American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza have won the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby yesterday. The 5-2 odd favorite was in contention at the top of the stretch, but as Espinoza gave him the room to “stretch it out” the beautifully muscled creature took over, coming in ahead of the rest of the field, for his fifth win in six starts.
“He’s been a special horse since I first rode him,” Espinoza said, gleaming with pride at his third Derby win.
Bob Baffert, Pharoah’s Hall of Fame trainer earned his fourth Derby win, and also scored a third-place finisher with Dortmund. The four wins ties Baffert with D. Wayne Lukas and Herbert “Derby Dick” Thompson for second on the all-time trainers list.
“We were ready to rumble,” Baffert said
The race unfolded under sunny skies with Dortmund setting the pace and Firing Line tracking in second while American Pharoah sat comfortably in third. Making the turn for home, American Pharoah angled toward the outside of the other pair and vaulted into the lead for a one-length victory.
“Turning for home, I thought I got it. The other horse was right next to me. I couldn’t just blow him away,” Espinoza said.
American Pharoah paid $7.80, $5.80, $4.20.
Firing Line returned $8.40 and $5.40 while Dortmund paid $4.20 to show.