Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan crowned after thrilling race to the finish

by Admin
The Independent

Mystik Dan, jockeyed by Brian Hernandez, Jr, was named the winner of 150th Kentucky Derby, defeating 19 other three-year-old horses who competed, including the favorite Fierceness in a thrilling race.

The champion horse took home the Triple Crown trophy after running on May 4 around the 1.25-mile track at the Churchill Downs, the iconic racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky.

The horses and their jockeys were competing for a whopping $5m prize, which is split among the top five finishers. The owner of this year’s winner was awarded $3.1m — more than last year’s total purse. The jockey got $310,000 of the loot.

The immediate winner wasn’t clear, with a photo finish between Mystik Dan, who surged to a lead in the final section of the race running down the inner rail of the track, narrowly beating Sierra Leone and Forever Young, who sought to catch up on the outside.

On Saturday, the derby, dubbed “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Four of the riders made their Kentucky Derby debut on Saturday, according to the Courier-Journal.

Fierceness was frequently named on a shortlist of horses expected to win the race. The horse’s jockey, John Velazquez, was vying to become the fourth jockey ever to win the race four times or more, the outlet reported.

Fierceness and Mr Velazquez came up against a history-breaking moment: no horse has ever won from the No.17 post.

A crowd of more than 156,000 was on hand to witness the race.

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