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Animal Kingdom Wins Kentucky Derby [VIDEO]

Animal Kingdom
Travis Lindquist, Getty Images

In an interesting twist of fate, jockey John Velazquez rode three-year-old horse Animal Kingdom to victory at the 137th Kentucky Derby, held Saturday at Louisville’s historic Churchill Downs.

Velazquez was originally scheduled to ride Uncle Mo before the horse was scratched due to a stomach virus. Luckily for him, Velazquez was quickly snatched up by owner Barry Irwin, who needed a replacement after Animal Kingdom’s original jockey, Robby Albarado, broke his nose.

“I do really feel really bad for Robby. I hope he’s winning the Derby with me here. I know he got hurt, so this is for both of us, buddy. I know you’re not on it, but I know you’re with me,” Velazquez said after the race.

“I’m not happy,” said Albarado. “Barry Irwin decided he didn’t think I was fit to ride; he didn’t know my status or situation. This just wasn’t my time today”

Animal Kingdom won the race by by 2 3/4 lengths. Horses Nehro and Mucho Macho Man finished in second and third place, respectively.

Relive Saturday’s nail-biting race below.

[Sports Illustrated]

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