LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Pre-race favorite Justify justified the hype, running off with the roses in what is officially the wettest Kentucky Derby in the 144-year history of the race.
In the process, the highly touted 3-year-old colt ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Bob Baffert ended a 136-year run since a horse won the Derby without having raced at age 2. With the so-called “Curse of Apollo” reversed, Justify’s connections can now turn their sights toward a Triple Crown bid. The Preakness will be contested May 19, with the Belmont on tap for June 9.
Justify’s win also extends the streak of favorites winning the Derby to six straight years, longest in the history of the race.
Undefeated in four career starts, Justify has wasted little time rocketing to the forefront of thoroughbred racing. His first career race was in mid-February, and the California-based horse has defeated all comers since.
A rain-soaked crowd of 157,813 watched Good Magic finish second to Justify Saturday, with Audible third.