$18 Kentucky Derby Bet Pays $1.2 Million

Lavender Earlier Larry Birkhead 45 and a guest attended the 144th running of the Kentucky Oaks

Lavender Earlier Larry Birkhead 45 and a guest attended the 144th running of the Kentucky Oaks

Justify overcame what had to be a record rainfall and the Curse of Apollo when he cruised home the victor of the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5.

Justify is trained by Bob Baffert, who now has five Derby wins. Still, he said, he fretted most of Saturday because of the bad weather. "It's like having [NBA superstar] Lebron James on your team".

Justify, the 3-year-old colt that began his career in February, crushed the 136-year-old Apollo Curse dreaded by superstitious fans. Starlight owned Justify with three other racing companies, report the New York Times and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Good Magic returned $9.20 and $6.60 in second place, while Audible was another head back in third and paid $5.80 to show. "Pharoah's race was sort of like (Justify's) Santa Anita Derby". With his fifth victory, the 65-year-old snapped a tie for second and trails only Ben Jones with six.

"We won the toughest one, the Kentucky Derby", Baffert said.

"That's when we knew how special he was", Baffert said. The next challenger up was Good Magic who ranged up on the outside of Justify but was never able to catch him. Early on Justify had to deal with Promises Fulfilled.

Jockey Mike Smith, 52, is also being praised for the successful Derby run, but Smith is directing those praises upward. "This horse is so talented". He looks good, but I just have to observe him. "In fact, it's the first time it's happened at Retama".

This year, Justify was the pari-mutuel favorite who returned $7.60 to win for every $2 wagered.

"I didn't tell them I'd think about it", Baffert said of the telephone invitation he received from Preakness officials, via the Associated Press.

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