Always Dreaming came into Saturday's 143rd Kentucky Derby as the odds-on favorite this year, and he didn't disappoint with a dominant victory at Churchill Downs.
The Derby was a two-horse race for the majority of the "most exciting two minutes in sports," with Irish War Cry giving Always Dreaming a run for his money. But once the final turn came around the track, there was no doubt who was going to win.
Lookin At Lee (33-1) finished in second, and Battle of Midway (40-1) came in third.
NBC Sports provided video of the race:
NBC Sports @NBCSports
Watch 'Always Dreaming' win the 143rd running of the @KentuckyDerby! #KentuckyDerby #DerbyDay https://t.co/GA3YppZLRY2017-5-6 23:00:59
With the victory, Always Dreaming became the sixth straight horse to win with a perfect record as a 3-year-old, according to ESPN Stats & Info, who also noted the last six jockeys to win the Derby have all been Latino.
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
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Each of the last six years, the #KentuckyDerby has been won by a Latino jockey https://t.co/noGd5gJSFT2017-5-6 22:21:01
It also marked the second Derby victory for jockey John R. Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher.
Here's the full rundown of results from Churchill Downs:
|2017 Kentucky Derby Results|
|1||Always Dreaming||John R. Velazquez||Todd A. Pletcher||-|
|2||Lookin At Lee||Corey Lanerie||Steven M. Asmussen||2 3/4|
|3||Battle of Midway||Flavien Prat||Jerry Hollendorfer||7 3/4|
|4||Classic Empire||Julien R. Leparoux||Mark E. Casse||8 3/4|
|5||Practical Joke||Joel Rosario||Chad C. Brown||9 1/2|
|6||Tapwrit||Jose L. Ortiz||Todd A. Pletcher||10 1/4|
|7||Gunnevera||Javier Castellano||Antonio Sano||13 1/4|
|8||McCraken||Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr.||Ian R. Wilkes||13 1/4|
|9||Gormley||Victor Espinoza||John A. Shirreffs||14 1/4|
|10||Irish War Cry||Rajiv Maragh||H. Graham Motion||16 1/2|
|11||Hence||Florent Geroux||Steven M. Asmussen||18 1/2|
|12||Untrapped||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steven M. Asmussen||19 1/4|
|13||Girvin||Mike E. Smith||Joe Sharp||19 1/4|
|14||Patch||Tyler Gaffalione||Todd A. Pletcher||20 3/4|
|15||J Boys Echo||Robby Albarado||Dale L. Romans||22 3/4|
|16||Sonneteer||J. Keith Desormeaux||Kent J. Desormeaux||26|
|17||Fast And Accurate||Channing Hill||Michael J. Maker||28 1/2|
|18||Irap||Mario Gutierrez||Doug F. O'Neill||40 1/2|
|19||State Of Honor||Jose Lezcano||Mark E. Casse||45 1/2|
|20||Thunder Snow||Christophe Soumillon||Saeed bin Suroor||DNF|
And here's a look at the projected purse for the top-five finishers:
|2017 Kentucky Derby Projected Purse|
|Total Guaranteed Purse||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||4th Place||5th Place|
It wasn't much of a surprise to see Always Dreaming win, but it was a bit shocking to see how comfortable the win was despite all the hype surrounding other competing horses.
However, this year's Derby wasn't as happy of an occasion for the rest of the field. Thunder Snow, who had some promise heading into Saturday, had pulled up once the horses sprinted out of the gate.
He did not finish the race, and there was some concern for his well-being. Fortunately, he seems to be doing fine, per Nicole Russo of Daily Racing Form.
Nicole Russo @DRFRusso
Dark, but here's Thunder Snow headed home sound. Spent race in paddock. #KyDerby https://t.co/8e4y9jGFuQ2017-5-6 23:01:12
Looking forward, all eyes will be on Always Dreaming as he attempts to continue his success at Preakness Stakes, where he will be looking to become the first Triple Crown winner since American Pharaoh back in 2015.