Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby

The favorite won again at the Kentucky Derby. Always Dreaming won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs as jockey John Velazquez ran a beautiful race on a very sloppy track. Trainer Todd Pletcher got his second career Kentucky Derby win. It rained all weekend but the skies cleared in time for the race.

Always Dreaming is unbeaten as a 3-year-old, so let’s see if we have another legitimate Triple Crown contender.

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American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown

Wow! What a horse!

American Pharoah was leading the entire race, but many fans had to be holding their breath as this marvelous colt made the final turn into the home stretch. Could he hang on, or would we witness another Triple Crown disappointment at the Belmont Stakes?

But as trainer Bob Baffert later explained, jockey Victor Espinoza hadn’t even unleashed American Pharoah yet while the other jockeys were frantically pushing their horses to try and overtake the favorite. Once unleashed, American Pharoah ran away from the field and revealed why the Triple Crown is reserved for truly special horses.

The Triple Crown is supposed to be hard, and that makes American Pharoah’s performance and accomplishment even more gratifying.

Epic rant from owner of California Chrome

Like many, I got to see this epic rant live, and it’s amazing what people say when they’re pissed off. Never mind that this has been going on for years, as some horses show up in the Belmont Stakes to thwart a Triple Crown. That’s why it’s so damn hard.

The debates on Twitter were priceless and also informative, as those who understood horse racing explained why Steve Coburn’s rant about some taking “the coward’s way out” was just silly given the nature of the sport.

The great horses are able to overcome the task of winning three straight. Heck, some great horses don’t even achieve it given the competition in the year they run.

Still, the reaction was priceless and will be replayed for years to come.

California Chrome wins the Kentucky Derby

California Chrome was the favorite to win the 2014 Kentucky Derby, and the chestnut colt purchased for $10,000 will certainly get the Triple Crown talk going again. The story behind this California-bred horse is pretty awesome, as two average Americans from California dubbed “dumb asses” by a trainer when they got into horse racing somehow managed to win the Kentucky Derby. Steve Coburn and Perry Martin turned down $6 million for a 51% ownership in California Chrome before the Derby, but now with the horse’s fifth-straight win and a real shot at the Triple Crown, we can safely assume the price has gone up considerably.

Can we finally get a Triple Crown winner?

The Triple Crown was part of my childhood. I was a little too young to appreciate Secretariat in the early 70s, but Seattle Slew and Affirmed were both incredible horses and I remember those vividly. Seattle Slew was dominant in 1977, even if it wasn’t celebrated quite as much as the legendary Secretariat. Affirmed was special due to the classic rivalry with Alydar in one of the most excited Triple Crown runs in history. Their epic battle ended in a race at the Belmont Stakes for the ages with Affirmed literally winning by a nose to grab the Triple Crown.

But Affirmed was the last winner. It was so exciting in the 1970s with these great horses, but nobody good have predicted the Triple Crown drought that would follow. There were many close calls, and I was at the Belmont Stakes in 1989 when Sunday Silence was trying for the Triple Crown but was denied by Easy Goer. I had bet Sunday Silence hoping to witness history, but I was in the infield near the finish line as Pat Day rode to an impressive win for Easy Goer, which was probably the better horse.

But May is around the corner, and the sports world will be watching sports like basketball and hockey, but that won’t be all.

As we get set for the NBA and NHL playoffs next week all eyes have diverted away from horse racing but lest we forget the most exciting 2 minutes in sports that are the Kentucky Derby. The 2014 Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May and you can get the latest qualifying scores report and line moves at the official Kentucky Derby betting site to help you with your Kentucky Derby online wagering picks and predictions.

Horse racing could really use a Triple Crown winner, as the health of the sport has really suffered over the years. Pimlico Race Course in Maryland, home of the Preakness Stakes, had to be bailed out by the state in order to continue operations. Many race tracks these days can’t survive without slots to draw more visitors.

But the big races are still a huge party, and if you’re looking for a great time you can start with the classic Kentucky Derby.

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