Animal Kingdom Wins!

Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, ridden by John Velazquez, ran past Nehro in mid-stretch and pulled away to a 2 ¾-length victory to win the 137th running of the $2,171,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) before a record crowd of 164,858 on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

The previous attendance record for a Kentucky Derby was established in 1974 when 163,628 were on hand for Cannonade’s victory in the 100th Run for the Roses.

The Kentuckky Derby victory was the first in the 13 tries for Velazquez and the first for trainer Graham Motion who had had two previous Derby starters. Velazquez picked up the mount from Robby Albarado, who was injured Wednesday when he was kicked in the face by a horse prior to a race.

Velazquez had been the regular rider of Uncle Mo, the second choice in the morning line odds for the Derby before that colt scratched from the race on Friday by his owner.

Shackleford, ridden by Jesus Castanon, led the field through fractions of :23.74, :48.63 and 1:13.40 with Comma to the Top in closest pursuit along with Decisive MomentPants On FireSoldat andNehro stacked up right behind. Further back, Animal Kingdom was racing off the pace and in the clear.

As the field turned for home, Nehrowent after Shackleford who had disposed of his early pursuers and the two hit the top of the stretch together with Animal Kingdommoving seven-wide into the stretch only a few lengths back.

Nehro passed Shackleford at the eighth pole, but by that time Animal Kingdom was alongside.  The winner pushed clear at the eighth pole and completed the mile and a quarter distance in 2:02.04 over a fast track. Nehro held second by a neck over Mucho Macho Man who finished three-quarters of a length in front of Shackleford.

Animal Kingdom is a Kentucky-bred son of Leroidesanimaux out of the Acatenango (GER) mare Dalicia  (GER). The victory was worth $1,411,800 and increased Animal Kingdom’s earnings to $1,738,700. 

Animal Kingdom returned $43.80, $19.60 and $13. Nehro returned $8.80 and $6.40 withMucho Macho Man returning $7 to show.

Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In, the $5.20-to-1 favorite trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Nick Zito, finished eighth.  

Completing the field in order behind Shackleford were Master of HoundsSantivaBrilliant SpeedDialed InPants On FireTwice the AppealSoldatStay ThirstyDerby Kitten,Decisive MomentArcharcharchMidnight InterludeTwinspiredWatch Me Go andComma to the Top.

Trainer

H. Graham Motion

Graham captured the 137th Kentucky Derby with Team Valor's Animal Kingdom who would also go on to run second in the Preakness Stakes. Motion, a native of Cambridge, England, moved to the United States at age 16 with his father who was a United States representative for the British sales company Tattersalls. He worked for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard before taking out his own trainer's license and has saddled over 1,000 winners. Other stable stars include Better Talk Now winner of the 2004 Breeder's Cup Turf, who raced past the age of ten and earned over 4 million dollars and Shared Account who upset the 2010 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs. Bullsbay and Film Maker were two of the conditioner's first Grade 1 winners. // Full Bio...

Jockey

John Velazquez

John Velazquez has ridden in thirteen editions of the Kentucky Derby and won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom. He won the 2004 Kentucky Oaks with Ashado. John was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 and was twice awarded the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. He is a two time Belmont Stakes winner and has ridden 10 horses to victory in the Breeders' Cup. Other notable mounts include: Uncle Mo, Da Hoss, Lemon Drop Kid, Lawyer Ron, and Rags to Riches. // Full Bio...

Owner

Team Valor International

Team Valor International earned their first Kentucky Derby victory in 2011 with homebred Animal Kingdom who would go on to finish second in the Preakness Stakes. Team Valor International is a syndicate race horse ownership group under the leadership of Barry Irwin. They have started 4 horses in the Kentucky Derby, prior to Animal Kingdom's win, their top finisher was Captain Bodgit who ran second in 1997. Other Team Valor stars include The Deputy, Star of Cozzene, Gitano Hernando, Cashier’s Dream, Unbridled Belle, Pluck, Daveron, Summer Soiree and Visionaire. // Full Bio...

Breeder

Team Valor International

Team Valor International earned their first Kentucky Derby victory in 2011 with homebred Animal Kingdom who would go on to finish second in the Preakness Stakes. Team Valor International is a syndicate race horse ownership group under the leadership of Barry Irwin. They have started 4 horses in the Kentucky Derby, prior to Animal Kingdom's win, their top finisher was Captain Bodgit who ran second in 1997. Other Team Valor stars include The Deputy, Star of Cozzene, Gitano Hernando, Cashier’s Dream, Unbridled Belle, Pluck, Daveron, Summer Soiree and Visionaire. // Full Bio...

