(Reuters) – Always Dreaming won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on a sloppy track on Saturday.
Lookin at Lee finished second in the first leg of U.S. thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds, with Battle of Midway third.
Always Dreaming, who went off as co-favorite with Irish War Cry at 9-2, broke smoothly out of the gate under jockey John Velazquez and was always in touch with the lead group before charging ahead before the far turn.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Florida Derby winner was never threatened on his way to a comfortable victory in 2:03.59.
Long shots Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway were next across the line in slow conditions caused by rains Friday and Saturday.
Always Dreaming paid $11.40, $7.20, $5.80 for a $2 bet. Lookin at Lee, a 33-1 shot, returned $26.60, $15.20, while 40-1 choice Battle of Midway paid $20.80.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both)