On a clear afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, Animal Kingdom has won the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby's red roses, finishing ahead of Nehro, Mucho Macho Man and Shackleford. A Churchill Downs record-breaking crowd of over 164,000 saw Soldat leap out quickly, close behind Comma to the Top. Shackleford took the lead heading into the first turn and the second. Nehro shook loose of his poor starting post with haste, in sixth place almost immediately.
Decisive Moment took second place from Comma to the top with Nehro on his heels, but Animal Kingdom surged around the outside to take the lead down the final stretch. Shackleford's hot start faded after the final turn.
Coming into the race's post time, Pants on Fire and jockey Rosie Napravnik became the hot picks to win, rocketing up to join Dialed In, Mucho Macho Man, Bob Baffert's Midnight Interlude and Nehro in the single-digits odds crowd. The story of the week leading into the race was favorite Uncle Mo being forced to scratch due to a stomach illness, leaving Dialed In and Archarcharch as the top contenders, though the latter slipped as the race approached.
A win by Plum Pretty in Friday's Kentucky Oaks fillies' race suggested the Derby itself might mean a disappointing showing by the clear favorite, for those who are into trends and so forth, and it looks like that trend held, as few picked Animal Kingdom to take the crown.
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The 2011 Kentucky Derby post time is at 6:24 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, May 7th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - current Derby odds, contender profiles, field updates and more. You can find all of that and more at our 2011 Kentucky DerbyStoryStream. Also, our horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come has two must-read resources for Derby fans: A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.