For once the “buzz” horse on the backstretch during Derby Week came up huge on Saturday afternoon as the Shug McGaughey trained Orb relished the off track at Churchill Downs to win the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Sent off at 5-1 in a field of 19, jockey Joel Rosario got a perfect set up as the early pace was brisk, setting things up for Orb’s late running style.
The win gave the hall of fame trainer his first Derby win. McGaughey had not started a runner in the Derby since 2002 when Saarland checked in tenth. His best finish was with Easy Goer, who ran second to Sunday Silence in the 1989 Run for the Roses.
Orb won his fourth start in a row and third consecutive stakes race. The colt won the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) in his two previous starts, both with jockey John Velazquez aboard.
Velazquez elected to ride the undefeated Verrazano for trainer Todd Pletcher, who weakened in the stretch to finish a well beaten 14th.
Longshot Golden Soul also benefitted from the fast pace early and rallied to finish in the runner up spot, completing a $2 exacta that returned $981.60.
Revolutionary came up the inside under three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel but had to settle for third, completing a trifecta that paid $3,462.80 for $1.
The Chad Brown trained Normandy Invasion checked in fourth with the $1 superfecta paying $28,542.00
The second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown is the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday May 18.
Payoffs for 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby
$2 Exacta: (16-4) paid $981.60; $1 Trifecta: (16-4-3) paid $3,462.80; $1 Superfecta: (16-4-3-5) paid $28,542.00.
Replay of 139th running of the Kentucky Derby
Running Order for 139th running of Kentucky Derby
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude R. McGaughey III|
|2||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart|
|3||Revolutionary||Calvin Borel||Todd Pletcher|
|4||Normandy Invasion||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas|
|7||Lines of Battle||Ryan Moore||Aidan O’Brien|
|8||Will Take Charge||Jon Court||D. Wayne Lukas|
|9||Charming Kitten||Edgar Prado||Todd Pletcher|
|10||Giant Finish||Jose L. Espinoza||Anthony W. Dutrow|
|11||Overanalyze||Rafael Bejarano||Todd Pletcher|
|12||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher|
|13||Java’s War||Julien Leparoux||Kenny McPeek|
|14||Verrazano||John R. Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|15||Itsmyluckyday||Elvis Trujillo||Eddie Plesa, Jr.|
|16||Frac Daddy||Victor Lebron||Kenny McPeek|
|17||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O’Neill|
|18||Vyjack||Garrett Gomez||Rudy Rodriguez|
|19||Falling Sky||Luis Saez||John Terranova II|