The $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Yum! Brands is the world's most famous horse race, featuring the best 3-year-olds in North America contesting the 1 1/4 mile trip under the shadow of the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs before a record crowd of 164,858. Rains early in the card ended and the track was dry for the main event, with temperatures in the 60's.
Jockey Jesus Castanon angled Shackleford in from post 14 to set the pace, and he got easy fractions of 23.24, 48.63, and 1:13.40 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of Comma to the Top who pressed him in second, in turn 1/2 a length in front of Decisive Moment third. Favorite Dialed In settled near the back of the field early under jockey Julien Leparoux some 18 lengths off the pace. On the far turn, Shackleford continued to lead, getting the mile in 1:37.49, as Nehro, 6th early, moved up to challenge him. Shackleford led to the 1/8 pole but slowed down, allowing Nehro to briefly taste the lead. However, 21-1 Animal Kingdom, who was 12th early, came out 6 wide into the lane under new jockey John Velazquez, and closed on the leaders easily passing them at the 1/16 pole. He drew off late to win by 2 3/4 lengths in 2:02.04 over the fast track. Mucho Macho Man put in a rally from 8th but Nehro held him off by a neck to save second place money. Dialed In attempted to rally but was left with too much ground to make up and checked in 8th beaten 7 1/2 lengths.