Mage stuns Kentucky Derby favourites as Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano wins at last
The victorious pair did not do it the easier way either, needing to come from behind to claim victory. It was also a first win for Venezuelan trainer Gustavo Delgado, who was too emotional to talk to the press - or anyone for that matter - after the race.
The race was a stunning end to a chaotic week that saw five contenders drop out of one of horse racing's most iconic events in the lead-up. This was Castellano's 16th attempt at the Kentucky Derby and he was finally able to claim the crown
It is the second major upset in as many years after Rich Strike shocked the world in 2022. "I never give up, always try hard and do the right thing," Castellano said after the race. "It took me a long time to finally get it. Mage did really well today, he's a little horse with a big heart. "The way he ran in his last race, the way he finished, I knew he had the potential to win. I'm thankful for the owners and the trainers for allowing me to ride this horse, and believing in this horse."
When Delgado had recovered enough to address the media, he admitted he didn't do anything special to prepare Mage for the race and just trusted his instincts.
"Sometimes you have to follow your intuition, your gut, and that is pretty much what I did." he said. "Sometimes it pays out, sometimes it doesn't. This time it did."
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