Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb rallied from far off the pace to take command in mid-stretch en route to a 2 ½-length victory over longshot Golden Soul to win the 139th running of the $2,174,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) before a crowd of 151,616 on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario, Orb covered the mile and a quarter on a sloppy main track in 2:02.89. It was the first Kentucky Derby victory for McGaughey and Rosario.
The victory was worth $1,414,800 and improved Orb’s career earnings to $2,335,850 with a record of 8-5-0-1.
Orb is a Kentucky-bred son of Malibu Moon out of the Unbridled mare Lady Liberty.
Palace Malice led the field of 19 through uncontested fractions of :22.57, :45.33 and 1:09.80 as Rosario kept Orb toward the back of the pack.
On the far turn, the pack closed in on Palace Malice with Oxbow attacking from the inside and Normandy Invasion moving rapidly on the outside to take the lead. However, Rosario had Orb in the clear on the outside and he forged to the lead at the eighth pole and had more than enough to hold off Golden Soul.
Revolutionary closed strongly along the rail to finish third, a head in front of Normandy Invasion.
Sent off as the favorite in the field of 19, Orb returned $12.80, $7.40 and $5.40. Golden Soul, ridden by Robby Albarado, returned $38.60 and $19.40 in finishing a length in front of Revolutionary, who paid $5.40 to show under Calvin Borel.
Normandy Invasion was followed in order by Mylute, Oxbow, Lines of Battle, Will Take Charge, Charming Kitten, Giant Finish, Overanalyze, Palace Malice, Java’s War, Verrazano, Itsmyluckyday, Frac Daddy, Goldencents, Vyjack and Falling Sky.
KENTUCKY DERBY LOSING TRAINER QUOTES
Dallas Stewart, Golden Soul, second place – “We got beat by a great horse. He ran terrific. I’m so proud of Robby (Albarado). He vindicated himself. He’s just a great rider and gave this horse a great ride. And (owner) Chuck Fipke, what can I say? One of the best ever.’’
Todd Pletcher, Revolutionary, third place, Charming Kitten, ninth place, Overanalyze, 11th place, Palace Malice, 12th place, Verrazano, 14th place – REVOLUTIONARY – “I thought he ran super. He got shuffled back farther than we thought and he had to keep waiting to try to make up ground. But when he could start running, he did really well. He closed strongly and just ran out of ground.”
CHARMING KITTEN – “Considering this was his first time on dirt, I thought he ran very courageously. He tried hard and Edgar (Prado) told me he just started spinning his wheels in the last part of it.”
OVERANALYZE – “I had a hard time trying to follow his trip. He appeared to have a bit of trouble, but he was trying to run on at the end.”
PALACE MALICE – “He just went too fast early. They went too fast with him and he couldn’t keep up.”
VERRAZANO – “He just never got the kind of trip we hoped for. That fast pace was just no good for him. And he was the one -- of all our horses -- who was affected most by the racetrack. He just couldn’t handle it.”
Chad Brown, Normandy Invasion, fourth place – Unavailable for comment.
Tom Amoss, Mylute, fifth place – Unavailable for comment.
D. Wayne Lukas, Oxbow, sixth place, and Will Take Charge, eighth place – Unavailable for comment.
T.J. Comerford (assistant to Aidan O’Brien), Lines of Battle, seventh place – “He ran a great race. I suppose the first furlong he was just trying to come to terms with it. Everything was happening very quick for him. He broke well, just getting away the first furlong. Ryan (Moore) said the kickback was hard on him. Then he started to knuckle down and he seen what was happening and he ran a brave race. We’re very happy with him.”
Ray Handal (assistant to Tony Dutrow), Giant Finish, 10th place – “He ran great. He ran hard. He’s tired and rightfully so. He ran a great race. We’re pleased with him.”
Ken McPeek, Java’s War, 13th place, Frac Daddy, 16th place – (Via Twitter) “Both colts tried hard. No major excuses here at Barn 6. Congrats to Shug and his staff. Well deserved for Phipps and Janney families.”
Eddie Plesa Jr., Itsmyluckyday, 15th place –“Elvis (Trujillo) said he didn’t like the track. It was something I was concerned about, but we were all running on the same track.”
Doug O’Neill, Goldencents, 17th place –“They went really fast early and I thought Kevin (Krigger) gave a great ride. He settled into a good spot and for some reason he didn’t fire today. They aren’t machines so you never know. He came back in good shape and we are all bummed but this horse has been so great.”
Rudy Rodriguez, Vyjack, 18th place – “The rider (Garrett Gomez) told me that he ran right off on him. Once he did that, he didn’t have any chance.”
John Terranova, Falling Sky, 19th place –“He didn’t handle the track. He’s OK; he’s cooling out good.”
