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Kentucky Derby winning horse has BC ties

Kentucky Derby winning horse has BC ties

A Texas girl won £1.2 million Saturday at a "Pick 5" bet that comprised Kentucky Derby victor Justify.

Trainer Bob Baffert won the Derby for the fifth time, one shy of the record owned by 1940s legendary trainer Ben Jones, while jockey Mike Smith captured his second victory in the 1¼ mile classic at Louisville's Churchill Downs.

"Wow, he's just somethin' else", Smith said.

Shortly after crossing the finish line, still mounted on the chestnut-colored colt, Smith looks to the sky giving thanks to the Creator he says got them there.

"He knows he's a stud", Baffert said.

The owners of Derby-winning Justify took home $1.432 million in purse money for the win, so the bettor was nearly as much of a victor.

The white-haired trainer smashed a jinx that stood for 136 years when Justify splashed through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby by 2½ lengths on Saturday.

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Justify, who went off as 5-2 odds, paid $7.80 to win, $6 to place and $4.40 to show.

"He's the most handsome horse", Baffert said. "My vocabulary don't have the words for it".

Justify could be going up against some fresh legs during the Preakness, so the feat won't be easy just two weeks after an arduous race in the rain and mud at the famed Churchill Downs. American Pharaoh, also trained by Baffert, accomplished the feat, ending a 37-year drought.

Further, Justify would have to break the "Curse of Apollo" to win - he had never raced as a two-year-old, and no horse has won the "Run for the Roses" without doing so since Apollo in 1882. American Pharoah emerged earlier than Justify, reigning as the 2-year-old champion in his class, even though he missed the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 2014.

Baffert admitted the wet conditions had him concerned.

But with the Preakness 12 days away, it's exciting that we have a horse talented enough to prompt such conversations.

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