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 1⁄2-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.
Until next year!