Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby

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Justify crosses the line ahead of his 19 contenders to win the 144th Kentucky Derby. Justify crosses the line ahead of his 19 contenders to win the 144th Kentucky Derby.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Justify won the 144th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the sixth-straight favorite to win the Run for the Roses.

Trainers were forced to deal with a curve ball. After predictions of sunny skies and temperatures approaching 80 mid-week, rain soaked the Churchill Downs racing surface all day and temperatures hovered in the 60s.

Promises Fulfilled, who went off at 49-1, set the pace and maintained a lead into turn three when Justify took the lead for good. His winning time of 2:04:20 is the second slowest of the last 28 years.

  • Win: Justify                    $7.80      $6.00     $4.40
  • Place: Good Magic                       $9.20     $6.60
  • Show: Audible                                             $5.80

Click here to see pictures of the wettest Kentucky Derby on record.

Justify's win is the fifth Kentucky Derby for trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert last won the race three years ago with American Pharoah, who went on to become the sport’s ninth Triple Crown winner.

"I rank him up there with my top ones," Baffert said after the race. "This track really had me worried, but you just saw a great performance."

Justify had a previous win on a muddy surface by 6 1/2 lengths, but it was in allowance competition two months ago at Santa Anita.

Raced at a mile-and-a-quarter, the Derby featured a full field of 20 horses with a purse of $2,192,000, including $1,432,000 to the winner. Nearly 158,000 people showed up to Churchill Downs on Derby Day, the eight-highest number in history.

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