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

The sun rises at Churchill Downs before the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race Saturday

Lookin at Lee finished second, according to unofficial results, in the first leg of USA thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds, with Battle of Midway third. Irish War Cry remained at 5-1. throughout the day, then went to 9-2 odds right before the race.

The Derby that was supposed to be wide-open turned out to be a tour de force for the chestnut colt, jockey John Velasquez and trainer Todd Pletcher. Always Dreaming has now won three consecutive races this year after finishing second and third in his first two races.

"I just always daydream", she said.

"There were a few anxious moments early in the week", Pletcher said.

Always Dreaming has won the 143rd Kentucky Derby, pulling away from Lookin at Lee in the slop. With a 143rd victor crowned, here are the complete results from the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Everybody dreams of something, whether it's a big event or special day, the birth of their child, winning the Kentucky Derby. He steered Always Dreaming into an ideal trip behind pacesetter State of Honor, with mud flying in all directions on a track that resembled creamy peanut butter. On their own, they were a combined 2 for 63 coming into America's greatest race.

Always Dreaming, the Florida Derby victor, contested a hot pace set by State of Honor through a blazing first quarter in 22.70 seconds and a half mile in 46.53.

Every year on the first Saturday in May, racing enthusiasts take over Lousville, Kentucky as the finest horses in all the land are brought out to compete in the Kentucky Derby, and this year was no exception.

The Wood Memorial victor Irish War Cry drew the dreaded No. 17 hole, from which no horse has ever won.

Pletcher's penchant for saturating the Derby field with entrants - 45 in all - had yielded only a 2010 victory with Super Saver. "It is always an open race for everybody", Montelongo said. "And, as soon as I got it in the back stretch, he was going really comfortable".

This Derby could not hold on to a favorite.

The presumed favorite, reigning juvenile champion, Classic Empire, slipped to 7-1 in the betting odds over worries about how the quirky colt would handle the Derby's circus atmosphere. Battle of Midway finished third as a 40-1 chance, creating a $4,659.21 triactor payoff on a minimum 60-cent bet.

"We needed one together", Pletcher said. "Obviously we had so much success in the past and we haven't won the Derby. The first was extra special and I have a tremendous respect for how hard it is to win, but we needed another one as a team to put it together". His position in the starting gate aside, Irish War Cry was impressive earlier this season with wins in the Holy Bull and Wood Memorial races.

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