This year the race was better than the hats!
The faces of horse racing fans were in complete shock (under their fabulous head pieces) when a horse named Animal Kingdom won $2.2 million at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
A record crowd of almost 165,000 let out a mighty roar as John Velazquez, who only got the ride when his own horse was scratched and Animal Kingdom's original jockey was injured in a freak accident, surged into the lead approaching the shadows of the iconic twin spires.
Riding high on emotion after a bizarre chain of events led him to Animal Kingdom's saddle, Velazquez kicked clear to win his first Kentucky Derby at his 13th attempt.
Animal Kingdom, a longshot who started at odds of 20-1, was untroubled in his run to the wire, taking out the first leg of American racing's Triple Crown by 2 3/4 lengths.
The 5-1 favorite, Dialed In, could only manage eighth after being last in the 19-horse field for most of the mile and a quarter trip.
[Image via AP Images.]