Mage wins 149th Kentucky Derby


Mage took home the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, winning the race at 15-1 odds.

Entering the final straightaway, Two Phil’s was the leader by at least a length, and a huge pack of thoroughbreds ran behind. 

From the outside, Mage found his way to the front of that bunch. A couple strides later, he was past Two Phil’s and didn’t look back.

Angel of Empire made a move late, but it wasn’t enough, as Mage and jockey Javier Castellano finished in 2:01.57. Two Phil’s finished in second, and Angel of Empire came in third.

The race did not come without controversy. Seven horses died in the week leading up to the race, two of them in the Derby undercard. One of the horses who died, Wild on Ice, was expectred to run in the Derby. 

Churchill Downs Incorporated suspended trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. indefinitely after two of his horses died in recent days at the track.

On top of that, five thoroughbreds were scratched from the big race, including the morning-line favorite Forte, just hours before the race. It was the first time since 1936 that five horses were scratched from the Kentucky Derby.

“This is part of racing, and it’s the cruel part,” Mike Repole, co-owner of Forte, said in an interview with FanDuel TV.

The next leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, is scheduled for May 20 in Baltimore.