Mud in your eye: Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby in slop

Kentucky Derby hopeful Classic Empire exercises during morning workouts at Churchill Downs on Wednesday May 3

Anthony Bonomo thinks there must be something wrong with you if you're not smiling.

Always Dreaming did all the rest.

Pletcher and Velazquez are horse racing's leading money winners and frequently teamed up over the years, but had combined for two Derby wins in 63 starts.

Lookin at Lee, a deep closer, advanced along the rail to finish second, beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

Looking at Lee finished second and Battle of Midway was third.

The win is Pletcher's second Derby victory.

The fan favorite, Patch, who lost his left eye, finished 14th.

While Always Dreaming was Pletcher's second victor out of the 48 horses he's run in the Kentucky Derby, the trainer has entered only eight horses in the Preakness, and none won. "The trip unfolded not exactly the way we had planned". We've been together for all these years and this is sweet. Velazquez also won the Florida Derby aboard Orb.

Jockey John Velazquez took Always Dreaming forward early, grabbing the lead going into the first turn before settling behind State of Honor as they entered the backstretch. He was a half-length better than Lookin at Lee with a quarter mile to run. Irish War Cry angled in at the start, compromising the chances of those inside of him: Tapwrit, McCracken and Classic Empire.

Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) wins the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on 5.6.2017. "We have had a great relationship for a long time now, and we have won a lot of races together". The victor covered 1 ¼ miles over a sloppy track in 2:03:59 to win for the fourth time in six career starts.

The $2 exacta (5-1) paid $336.20, the $1 trifecta (5-1-11) returned $8,297.20, the $1 superfecta (5-1-11-14) was worth $75,974.50 and the $1 super high five (5-1-11-14-19) paid $493,348.70.

Finally, the whole narrative swung back to the beginning, with Classic Empire - his mental and physical woes seemingly behind him - starting as the morning-line favorite. Another heavily bet colt, McCraken, was eighth.

"This is the best horse Todd and I have ever come to the Kentucky Derby with", Velazquez said from Louisville. I'm sorry I don't have a clue about my other two horses. If they can get him figured out, he could steal it.

"Todd and I talked about it - just make sure you come out running and get a position you would like to have", Velazquez said of his intentions for his relatively inexperienced mount. "He did it himself from there".

The 141st running of the Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday, May 20, at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland. He did not win as a two-year-old when he was trained by Domenick Schettino before being turned over to Pletcher, for whom he won his first race at Tampa Bay in January.

"I thought our horse gave a nice effort", Battle trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.

The colt was bought as a yearling by Bonomo for $350,000 at the Keeneland September sale and Viola later joined the partnership. He and Viola were childhood friends growing up in Brooklyn.

"They would ask me how old I was", Bonomo said of when he was 15. However, the owner told NBC Sports, it's still not clear what happened to him. But front and center was Bonomo, who heads a medical malpractice insurance firm in NY and is a big-time political donor.

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