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 165,307, eclipsing the record set one year ago. In contrast to Oaks day and overnight, the races were run under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 80's, ideal racing weather for the Run for the Roses.
As expected, a full field of 20 went to post, with Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Bodemeister sent off as the 4-1 favorite. In to challenge him included 5-1 second choice Union Rags, off his third place effort in the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park after winning the Fountain of Youth (G2), and 8-1 third choice Gemologist , undefeated in 5 lifetime starts including the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct. The rest of the field was at double-digits, including last year's Juvenile champion Hansen , all but dismissed at 13-1.
Jockey Mike Smith sent Bodemeister to the front first time past the Spires and he set very fast fractions of 22.32, 45.39, and 1:09.80 over the fast track, while pressed by Trinniberg to his outside. Union Rags trailed the field in 17th, encountering traffic trouble the whole way. Entering the stretch for the final time, Bodemeister had opened up a 3 length lead as Trinniberg and Daddy Long Legs tired and faded from contention, getting the mile in 1:35.19. Bodemeister held his 3 length advantage to the 1/8 pole, but 15-1 I'll Have Another, who settled in 6th on the outside away from traffic, was moved to the far outside for room by jockey Mario Gutierrez and was quickly gaining on the favorite. Inside the 1/16 pole. Bodemeister tired enough for I'll Have Another to run by him to win the Derby by 1 1/2 lengths in 2:01.83. Dullahan rallied strongly from 11th but just missed second money by a neck, and it was another 3/4 length to 30-1 Went the Day Well to complete the superfecta.