"It's just a big part of the year for us". "The victor was too good".
Which horse would run down Pletcher's Derby favorite, Always Dreaming?
Sent off at 9-2 odds, Always Dreaming made it the fifth straight year that a Derby favourite has won, the longest such stretch since the 1970s. When he won the Florida Derby on April 1 by a commanding five lengths, the question wasn't talent but whether he would have the experience to handle the 20-horse field and the fast pace. Altogether, he's had 48 runners, tying mentor D. Wayne Lukas for the most in Derby history. Got a nice position going to the wire.
The crowning achievement for the New Yorkers also provided redemption of sorts for Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez.
Forwardly placed from the beginning, Always Dreaming tracked long shot State of Honor from the rail.
It is the second Derby win for both Valezquez and Always Dreaming's owner, Todd Pletcher. "It's special to win one with Todd".
The win is Pletcher's second Derby victory. Yet Pletcher's frustrations in the sport's most high-profile race were well-documented. Numerous country's best horses converge at Churchill Downs seeking six-figure payoffs and major prestige. Before Saturday, he was 1-for-45.
"We have had so much success in the past and we haven't won the Derby", said Velazquez.
"We needed one together", Pletcher said.
Maybe that was because observers felt he had the horse to get that elusive second win.
Allardyce keen on Defoe but needs Palace safety first
Allardyce said: "If we are safe and Jermain Defoe is available, and he wants to come to Crystal Palace, I would be interested". What that is isn't yet clear, but anything less than £20 million will be met with derision by Sunderland fans.
The winning owners, Anthony Bonomo and Vinnie Viola of Brooklyn Boyz Stables, spent the postrace press conference mainly doing three things: answering questions, smiling at the replay of the race to their left and smiling at their families seated on their right.
Classic Empire finished fourth, followed by Practical Joke, Tapwrit, Gunnevera, McCraken, Gormley and Irish War Cry.
Last year's Derby victor was Nyquist, who held off a strong surge to the finish by Exaggerator. If he can win in Baltimore, he'll give his Brooklyn born-and-bred owners the thrill of a lifetime, going for the Triple Crown in front of their home crowd in NY.
His 3-year-old colt Caviar Czar won his first race on the undercard. It was the time of the race, 1:47.47, that got Pletcher's attention.
A 5-year-old with global experience, Roca Rojo won her first two races in her native Ireland before joining Brown's US stable last year.
Always Dreaming is the favorite in early wagering on the Kentucky Derby.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. The second day, he settled into the change.
"I thought we had a big shot when we turned for home".
Unofficial result: Always Dreaming wins 143rd Kentucky Derby on sloppy track at Churchill Downs.