Betting favorite Always Dreaming turned in a dominant performance to win the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
Always Dreaming's victory marked the second career win in the Run For the Roses for both jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher.
A pair of long shots also fared well, as Lookin At Lee finished second, while Battle of Midway came in third.
Here is a rundown of the payouts for the top three finishers:
|2017 Kentucky Derby Payouts|
|1||Lookin At Lee||33-1||-||$26.60||$16.20|
|11||Battle of Midway||40-1||-||-||$20.80|
In addition to the win, place and show horses, the following is a look at how the entire field fared in Saturday's race:
|2017 Kentucky Derby Results|
|1||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||-|
|2||Lookin At Lee||Corey Lanerie||Steve Asmussen||2 3/4|
|3||Battle of Midway||Flavien Prat||Jerry Hollendorfer||7 3/4|
|4||Classic Empire||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse||8 3/4|
|5||Practical Joke||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown||9 1/2|
|6||Tapwrit||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher||10 1/4|
|7||Gunnevera||Javier Castellano||Antonio Sano||13 1/4|
|8||McCraken||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Ian Wilkes||13 1/4|
|9||Gormley||Victor Espinoza||John Shirreffs||14 1/4|
|10||Irish War Cry||Rajiv Maragh||Graham Motion||16 1/2|
|11||Hence||Florent Geroux||Steven Asmussen||18 1/2|
|12||Untrapped||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steven Asmussen||19 1/4|
|13||Girvin||Mike Smith||Joe Sharp||19 1/4|
|14||Patch||Tyler Gaffalione||Todd Pletcher||20 3/4|
|15||J Boys Echo||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||22 3/4|
|16||Sonneteer||Keith Desormeaux||Kent Desormeaux||26|
|17||Fast And Accurate||Channing Hill||Michael Maker||28 1/2|
|18||Irap||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill||40 1/2|
|19||State of Honor||Jose Lezcano||Mark Casse||45 1/2|
|20||Thunder Snow||Christophe Soumillon||Saeed bin Suroor||DNF|
Velazquez took Always Dreaming near the front on the inside from the start and kept him just off the pace behind State of Honor before taking control.
As seen in this video of the race courtesy of NBC Sports, Always Dreaming pulled away down the stretch with only Lookin At Lee posing any type of threat:
NBC Sports @NBCSports
Watch 'Always Dreaming' win the 143rd running of the @KentuckyDerby! #KentuckyDerby #DerbyDay https://t.co/GA3YppZLRY2017-5-6 23:00:59
Although every indication was that the race was wide-open, perhaps that shouldn't have been the case.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Always Dreaming continued a recent trend of Derby winners being undefeated as three-year-olds:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Always Dreaming wins #KentuckyDerby, becomes sixth straight horse to win with a perfect record as a 3-year-old. Was winless as 2-year-old.2017-5-6 22:58:02
Always Dreaming only had four starts to his credit going in, with two of them being victories.
That created some level of skepticism, but as pointed out by Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form, Pletcher did well to put his colt in position to win:
Jay Privman @DRFPrivman
Major props to Todd Pletcher for recognizing what Always Dreaming needed so close to Derby, and new exercise rider Nick Bush for his work2017-5-6 23:02:22
Always Dreaming is owned by Brooklyn Boyz Stables, which includes Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola.
While it took a large investment to secure a horse derived from 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes runner-up Bodemeister, Viola and Co. scored a major coup Saturday, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell:
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
Derby winner Always Dreaming collects $1.24 million. Horse was bought for $350,000 in Sept. 2015.2017-5-6 22:55:09
Always Dreaming's strong run suggests he has a legitimate chance to become the second Triple Crown winner in three years after American Pharoah accomplished the feat in 2015.
The Preakness Stakes could be a challenge, though, since neither Velazquez nor Pletcher have ever won the second jewel of the Triple Crown despite their impressive resumes.
Both Velazquez and Pletcher do have multiple Belmont Stakes wins, and they boast a horse that has proved capable of winning, regardless of the conditions.