Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, ridden by John Velazquez,won 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 Kentucky 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 odds for the Derby before he was scratched from the race on Friday by his owner.