American Pharoah wins 141st Kentucky Derby in front of record crowd
"I feel like the luckiest Mexican on Earth," Espinoza said. "He has been a special horse since the first time I rode him. He has a lot of talent and is an unbelievable horse."
The 5-2 favorite was in contention at the top of the stretch Saturday and pulled clear at the finish for his fifth win in six starts.
American Pharoah swept into the lead on the turn for home and held off Firing Line and stablemate Dortmund to win the Run for the Rose before a record crowd at Churchill Downs.
"Turning for home, I started riding a little harder," Espinoza said. "At the eighth pole, I just couldn't put (Firing Line) away, but he got it done."
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert got his fourth Derby win, and also sent out third-place finisher Dortmund.
It also gave owner Ahmed Zayat his first Derby win after three second-place finishes.
Firing Line finished second, with Baffert's other entry Dortmund third. Frosted was fourth in the 18-horse field.
"I'm speechless. We were very close before," Zayat said. "We are very blessed."
Added Baffert: "It's a fantasy moment for us."
California Chrome won last year; Orb won in 2013.
- American Pharoah
- Firing Line
- Danzig Moon
- Keen Ice
- Carpe Diem
- Mr. Z
- Ocho Ocho Ocho
- Far Right
- War Story