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War Emblem wins wire to wire

May 4, 2002 at 6:38 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 4 (UPI) -- In a wide-open Kentucky Derby, War Emblem started quickly and finished even stronger Saturday, claiming the first jewel of the Triple Crown in rather easy fashion.

The highly anticipated event was without a clear-cut favorite and had an 18-horse field, making it just about anybody's race. War Emblem proved just that, making trainer Bob Baffert a Derby winner for the third time.

With Victor Espinoza in the saddle, War Emblem pulled away in the stretch and won in 2:01.13, some three lengths in front of Private Citizen. Perfect Trip finished third.

Favored Harlan's Holiday never truly threatened the leaders. Only one favorite has won the Derby in the last 24 years.

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