9-2 favorite Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby in the slop

John Velazquez rides Always Dreaming to victory in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

LOUISVILLE, KY (AP) — Always Dreaming splashed through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby by 2 ¾ lengths, giving trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez their second victories in the race but their first together.

Pletcher and Velazquez have teamed up often over the years and are the sport’s leading money winners. On their own, they were a combined 2 for 63 coming into America’s greatest race.

Together, they were unbeatable on a cool and rainy Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Sent off at 9-2 odds, Always Dreaming made it the fifth straight year that a Derby favorite has won, the longest such stretch since the 1970s.

Always Dreaming was followed across the finish line Saturday by a pair of longshots: 33-1 Lookin At Lee and 40-1 Battle of Midway.

Always Dreaming ran 1 ¼ miles in 2:03.59 and paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80.

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