The dark bay colt was hard to train in the days leading to the Derby, forcing Pletcher to adjust his equipment.
Lookin At Lee was almost three lengths back for second as Always Dreaming pulled away on the muddy Churchill Downs track while Battle of Midway was third. If you bet Lookin at Lee or Battle of Midway, you get up to $10!
Always Dreaming will take up residence in stall No. 40, which traditionally houses the Derby victor in the Pimlico stakes barn. Looking at Lee, with 33-1 odds, paid $26.60 and $15.20. Battle of Midway, 40-1 4.
A succession of Brooklyn accents spoke loudly in the joyous aftermath of Always Dreaming's 2 3/4-length victory as the favorite at Churchill Downs. But this marks the fifth straight year that the favorite at post-time ended up living up the billing with a win. Fan favorite Patch finished 14th.
Next up was Bob Baffert-trained Mastery, who won the San Felipe Stakes in brilliant fashion, then fractured his leg before he could even make it off the track.
Irap (41-1) notched the first victory of his career with a 31-1 upset in the Bluegrass Stakes.
Rain fell in Louisville for most of Thursday and Friday, but the rain stopped early in the card on Saturday before returning briefly as a strong shower later in the afternoon. Velazquez won the Run for the Roses in 2011 aboard Animal Kingdom but had mostly been a non-factor since. Thunder Snow went off at 16-1 and pulled up; it's unclear if the horse suffered an injury at this point. When he won the Florida Derby on April 1 by a commanding five lengths, the question wasn't talent but whether he would have the experience to handle the 20-horse field and the fast pace.
Looks aren't always everything, but being a handsome boy never hurt anybody - except for maybe Thunder Snow (too soon?) who had trouble performing right out the gate and couldn't finish the race.
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