Baffert earns fifth Kentucky Derby title with mudder Justify
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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