I'll Have Another chased down Bodemeister down the stretch to take the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
The winning horse has significant Canadian connections. Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez raced at Hastings Park in Vancouver for six years, while the horse is owned by Windsor, Ont., native Jr. Paul Reddam.
"I was just kind of numb through the whole race and blink my eyes and it was over," said Reddam. "This team has just been terrific."
An elated Gutierrez, celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a successful first Derby run, gave special thanks to his friends and supporters from Vancouver in the post-race interview.
Trainer Doug O'Neill captures his first Triple Crown race as a result.
Bodemeister set Derby records for his splits, but famed trained Bob Baffert was denied a fourth Derby and 10th Triple Crown victory.
The Preakness Stakes, the next jewel in the Triple Crown, will be run May 19 at Pimlico, Md.
"Maryland here we come," said O'Neill.
The last horse to win the Triple Crown, which also includes the Belmont Stakes, was Affirmed in 1978.
I'll Have Another, the Santa Anita Derby winner, went off at 15-1 in one the deepest and evenly balanced fields in recent years.
Dullahan closed strongly to finish third.