Taking charge at the top of the lane, California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza made a decisive move and quickly sprinted clear. They finished the 1¼ miles in 2:03.66.
The 5-2 favorite stretched his winning streak to five and became the first California-bred horse to win the Derby since Decidedly in 1962. Art Sherman, 77, became the oldest winning Derby trainer.
In a game dominated by millionaires and billionaires, this was a victory for the little guys. Owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn bred an $8,000 mare named Love The Chase to a $2,500 stallion to win the world's most famous race with their one-horse stable. The two owners turned down a $6 million offer for half ownership of the derby favorite.
Commanding Curve, a 37-1 shot, rallied for second, with Danza third. Wicked Strong was fourth and Samraat finished fifth.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.