What Happens After the Kentucky Derby? Where the Past 6 Big Race Winners Are Now

Most of the past Kentucky Derby winners have retired from racing and have started their stud careers

As the Race for the Roses approaches this weekend, people across the county are rushing to bet on which horse will take the top prize at Churchill Downs.

The oddsmaker at the Kentucky Derby racetrack has put horse Omaha Beach at the favored 4-1 odds for the 2019 race, reports CBS Sports. Last year’s favorite, Justify, won the Kentucky Derby and the coveted Triple Crown.

While America eagerly awaits the results, PEOPLE is looking at what happens after the roses are bestowed and the race is over. After winning the Kentucky Derby, some horses retire, others continue to race and many horses become studs, with others paying big money to breed their mares with the triumphant males in hopes that the winning genes will be passed down.

See where the past six Kentucky Derby winners are now below.

2018 Winner Justify

Justify and Mike Smith

After winning the Triple Crown last year, Justify almost went for the Grand Slam. To earn this title, the horse had to win the Breeders Cup Classic. Unfortunately, Justify experienced swelling in his legs before the big race and did not compete. The Kentucky Derby winner retired from racing in July 2018, reports USA Today.

2017 Winner Always Dreaming

142nd Preakness Stakes - Previews
Patrick Smith/Getty

Always Dreaming continued to race in the 2017 season, but placed 8th at the Preakness and did not compete in the Belmont Stakes. According to Horse Racing Nation, Always Dreaming took a break from racing after ulcers were found in the horse’s stomach. After being cleared by a veterinarian the horse returned to racing in 2018.

RELATED VIDEO: Always Dreaming Wins 2017 Kentucky Derby

2016 Winner Nyquist

2016 Kentucky Derby
Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty

According to Daily Race Form, the horse retired after his 2016 season, unable to earn another big win. On Oct. 16, it was announced that Nyquist would start his first year at stud in 2017, with a fee of $40,000 for those looking to mate their mares with the winner.

2015 Winner American Pharaoh

Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah

This racehorse is the only equine to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing, having won all the races for America’s Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup Classic in 2015. After this historic year, American Pharaoh retired and started his stud career. His fee for 2016 was set for $200,000, reports Paulick Report. The horse’ first colt was born in 2017.

2014 Winner California Chrome

140th Kentucky Derby
Andy Lyons/Getty

The 2014 winner of the Kentucky Derby continued to race after this win, going on to win the Preakness that same year and the Dubai World Cup in 2016. California Chrome’s stud career started in 2017 and currently has a fee of $40,000, reports the New York Times. The thoroughbred’s first foal was born in 2018.

2013 Winner Orb

145th Belmont Stakes - Previews
Al Bello/Getty

Orb retired from racing at the end of 2013, starting his stud career the next year. His stud fee is $25,000, according to Claiborne Farm. BloodHorse reports that Orb now has one winning offspring. His sire Earth won his debut race at Gulfstream Park.

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