Starting from the No. 6 post as a 2-1 favorite, California Chrome stayed close to the lead the entire race and poured it on down the stretch under jockey Victor Espinoza, winning easily in an unofficial time of 2:03.66.
Commanding Curve came in second while Danza finished third. The second-choice coming in, Wicked Strong, was a respectable fourth.
California Chrome, a chestnut colt, is the first California bred to win the Derby since 1962. He was the fastest horse coming in and also, perhaps, the best story.
The three-year-old had romped to victory in each of his past four starts, including the Santa Anita Derby, by a combined margin of more than 24 lengths.
His performances have raised hope this year’s race will produce another champion to emulate the likes of Secretariat and Seattle Slew by winning the Triple Crown.