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Total Underdoghorse Wins Kentucky Derby

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Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby 2011

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.]

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