Always Dreaming Wins a Thrilling 143rd Kentucky Derby

It was a very muddy Run for the Roses.

Always Dreaming at the Florida Derby
Getty Images

OddsShark had Florida Derby champ Always Dreaming as the betting favorite to win the 143rd Kentucky Derby, but admitted the wagers were “tepid.” Other favorites were Classic Empire—tied with Always Dreaming at post time—Irish War Cry, and McCraken. A very muddy track at Churchill Downs perhaps skewed the chances for all the horses and their jockeys. 

In the end, Always Dreaming, ridden by jockey John Velasquez, was victorious in a thrilling finish.  

The outside favorite—maybe sentimental is more accurate—was Patch, a one-eyed colt with his own Twitter account.

The Derby kicked off with a rousing launch from Jeff Bridges. It’s always been a celebrity-heavy event, but it’s hard to think of a better choice for this particular race. 

Thundersnow foundered at the race start and other favorites didn’t make it to the head of the pack at all, but Always Dreaming led from the beginning and for the majority of the race. 

It turned into a three-way battle at the end, but it wasn’t nose-to-nose. Always Dreaming won handily, proving the less-than-enthusiastic bettors cheering for Classic Empire, Irish War Cry, and McCraken were wrong. 

Horse race fans took to Twitter to celebrate the win.

Will 2017 see a Triple Crown winner? Always Dreaming has one leg down, and the Preakness and the Belmont to go before we’ll know.