2001-Present

Current Era

2001 - Growth of the Kentucky Derby continued on all fronts as the 127th running attracted a crowd of 154,210, the second largest attendance in Derby history. Overall Derby Day wagering (all sources) rose to a record $107,598,904. For the first time in Derby pari-mutuel wagering history, all horses ran uncoupled with no entries or mutuel fields as betting interests.

Continue Reading
# Contender Jockey Trainer Owner Breeder
1 Animal Kingdom John Velazquez H. Graham Motion Team Valor International Team Valor International
2 Nehro Corey Nakatani Steve Asmussen Zayat Stables Mt. Brilliant Farm
3 Mucho Macho Man Rajiv Maragh Kathy Ritvo Reeves Thoroughbred Racing & Dream Team Racing Stable Carole A. Rio & John D. Rio
4 Shackleford Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge
5 Master of Hounds Garrett Gomez Aidan O'Brien Mrs. John Magnier
6 Santiva Shaun Bridgmohan Eddie Kenneally Tom Walters
7 Brilliant Speed Joel Rosario Tom Albertrani Live Oak Plantation
8 Dialed In Julien Leparoux Nick Zito Robert LaPenta
9 Pants on Fire Anna "Rosie" Napravnik George and Lori Hall
10 Twice the Appeal Calvin Borel Jeff Bonde Edward "Rusty" Brown, Victor Flores, Henry Hernandez
11 Soldat Alan Garcia Kiaran McLaughlin Harvey Clarke & W Craig Robertson III
12 Stay Thirsty Ramon Dominguez Todd Pletcher Repole Stable
13 Derby Kitten Javier Castellano Mike Maker Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey
14 Decisive Moment Kerwin Clark Juan Arias Just for Fun Stables (Ruben Sierra)
15 Archarcharch Jon Court William H Fires Robert and Val Yagos
16 Midnight Interlude Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Arnold Zetcher
17 Twinspired Mike Smith Mike Maker Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing, and Sand Dollar Stables
18 Watch Me Go Rafael Bejarano Kathleen O' Connell Gilbert Campbell
19 Comma to the Top Patrick Valenzuela Peter Miller Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Kevin Tsujihara
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Kentucky Derby 137 Race Recap

Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, ridden by John Velazquez, ran past Nehro in mid-stretch and pulled away to a 2 ¾-length victory to win the 137th running of the $2,171,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) before a record crowd of 164,858 on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

The previous attendance record for a Kentucky Derby was established in 1974 when 163,628 were on hand for Cannonade’s victory in the 100th Run for the Roses.

The Kentuckky Derby victory was the first in the 13 tries for Velazquez and the first for trainer Graham Motion who had had two previous Derby starters. Velazquez picked up the mount from Robby Albarado, who was injured Wednesday when he was kicked in the face by a horse prior to a race.

Velazquez had been the regular rider of Uncle Mo, the second choice in the morning line odds for the Derby before that colt scratched from the race on Friday by his owner.

Shackleford, ridden by Jesus Castanon, led the field through fractions of :23.74, :48.63 and 1:13.40 with Comma to the Top in closest pursuit along with Decisive MomentPants On FireSoldat andNehro stacked up right behind. Further back, Animal Kingdom was racing off the pace and in the clear.

As the field turned for home, Nehrowent after Shackleford who had disposed of his early pursuers and the two hit the top of the stretch together with Animal Kingdommoving seven-wide into the stretch only a few lengths back.

Nehro passed Shackleford at the eighth pole, but by that time Animal Kingdom was alongside.  The winner pushed clear at the eighth pole and completed the mile and a quarter distance in 2:02.04 over a fast track. Nehro held second by a neck over Mucho Macho Man who finished three-quarters of a length in front of Shackleford.

Animal Kingdom is a Kentucky-bred son of Leroidesanimaux out of the Acatenango (GER) mare Dalicia  (GER). The victory was worth $1,411,800 and increased Animal Kingdom’s earnings to $1,738,700. 

Animal Kingdom returned $43.80, $19.60 and $13. Nehro returned $8.80 and $6.40 withMucho Macho Man returning $7 to show.

Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In, the $5.20-to-1 favorite trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Nick Zito, finished eighth.  

Completing the field in order behind Shackleford were Master of HoundsSantivaBrilliant SpeedDialed InPants On FireTwice the AppealSoldatStay ThirstyDerby Kitten,Decisive MomentArcharcharchMidnight InterludeTwinspiredWatch Me Go andComma to the Top.