On Saturday, May 7th, 2023, the Kentucky Derby held its 149th run for the roses. After two minutes of intense and thrilling competition, it was Mage who emerged as the winner, holding off Angel of Empire and Two Phil’s in a photo finish.
Mage Victorious in a Nail-biting Finish
Mage, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, was a bit of an underdog in Saturday’s race but surprised spectators and bookkeepers alike with an impressive performance in the final stretch. The three-year-old colt held off a fierce challenge from Angel of Empire in the final seconds to claim victory in what many are already calling one of the most exciting Kentucky Derbies in recent history.
Coming into the race, many had predicted that the winner would be one of the favorites like Essential Quality or Rock Your World but it was Mage who ultimately triumphed, providing an unforgettable experience for racing fans from around the world.
Angel of Empire and Two Phil’s Impress Despite Losing
While the focus may be on the winner, Angel of Empires and Two Phil’s also put on a strong showing during the race. Angel of Empire, with its jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., chased after Mage throughout the race and only barely lost out at the finish line. Likewise, Two Phil’s with jockey Joel Rosario ran a fantastic race, keeping up with the leaders for most of the run.
These two horses may not have emerged as the victor, but their impressive performances have earned them a lot of respect and admiration in the racing world and many are looking forward to seeing them compete in future races.
Historic Victory for Trainer Todd Pletcher
Mage’s victory is also a historic one for trainer Todd Pletcher who has now won the Kentucky Derby four times in his career. Pletcher, who trained second-place finisher, Always Dreaming in 2017, has cemented his place as one of the most successful trainers in horse racing history.
In the aftermath of the race, Pletcher praised Mage’s jockey John Velazquez for his expert handling of the horse during the race and his resolve in the final stretch. He also expressed gratitude to the owners of the horse for giving him such a talented animal to work with.
With the 2023 Kentucky Derby now in the history books, fans will be eagerly anticipating the next great race as horse racing continues to capture our imaginations with its incredible feats of strength, agility, and determination.