Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby

May 14 11:36 2017

Always Dreaming has won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. We wanted to make sure we got out well and got a position we’d like to have and be comfortable.

Thunder Snow had won the Dubai World Cup in March and many had high hopes for its chances in the Derby, but a sloppy course was clearly unfamiliar for a horse trained in the desert and he seemed not to be a big fan of rain or the chains of human servitude.

Sure, Pletcher proved he could train a Derby victor seven years ago. The win gives trainer Todd Pletcher his second Derby win. Going into the turn, I seemingly had a lot of horse. “This one is all the more sweet”. Always Dreaming then followed through in the slop by coming on in the backstretch and taking charge entering the turn for home.

Irish War Cry, the other co-favorite, finished 10th. “I thought I shot early on but not able to quicken him”.

“But I could tell Johnny was riding him confidently”.

His time of 2:03.59 wasn’t fast, unless you factor in the mud, the same thing that knocked heavy favorite Paradise Woods out of the money in the Kentucky Oaks the day before.

Corey Lanerie shrugged off the dreaded rail with Lookin at Lee and stayed a path along the rail throughout to claim the second place check edging Battle of Midway in the final 200 yards. Lookin At Lee returned $26.60 and $15.20, while Battle of Midway paid $20.80. “I’m still very happy”. The Superfecta would have paid out almost $76,000.

This Derby could not hold on to a favorite.

Always Dreaming, who became the favorite nearly as soon as the windows opened on the Derby Thursday, has not lost a race since breaking his maiden in his third outing, which was his first try at two turns.

After picking the winners of three of the last four runnings of the Kentucky Derby and then sending checks to Anna House, Your Favorite Handicapper (YFH) came up empty this year.

Pletcher tied his mentor, D. Wayne Lukas, with his 48th Derby starter (he had three on Saturday). Pletcher’s other Kentucky Derby victor, Super Saver in 2010, finished eighth in the Preakness. “We’ve had so much success in the past and we haven’t won a Derby but the way this horse did it today was very impressive”, Velazquez said. “Looking at what the options are, at Pimlico there usually aren’t a lot of horses training there. Glad it paid off”, said Pletcher.

Thunder Snow was so rank leaving the starting gate that jockey Christophe Soumillon pulled the colt away from the pack and out of the race.

Saturday was his first race at Churchill Downs, but he had worked really well in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. The Derby attendance record of 170,513 was set in 2015 when American Pharoah began his march to the Triple Crown.

Will 2017 see a Triple Crown victor? A headstrong horse with a mind of his own.

NOTES: Bob Baffert was on the sideline for this year’s Run for the Roses. McCracken, 6-1 9. Gormley, 22-1 10. Despite the excellent draining at Churchill Downs, that can cause a wrinkle.

Last June, Patch developed swelling and tearing in his left eye after a workout at Saratoga. When Pletcher received the horse from the Brooklyn Boyz Stables, led by Vincent Viola and Anthony Bonomo, it didn’t take the trainer long to know he had a special talent. The first day, Always Dreaming fought the new equipment.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports	 Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby
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