Justify wins wettest Kentucky Derby ever

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Pre-race favorite Justify justified the hype, running off with the roses in what is officially the wettest Kentucky Derby in the 144-year history of the race.

In the process, the highly touted 3-year-old colt ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Bob Baffert ended a 136-year run since a horse won the Derby without having raced at age 2. With the so-called “Curse of Apollo” reversed, Justify’s connections can now turn their sights toward a Triple Crown bid. The Preakness will be contested May 19, with the Belmont on tap for June 9.

See scenes from the 2018 Kentucky Derby: 

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Scenes from the 144th Kentucky Derby
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Scenes from the 144th Kentucky Derby
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; A general view of roses in the infield before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Horses make their way around the first turn during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Mike Smith aboard Justify (7) beats Javier Castellano aboard Audible (5) to the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Justify #7, ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Men in fancy patterned suits cheer with their Mint Juleps on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Mary Meek/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Justify #7, ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Jockey Mike Smith celebrates atop of Justify #7 after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Jockey Mike Smith celebrates atop of Justify #7 after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; From left Paige Rogers , Josephine Whan and Soohuen Whan take shelter from the rain under a tarp during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; A general view from the infield during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: A view of the Churchill Downs race track during Kentucky Derby 144 on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Chruchill Downs)
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Women in derby attire wear plastic bags to seek shelter from the rain during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Rain falls before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Lora Coomes wears a derby hat during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Mike Smith aboard Justify (7) in the winner's circle during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Jockey Mike Smith celebrates with trainer Bob Baffert after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Justify’s win also extends the streak of favorites winning the Derby to six straight years, longest in the history of the race.

Undefeated in four career starts, Justify has wasted little time rocketing to the forefront of thoroughbred racing. His first career race was in mid-February, and the California-based horse has defeated all comers since.

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