's bullet run after several other horses were bumped or boxed in.

"We've won a lot of Kentucky Derbies", Bonomo said. However, Classic Empire emerged with a swollen eye and it is imperative that it responds to treatment quickly in order to make the Preakness.

Always Dreaming hit the front going into the final turn.

Always Dreaming is a fitting name for the victor of one of horse racing's theatre of dreams and it was a dream come true for the winning partnership, some of whom haven known each other since childhood and labelled a "family affair" by Anthony Bonomo. I got a good position with him early and then he relaxed. "He did it himself from there". Eventually, Always Dreaming settled down and won by 2¾ lengths, equaling the longest streak of favorites to win since five in a row did so in the 1890s.

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By winning the Derby, he accomplished something his sire Bodemeister couldn't do.

Thunder Snow carries the hopes of Godolphin Racing, which is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. "He was picked up immediately by the outrider and galloped very, very comfortably back to the paddock where he was examined by Dr. Jennifer Kaak".

Horses coming from off the pace often get dirt kicked in their faces for the first time.

Irish War Cry, who like Always Dreaming was sent off at odds of 9-2, couldn't handle the sloppy going and ended 10th. It was not such a good day for other well-regarded runners.

The 141st running of the Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday, May 20, at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland. He was a half-length better than Lookin at Lee with a quarter mile to run.

He took the lead after halfway, with market rival Irish War Cry in close attendance.

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