Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by jockey John Velazquez, won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby in 2:03.59.
This was Pletcher and Velazquez’s second Kentucky Derby win.
Always Dreaming, facing 9-2 odds to begin the race, got off to a great start in the wide open field of 20, but State of Honor had the edge. Velazquez made his move on the far turn, holding off the field in the final furlong to earn the Garland of Roses.
Lookin at Lee followed in second place with Battle at Midway crossing in third.
An emotional Pletcher said post race that his second win is “even more special” than his first, especially given his past struggles in running the Kentucky Derby. Pletcher won his first in 2010 with Super Saver and in his 17 years now has two wins, two second place finishes and three thirds.
However, after being presented with the trophy, Pletcher said he’s “a lot less tired” of the narrative that’s haunted him in the past.
Velazquez’s first Kentucky Derby win came one year after Pletcher’s, leading Animal Kingdom in 2011. Though Pletcher is Velazquez’s longtime trainer, this is the first Derby win for the two together.
“On to the Preakness” was the mantra for Always Dreaming’s owner Vincent Viola during the trophy presentation, but can Always Dreaming be the next Triple Crown winner?
American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed’s win in 1978 and was just the 12th Triple Crown winner in the sport’s history. Can Always Dreaming be the next? Find out May 20, 2017 when the next leg in the quest for the Triple Crown takes us to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD for the 2017 Preakness Stakes.