Mud in your eye: Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby in slop

Classic Empire Martin Rivera

John Velazquez celebrates after riding Always Dreaming to victory in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Louisville, Ky.

The 9-2 favourite, Always Dreaming was followed across the finish line by a pair of long shots - Lookin At Lee (33-1) and Battle of Midway (40-1).

Pletcher won his first Derby in 2010 with Super Saver while Velazquez won the following year with Animal Kingdom.

With the last four Derby races going to the favorite, the odds could weigh against yet another garland of roses draped around the favorite for a streak of five in a row not seen in over 120 years.

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 dark brown colt then fulfilled a dream come true for a multitude of people by winning the marquee race going away on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Always Dreaming earned his fourth straight victory, proving that his five-length win in the Florida Derby was no fluke. The victor covered 1 ¼ miles over a sloppy track in 2:03:59 to win for the fourth time in six career starts.

The colt is expected to arrive at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Tuesday morning, hoping to avoid some early struggles adjusting to Churchill Downs when he arrived in Kentucky.

Trainer Todd Pletcher and the ownership group consistently put Always Dreaming first, and they were richly rewarded.

As for California horses, there will likely be only one in the Preakness, Royal Mo, who was the 21 {+s} t horse in a 20-horse field at the Derby.

Bonomo, trailing a few feet behind, pointed at Pletcher and said: "Who is that guy?" "There's been a lot of talk about our Derby record". It was another head back to the Irish War Cry, who appeared to be making a determined run and gaining on the outside.

Morning-line favorite Classic Empire (7-1) won the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in his previous start - his fifth victory. I think this was our 17th Derby - to have two wins, two seconds and I think three thirds, it looked a little better.

Always Dreaming will now head to the Preakness Stakes in two weeks" time, where success would set up a Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes in NY, hometown of a number of his syndicate owners, one branch of whom call themselves "Brooklyn Boyz Stables'.

"It's even more sweet this time".

"We've won a lot of Kentucky Derbies", Bonomo said.

When an artificial intelligence-powered "swarm" correctly predicted the order of the top four finishers in last year's Kentucky Derby, the surprising story got picked up around the world. A great horse that was considered one of the favorites dominating in such a manner was impressive, but not wholly exciting.

The Dubai horse Thunder Snow buck-jumped down the stretch the first time around, but seemed none the worst for the wear.

Following the top three in order were Classic Empire, Practical Joke, Tapwrit, Gunnevera, McCraken, Gormley, Irish War Cry, Hence, Untrapped, Girvin, Patch, J Boys Echo, Sonneteer, Fast and Accurate, Irap and State of Honor. "I was so intense following Always Dreaming up front that I never did get a chance to pick them up".

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