Justify, the favored horse going into Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won the 2-kilometer race on a rain-soaked track.

Justify, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, held off Audible and Good Magic in the final stretch of the race.

The 144th annual Kentucky Derby was held at Churchill Downs, the legendary Thoroughbred racetrack in the southeastern U.S. city of Louisville, Kentucky.

The race is the first leg of the Triple Crown, three races for 3-year-old horses. Following the Kentucky Derby will be the Preakness Stakes on May 19 and the Belmont Stakes on June 9. A horse must win all three to capture the Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby, often described as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is 2 kilometers, or 1¼ miles (10 furlongs), in length.

Saturday’s weather was less than ideal, as steady rain fell much of the day. The National Weather Service predicted up to one-quarter inch (6 millimeters) of rain would fall, with a high temperature near 68 F (20 C).

The Kentucky Derby has been held every year since 1875.


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