Justify breaks 'curse of Apollo' to claim Kentucky Derby

Houghton Hyatt celebrates the Kentucky Derby with family

Houghton Hyatt celebrates the Kentucky Derby with family

Entering the final turn, Justify took the lead and kept on going to the finish.

"He is really talented and fast, and he has a mind to go with it - he was just loving (the conditions and the crowd)".

"Him and American Pharoah and Arrogate, these horses are cut from a different - they are just so great", Baffert said.

Good Magic - last year's 2-year-old champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile victor - was the only horse to have a serious shot at Justify turning for home.

"That last 100 yards, I was just in awe of that performance", Baffert said. Derby runner-up Good Magic, last year's 2-year-old champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile victor, appears unlikely to run in the Preakness. This "friend" showed up a few days later with a Derby futures ticket on Justify to win at 300/1 ($500 to win $150,000).

Good Magic, who ran a good but futile second, is on the fence for the Preakness.

"The win today is equivalent to a gold medal in the Olympics", said Teo Ah Khing, the Harvard-educated architect who runs the China Horse Club.

Justify began racing in February and won his first race, at Santa Anita, by 9 1/2 lengths. "My vocabulary can't describe how special this horse is".

However, the big money in horse racing is in the so-called "exotic" bets.

Chad Brown, trainer of Good Magic, said he was proud of his horse but was unlikely to take another shot at Justify when the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, is held two weeks from now. The same can be said for Bolt d'Oro and Mendelssohn, according to the Baltimore Sun's Childs Walker, who added that we'll next see fifth-place finisher My Boy Jack and seventh-place Hofburg at the Belmont Stakes in June.

Despite the soggy conditions, the total attendance of 157,813 for the 14-race card marked the eighth-largest crowd in the race's history. Prior to the race, that the bureau tweeted that rain levels in Louisville stood in 2.83 inches.

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