LOUISVILLE — Favorite Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby in front-running style on Saturday, giving trainer Todd Pletcher his second victory in America’s greatest horse race.
Always Dreaming, the Florida Derby winner, 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.
But on a sloppy track that was favoring speed and the rail all day, jockey John Velazquez pushed Always Dreaming to the front after six furlongs and opened up daylight on the field turning for home. He finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of long-shot closer Lookin at Lee, who went off at 33-to-1. Another longshot, Battle of Midway, finished third.
Always Dreaming, who went off at 9-to-2 odds, becomes the fifth straight favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.