Unbeaten Justify wins Kentucky Derby
Undefeated Justify won the 144th Kentucky Derby last weekend, ignoring the wettest conditions in race history to become the irst Derby champion since 1882 who didn’t race as a two-year-old. Trainer Bob Baffert won the Derby for the ifth time, one shy of the record owned by 1940s legendary trainer Ben Jones, while jockey Mike Smith captured his second victory in the 1 1/4-mile (2km) classic at Louisville, USA’S Churchill Downs. “It took a great horse to do what he did today,” Baffert said. “I rank him up there with my top ones. We knew we had something special.” Favoured Justify, who went off at 5-2 odds, unleashed the third-fastest half-mile (0.8km) pace in Derby history and went on to win in 2mins 4.20 secs with Good Magic second by 2 1/2 lengths, edging third-place Audible at the line. Mendelssohn, trained by Ireland’s Aidan O’brien and hoping to become the irst Europe-based horse to win the Derby, was last in the 20-horse ield before 157,813 spectators. Justify, who improved to 4-0, became the irst horse since Apollo some 136 years ago to win the showdown for three-year-olds without running the year before.