Ranked: A Decade of Kentucky Derby Winners

Posted by Julie Skaff on Wed, Dec 11, 2019 @ 13:09 PM

"The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" is always guaranteed on the first Saturday in May but the winner of the Kentucky Derby® can often come as quite a surprise.

In the past decade, some Kentucky Derby winners were obvious from the start, while some pulled through despite all odds being against them.

As 2019 comes to a close, we’ve ranked the 10 Kentucky Derby winners of the past decade!


10. Country House, 2019

Trainer: William I. Mott

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Odds: 30/1

Winning time: 2:03.98

Country House had a controversial Kentucky Derby win when Maximum Security was disqualified from the race in 2019 on a muddy track.

Sent off at odds of 65-1, Country House took home the trophy with jockey Flavien Prat on board for trainer William I. Mott and owners Mrs. JV Shields, EJM McFadden and LNJ Foxwoods.

9. Orb, 2013

Trainer: Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Odds: 7/2

Winning time: 2:02.89


Orb’s two-year-old season got off to a rough start in 2012 after losing in his first three starts.

However, on the back of five consecutive wins, Orb took the 139th Kentucky Derby by 2 ½ lengths from Golden Soul in a time of 2:02.89.

8. Always Dreaming, 2017

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John R. Velazquez

Odds: 9/2

Winning time: 2:03.59

In 2017, Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby by 2 ¾ lengths on a wet track in 2:03:59.

The win gave jockey John Velazquez (after Animal Kingdom in 2011) and trainer Todd Pletcher (after Super Saver in 2010) both their second win in the Kentucky Derby respectively. 

7. Animal Kingdom, 2011

Trainer: H. Graham Motion

Jockey: John Velazquez

Odds: 30-1

Winning time: 2:02.04

Animal Kingdom ran to victory in the 137th Kentucky Derby in front of a record crowd at Churchill Downs®.

164,858 people watched John Velazquez ride Animal Kingdom to the finish line in 2:03.59 in 2011.

6. I’ll Have Another, 2012

Trainer: Doug O'Neill

Jockey: Mario Gutierrez

Odds: 12-1

Winning time: 2:01.83

Owner J. Paul Reddam named this Derby-winning horse after his wife’s fresh-baked cookies in 2009, which deserves an award on its own!

A winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown™ in 2012, I’ll Have Another became just the third horse, after Burgoo King in 1932 and Bold Venture in 1936, to be scratched from the Belmont Stakes after winning the first two legs.

5. Super Saver, 2010

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Odds: 12-1

Winning time: 2:04.45

Super Saver was the horse that finally brought Kentucky Derby success to Todd Pletcher, bringing the Long Island-native his first win at Churchill Downs in horse racing’s blue riband event following 24 previous attempts. The win also capped off a hugely successful period of Derby’s for jockey Calvin Borel, his third win in four years (Street Sense in 2007 and Mind That Bird in 2009).

4. Nyquist, 2016

Trainer: Doug F. O'Neill

Jockey: Mario Gutierrez

Odds: 2-1

Winning time: 2:01:31

In 2016, Nyquist ran the fastest Derby of the decade at 2:01:31 with jockey Mario Gutierrez.

He won the Kentucky Derby by 1 ¼ lengths, leaving his record at a perfect 8-0! Nyquist would ultimately end up finishing the Preakness in third before being withdrawn from the Belmont Stakes.

3. California Chrome, 2014

Trainer: Art Sherman

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Odds: 2-1

Winning time: 2:03.66

California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby in 2014 with Jockey Victor Espinoza, who won the Kentucky Derby again the following year with American Pharoah!

A horse of a generation, the 2014 and 2016 American Horse of the Year passed the great Curlin as the all-time leading North American horse in earnings won.

2. Justify, 2018

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Mike E. Smith

Odds: 3-1

Winning time: 2:04.20

Justify made history when he won the Triple Crown in 2018, just three years after American Pharoah broke a 37-year wait.

The thirteenth and most recent winner of the famous Triple Crown, Justify won the Derby in a time of 2:04.20 and retired with a perfect 6-0 record following his win in the Belmont Stakes.

1. American Pharoah, 2015

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Odds: 3-1

Winning time: 2:03.02

American Pharaoh winning-1

Who else but American Pharoah?

A horse that captured a nation, the Bob Baffert-trained three-year-old set the world alight in 2015, breaking a 37-year duck in winning the Triple Crown.

He followed up his Derby win by taking home the Breeders’ Cup® Classic, thus becoming the only horse in history to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing.

Attend the Kentucky Derby with Derby Experiences

See history being made at the 2020 Kentucky Derby.

Be there to see the first winner of the new decade with an Official ticket Package from Derby Experiences. As a Derby Experiences guest, you have access to exclusive hospitality spaces, tours, parties, and more!

2020 Kentucky Derby Official Ticket Packages