The 2015 Kentucky Derby (in full, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, due to sponsorship) was the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. The race was run at 6:44 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 2, 2015, at Churchill Downs. It was broadcast in the United States on the NBC television network. Kentucky native Ashley Judd voiced the opening for the telecast of the race, and was the first woman to do so.
The weather was warm, and a record 170,513 people attended. The 2015 race also set a wagering record with parimutuel betting of $137.9 million. Jockey Victor Espinoza rode American Pharoah to victory after taking the lead in the homestretch. The race marked the fourth Kentucky Derby win for horse trainer Bob Baffert and the third win for Espinoza.
American Pharoah (foaled February 2, 2012) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown in 2015. He is bred and owned by Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, LLC, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden in most of his races by Victor Espinoza. He is the first American Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 and only the twelfth in history.
After running poorly in his track debut, he was undefeated thereafter. As a two-year-old, he won the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes, each by several lengths. An injury kept him out of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but the strength of his two wins nonetheless resulted in his being voted American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse at the 2014 Eclipse Awards.
American Pharoah began his 2015 campaign with wins in the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby and went on to win the 2015 Kentucky Derby and 2015 Preakness Stakes. He won the Triple Crown in a wire-to-wire victory at the 2015 Belmont Stakes. His winning time was the second-fastest for a Triple Crown winner and his closing quarter-mile time of 24.32 was faster than Secretariat's. He next shipped to Monmouth Park and easily won the Haskell Invitational on August 2, prompting Baffert to say, "He just keeps bringing it; he's a great horse."
Before the 2015 season began, Zayat had sold breeding rights to the colt to the Ashford Stud in Kentucky, a division of Ireland's Coolmore Stud. He retained control over the colt and his racing career, as well as an undisclosed dividend on stud fees. He is anticipated to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic at the end of October, and then American Pharoah is expected to be retired from racing at the end of 2015 to stand at stud at Ashford thereafter.