Always Dreaming comes true to claim Kentucky Derby

Always Dreaming wins the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby

Always Dreaming gave trainer Todd Pletcher a second Kentucky Derby with a smooth victory in the first leg of the Triple Crown at Churchill Downs.

It was also a second success for jockey John Velazquez, who always had Always Dreaming in a good position near the pace throughout the mile and a quarter feature from his low draw.

Velazquez pushed Always Dreaming into the lead some way out and the 9-2 shot pulled away from Battle Of Midway and Irish War Cry from the home turn.

Lookin At Lee stayed on to claim second place with Battle Of Midway sticking on for third with Always Dreaming winning by two and three-quarter lengths as he took his unbeaten record in 2017 to four.

Always Dreaming wins the Kentucky Derby! #KyDerby pic.twitter.com/0eW8CVpUge

At The Races (@AtTheRaces) May 6, 2017

"It means a lot. We've had so much success in the past and we haven't won a Derby but the way this horse did it today was very impressive," Velazquez told At The Races.

"Todd and I talked about it a lot. We wanted to make sure we got out well and got a position we'd like to have and be comfortable.

"He got onto the bridle really beautiful down the back straight and I was OK there until the quarter pole when I asked him to run."

Pletcher said : "I think this is even more special than the first one. This is all the more sweet.

"I thought we had a big shot when we turned for home. I was a little worried down the back side, but I could tell Johnny was riding him confidently.

"When he cut the corner you could tell he was finishing."

Godolphin's Thunder Snow lost his chance when bucking after being slowly away. He was never racing. Saeed bin Suroor's charge was quickly pulled up by Christophe Soumillon.

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