Favorite American Pharoah, ridden by Victor Espinoza, on Saturday won the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
American Pharoah won the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown by one length, outracing Firing Line to the finish line at the Louisville track.
“This is one special horse,” owner Ahmed Zayat said. “I was very reluctant to hype him, but the horse does the talking.”
It was the fourth Derby victory for silver-haired trainer Bob Baffert, who said winning never gets old.
“This American Pharoah, he’s just something. (He) keeps bringing it. He makes a trainer really look good,” Baffert said. “Thank God for great horses.”
Dortmund, another horse trained by Baffert, was third after leading much of the race. He finished just three lengths behind American Pharoah, his stablemate.
Espinoza rode War Emblem to a Derby victory in 2002 and California Chrome in 2014.
“He’s just an amazing horse. Today, I finally let him run (hard),” the jockey said.
Baffert also trained Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem.
The official time of the race was 2:03.02.