Mage wins Kentucky Derby, seven horse deaths being investigated at Churchill Downs


Mage won the 149th strolling of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday to seize the primary leg of U.S. thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.

Mage, who completed 2nd inside the Florida Derby last month, completed the 1-1/4-mile race in two minutes and 1.57 seconds.

The chestnut colt, who went off at 15-1 odds, sped up at the closing stretch to take the lead and move the end line beforehand of two Phils, who became 2d, and Angel of Empire, one of the favorites, who completed in 1/3 vicinity.

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The victory became the first Kentucky Derby win for Venezuelan trainer Gustavo Delgado and Venezuelan corridor of reputation jockey Javier Castellano, who won the Run for the Roses after sixteen tries.

“I never surrender, I constantly attempt tough, took a lot to get here I eventually get it,” stated Castellano. “I’m blessed. thanks for the opportunity to run this horse, that has a variety of coronary hearts.”

An emotional Delgado introduced: “After I arrived in the U.S. my first dream become to visit Kentucky. I used to be sure that the horse changed into superb.”

This yr’s race turned marked via the range of horses scratched, consisting of favorite specialty has become the 5th horse to be eliminated early on Saturday, leaving the sphere at 18 horses, the smallest subject on account that 2020.

Saturday’s Derby turned into also the end result of every week stained by means of the demise of seven horses, which caused the suspension of trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. Two horses, Chloe’s Dream and Freezing Point, needed to be euthanized hours before Saturday’s race.

“It’s far with the utmost disappointment that we document these tragic fatal accidents. Churchill Downs is unwavering in our dedication to the health and properly-being of equine safety,” Churchill Downs said.

Animal rights organization PETA said that, given the number of deaths, they had advised Churchill Downs to shut the track so that it will implement stronger protection protocols.

“Churchill Downs is a killing area,” PETA’s senior vice chairman Kathy Guillermo added in a separate statement.

The Preakness Stakes, 2d leg of the Triple Crown, can be run on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, followed by using the Belmont Stakes three weeks in a while on June 10.