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Animal Kingdom in winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby

In his first race over a dirt surface, 20-1 shot Animal Kingdom came home first in Saturday’s 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom won in front of a record-setting crowd of 164,858 at Churchill Downs.

Animal Kingdom came from off the pace to pay $43.80 to win, beating second place Nehro by 2 3/4 lengths. Mucho Macho Man was a neck back in third, and Shackleford, who set the pace until the top of the stretch, was fourth. Favourite Dialed In finished 8th.

Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch was taken off the track via horse ambulance after suffering a saddle slip and pulling up lame. X-rays later revealed a non-displaced condylar fracture to his left foreleg. The injury will require surgery but is not life-threatening, and he should be able to make a full recovery.

Animal Kingdom ran the 1 1/4 miles on a track rated fast in 2:02.04. He is expected to continue on to Pimlico in Baltimore for the May 21 Preakness Stakes on a quest to win the Triple Crown, which has not been won since Affirmed in 1978.

 

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