The three-year-old colt overtook second-place Bodemeister in the stretch and held off a late surge by third-place Dullahan yesterday in the 1 1/4-mile (2 kilometer) race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner, which sold for $11,000 as a yearling, earned $1.46 million.
“Maryland, here we come,” trainer Doug O’Neill said after his first Derby victory with the only horse to ever win from the 19th post position.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez also secured his first Derby victory aboard the colt.
“The first time I met him, I knew he was the one,” Gutierrez said in a televised interview. “He was going to give me 100 percent. He’s so professional for his age.”
Gutierrez held I’ll Take Another in seventh place as the speed horses, including Bodemeister, led in the 20-horse field. The colt moved into fourth place on the final turn and charged ahead of Bodemeister to win by 1 1/2 lengths in two minutes, 1.83 seconds in front of a record crowd of 165,307.
As Dullahan made a surge, trainer O’Neill said he kept thinking, “Where’s the wire?”
The winner paid $32.60, $13.80 and $9 on a $2 bet. Bodemeister returned $6.20 and $5.60 and Dullahan paid $7.20.
“I was just kind of numb through the whole race,” said owner Paul Reddam, a former philosophy professor at the University of Southern California. “I blinked and it was over.”
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