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Baffert earns fifth Kentucky Derby title with mudder Justify

Mike Smith rides Justify to victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

PHOENIX — Arizona native trainer Bob Baffert has won the second most Kentucky Derby’s of all time winning his fifth title as his horse Justify bested a field of 20 horses to win the 144th Kentucky Derby.

Justify splashed through the slop to win the race by 2½ lengths on Saturday, becoming the first colt in 136 years to wear the roses after not racing as a 2-year-old.

The colt that began his racing career in February improved to 4-0 to give Baffert his fifth Derby victory. That snapped a tie with D. Wayne Lukas and left the 65-year-old trainer trailing only Ben Jones with six.

Baffert is originally from Nogales, Ariz. and is a documented Arizona Wildcats fan. He was also the trainer of American Pharoah who won the 2015 Triple Crown.

Mike Smith earned his second Derby victory. The 52-year-old jockey crossed the finish line at Churchill Downs with only a few specks of mud on his white and green silks in the rainiest Derby in the race’s 144-year history.

Justify, the 5-2 favorite in the field of 20, ran 1¼ miles in 2:04.20.

Good Magic finished second and Audible was another head back in third.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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