Mage won the Kentucky Derby, surging late to beat out Two Phil’s in a photo finish at Churchill Downs.
He won with a time of 2:01 with jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Gustavo Delgado, who are both Venezuelan.
Saturday was the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby, but this year’s event was marred by the deaths of seven horses in the lead-up to the race.
Hours before the Derby, favorite Forte was scratched, becoming the fifth horse scratched from the race. That opened the door for the other contenders with the field down to 18 horses.
It’s been a tumultuous week at Churchill Downs. Two of the horses who died had the same trainer, Saffie Joseph Jr. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Board of Stewards suspended Joseph indefinitely and scratched his Derby horse, Lord Miles, in the wake of the deaths.
The sixth horse to die this week, Chloe’s Dream, was euthanized Saturday after an injury in Race 2, and Freezing Point died after the eighth race of the day. He was euthanized following an ankle injury.
The second leg of the Triple Crown is the Preakness Stakes, run May 20 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The last horse to win the Preakness after a Derby victory was Justify in 2018, who went on to take the Belmont Stakes and become the 13th Triple Crown winner.