KENTUCKY DERBY LOSING JOCKEY QUOTES
Robby Albarado, Golden Soul, second place –“It was great. I thought I had a great chance turning for home. I saw Orb up there. I’m just thankful for the opportunity. It’s amazing to get the opportunity. It was stop and go. I was comfortable with the pace. Stop and go just a couple times. I got a great inside trip. I got him out. He came running.’’
Calvin Borel, Revolutionary, third place –“The only thing I was I could have done on the far turn was creep up closer on him. Turning for home, I still thought we had a shot to win but he gave me a good turn of foot.”
Javier Castellano, Normandy Invasion, fourth place – “I was in mid-pack. That’s what I was looking for. The pace was very fast. I was mid-pack and saved all the ground in the first turn. As I figured out my trip, I was keeping track of Verrazano. I had a beautiful trip today. I was very excited turning for home. I thought I was going to win the race. But at the eighth pole my horse didn’t respond. I didn’t have it today.”
Rosie Napravnik, Mylute, fifth place –“I really had a great trip. Tom’s (Amoss) instructions were to just let him fall out of the gate. Run like he likes to run. So I was a little further back than I had hoped to be going into the first turn. We were right inside of Orb the whole way and I knew we were in good shape. We did have to go around but it was a clear run. It was an exhilarating feeling at the quarter pole knowing that I had a shot. I have never wanted to win a photo for third so bad in my life. The horse ran great and the best part is I think he’s really going to move forward off of this and I’m looking forward to his next race. He is really the right type of horse for these classic distance races and I’m really excited about his next race because he’s really growing into a very nice racehorse.”
Gary Stevens, Oxbow, sixth place – “Coming into the stretch, I had a big smile on my face. I’m going to win my fourth. But five strides later, I was attacked from the outside for a couple strides, and they went on. He was brave. He never gave it up at all. He ran all the way to the finish line and galloped back proud, and I’m proud of him.’’ On coming out of retirement and riding in another Derby: “I’ve got a smile on my face I can’t wipe off. It was fun. It was fun, because he ran his race. He got a chance today, and he fired a big bullet, and that’s when it’s fun, when you get a good trip in this race and the horse is giving his all. And he did.’’
Ryan Moore, Lines of Battle, seventh place – “The horse ran very well.”
Jon Court, Will Take Charge, eighth place – “I’d have to say what it was like was a lot of fun, without a doubt. I had a good break, ground-saving first turn, the transition was smooth. I think adequate to where we’d be able to make that big close. We started to engage turning for home, then he kind of started coming back and tailing. He was still picking up tired horses, but he didn’t have that big kick, turn of foot, and I just started maneuvering through horses that were stopping in front of me.”
Edgar Prado, Charming Kitten, ninth place – “He broke good and I was able to get right in and I was saving ground the first turn. We went by horses on the backside beautifully and in the second turn, same thing, I was able to save ground. At the quarter pole I didn’t have any kick left and he stayed steady. I was glad with the way he ran. I wish we could have run better.”
Jose Espinoza, Giant Finish, 10th place –“He didn’t handle the track very well. I had great position all the way around but he just wasn’t getting a hold of the track. “
Rafael Bejarano, Overanalyze, 11th place – “I was going good, then I got hit and bumped at the half-mile (pole). It threw him off. Then we got going again and he came running in the stretch. But it was too late.”
Mike Smith, Palace Malice, 12th place – “He just was too aggressive. Those blinkers. He just wanted to go and I didn’t have much choice.”
Julien Leparoux, Java’s War, 13th place –“As expected we were in the back. But after that I found the winner on the backside and followed him and made a run with him but just couldn’t do it.”
John Velazquez, Verrazano, 14th place –“We had a good trip. I just don’t think he liked the track. He was already in trouble on the first turn when he was trying to get a hold of the track. He was kicking a lot and overworking to keep up.”
Elvis Trujillo, Itsmyluckyday, 15th place – “He didn’t run his race. He just didn’t like the track.”
Victor Lebron, Frac Daddy, 16th place –“We had a good time out there. We had fun. He broke good and everything. We had a clear break to the first turn but by the three-quarter pole I just didn’t have anything.”
Kevin Krigger, Goldencents, 17th place – “I was comfortable where I was. I didn’t want to be up there with that :22 and :45 business. He just didn’t get there.”
Garrett Gomez, Vyjack, 18th place – “He broke in (toward the infield) on me. I think he was ducking from the crowd. He was all wound up; I couldn’t get him to settle. I tried to stay back, but he had to go. I let him out a bit in order to try to let him even out, but it didn’t work.”
Luis Saez, Falling Sky, 19th place – “My trip was good, he broke good and had good position. He got tired.”
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