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Always Dreaming wins 143rd Kentucky Derby

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP | Jockey John Velazquez celebrates atop Always Dreaming #5 as they cross the finish line after winning the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby on Saturday, pulling away in the final straight on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in Louisville to claim the first jewel in US flat racing's Triple Crown.

The triumph gave both jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher a second Kentucky Derby victory. But it was their first together.

"It means a lot," Velazquez said. "We have so much success in the past and we haven't won the Derby (together). Finally we got it together with this horse -- incredible horse."

Pletcher saddled 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, while Velazquez was aboard 2011 winner Animal Kingdom.

Lookin at Lee finished second from the first post with Battle of Midway third.

© 2017 AFP