Kentucky Derby winner has Florida Panthers connection

LOUISVILLE, KY – MAY 06: Always Dreaming #5, ridden by John Velazquez, wins the Kentucky Derby on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Sue Kawczynski/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)

A horse with a hockey connection won for the second straight year at the Kentucky Derby.

Always Dreaming, which is partially owned by Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola won the derby in 2:03.59, beating Lookin at Lee (2nd) and Battle of Midway (3rd). Always Dreaming held 9-2 odds before the race and was a co-favorite along with Irish War Cry.

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Nyquist, which was named for Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, won last year’s Kentucky Derby. That horse was owned by Paul Reddam, who was raised in Windsor, Ont. and is a big Red Wings fan.

After Saturday’s race, the Panthers tweeted out their congratulations to Viola

As did Florida co-owner Doug Cifu.

Here is the entire race, which took place on a muddy track because of morning rains in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Viola, who bought the Panthers in 2013, is also the executive chairman of Virtu Financial. He was nominated to be Secretary of the Army by President Donald Trump, but then dropped his name from consideration. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!