American Pharoah (left), using a sweeping move from the outside, won a thrilling duel with Firing Line to claim the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. For jockey Victor Espinoza, it was his third Kentucky Derby triumph and second in a row after his win aboard California Chrome last year. “That was a tough horse,” Espinoza said about overtaking Firing Line in front of a roaring crowd of 170,000. “But turning for home, I knew I had him.” American Pharoah, a 5-2 top choice going into the race, had won its last four races by a total of 22 lengths, including an eight-length romp in the Arkansas Derby, but this time it had to fight its way to victory. Second choice Dortmund (4-1), unbeaten in six races, led heading into the stretch but Firing Line, a 9-1 pick with 52-year-old Gary Stevens aboard, seized the lead shortly before American Pharoah joined the stretch run charge. American Pharoah ran side by side with Firing Line before pulling away at the finish for a one-length victory, as Dortmund took third just ahead of Frosted.


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