"There was a lot of talk about our Derby record, so we were hoping to get another one", said Pletcher, who had three starters on Saturday. Earlier, he rode Paulassilverlining to victory in the Humana Distaff.
CORRECTS ID TO ANTHONY BONOMO NOT VINNY VIOLA Anthony Bonomo celebrates after Always Dreaming won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. If he can win in Baltimore, he'll give his Brooklyn born-and-bred owners the thrill of a lifetime, going for the Triple Crown in front of their home crowd in NY.
Jockey John Velazquez in the winner's circle after winning the the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2017. When the leader faded, Always Dreaming assumed the lead by a head at the 3/4 pole and widened it out from there.
"I came to win a little money, see the fashion and have some fun", said Cole Blackwell, of Wilkes-Barre.
The timing was ideal since Flay was already at Churchill Downs for a cooking segment on NBC's Derby telecast. He steered Always Dreaming into an ideal trip behind pacesetter State of Honor, with mud flying in all directions on a surface that resembled creamy peanut butter.
The other California-based horses besides Battle Of Midway were Gormley (9th), Sonneteer (16th) and Irap (18th). "I mean, you can't help but root for him. They were going to have to go really fast to catch him".
Always Dreaming paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80.
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.
Always Dreaming's triumph also gives Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez his second Derby win. But Asmussen tipped his hat to Pletcher's horse, who would not allow the distance to close. "... And, I said, 'Why don't we just name it Dreaming?"
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It was up for grabs in the final furlong with several horses still having a shot.
Irish War Cry, the impressive Wood Memorial victor, looked positioned for a terrific charge at the top of the stretch, but flattened out and finished 10th. Numerous country's best horses converge at Churchill Downs seeking six-figure payoffs and major prestige.
Pletcher had his hands full in the days leading up to the Derby when the colt's behaviour was less than a dream.
Bonomo, trailing a few feet behind, pointed at Pletcher and said: "Who is that guy?" "For whatever reason, he was ready to run upon arrival".
Going into his 17th Derby, Pletcher saddled the post-time favorite for the first time. "It's special to win one with Todd". "I have a tremendous respect for the race, tremendous respect for how hard it is to win".
The race was run under mostly sunny skies, but the track was labeled sloppy because of rain on Friday and Saturday morning. But another rider, Calvin Borel, was on board. Velazquez won it a year later aboard Animal Kingdom. It was the first time that handle on a single card in North America broke the $200 million mark.
Velazquez used his colt's speed out of the gate to get good position early in a chaotic start that saw several horses, including McCraken and Classic Empire, banged around.
As he had back then, he told Velazquez he would meet him in the winner's circle. I felt like I really needed the second one ...
They are no longer as young as they once were. "So when you can win when everybody is watching, it makes it better".