Kentucky Derby 2017 payouts: Win, place, show and exotic results

The sun rises at Churchill Downs before the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race Saturday

Wood Memorial victor Irish Cry, who was actually second in the wagering at $4.80-to-1, hung with the leaders early for trainer Graham Motion, then faded to 10th in the full field of 20 horses.

When Pletcher received the horse from the Brooklyn Boyz Stables, led by Vincent Viola and Anthony Bonomo, it didn't take the trainer long to know he had a special talent.

Last year's Derby victor was Nyquist, who held off a strong surge to the finish by Exaggerator. But it was his first with Pletcher after a long and successful relationship between the New York-based rider and trainer. Of all the excuses for losing, the overwhelming favorite is, "He didn't like the track". Lookin at Lee finished second, Battle of Midway third, Classic Empire fourth, and Practical Joke fifth.

Rajiv Maragh, who suffered a major injury at Belmont Park in 2015 in which he said he felt he was close to death, made a comeback just by making it to the Derby with Irish War Cry. "At the quarter pole when he stretched down the lane he was really running".

Always Dreaming was a bit wild in his training at Churchill during the week. The offspring of Baffert's Bodemeister delivered, sweeping to a 2 ¾ length victory in 2:03.59.

The win gave Velasquez a second Derby trophy to go with the one he got after guiding Animal Kingdom to victory in 2011. He won his first with Super Saver in 2010.

Another of Pletcher's three entries in the race won some surprise backing of the punters.

Hence (15-1) won the Sunland Derby. He led in the middle of the first straightaway and was in the place position until Lookin At Lee passed him late in the race.

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"We also felt he was setting on go nearly to the point our main focus was just trying to deliver it at 6:45 on Saturday and not 6:45 on Thursday morning", Pletcher said. For the third consecutive year, the 5-year-old son of Kitten's Joy rallied to take a grass stakes on Derby Day.

"Our Derby record's been talked about a lot", Pletcher said. "I've got a friend who's got the number one horse at the Kentucky Derby". They always do, and sometimes they're even valid. "I played the race in my mind all week and it came out the way I was dreaming about it".

Classic Empire was the original choice coming off a win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but he delivered a clunker in his first race of the year and then missed five weeks of training because he was injured, refused to train or both.

"He won the Derby!". This is all the more sweet.

And let's not forget the Maktoum family of Dubai, which has invested millions in the game over the last 40 years, will have to seriously consider a change in tactics.

Always Dreaming got off to a great start while Thunder Snow refused to get going and got off to a rough beginning.

Nyquist did the same in 2016 ... and Triple Crown sensation American Pharoah in '15 ... and Derby-Preakness champ California Chrome in '14 ... and Orb in '13. He shot to Kentucky Derby prominence with a dominating, 5-lengths victory in the Florida Derby but had not raced since that event April 1.

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