Trainer Shug McGaughey and
Jockey Joel Rosario combined to win their first Kentucky Derby when the 5-1 favorite Orb closed from a distant 16th place over the sloppy
Churchill Downs track to take the Run for the Roses.
Palace Malice surprised the
crowd of 151,616 when he set a blistering pace of :22.57, :45.33, and 1:09.80.
The pace was so fast that the anticipated front-runners Goldencents, Falling
Sky, and Itsmyluckyday could not contend.
As Palace Malice blazed on
the front end, Orb settled near the back of the pack. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, “I was so far
behind. I just let him be calm and let him relax. He was very relaxed he did
exactly what I wanted. We had a perfect trip.”
Rosario is the hottest rider
in the country. He has won more money and more races than any other rider. The
jubilant jockey said, “This is awesome. To win the $10 million Dubai World Cup
and to win the Derby now. It’s like I’m living a dream. I’m so happy now and
I’m so happy for Shug McGaughey. I feel awesome.”
Orb, who became the first
favorite to win the Derby since Big Brown did it in 2008, was victorious for his fifth consecutive race. It all began on November 24th, when he
broke his maiden going a mile on the main track at Aqueduct.
However, McGaughey was
cautious, preferring to take things race by race, waiting for the son of Malibu
Moon develop. The trainer didn’t feel like he had a Derby horse until after Orb
won the Florida Derby, saying that, “Patience is a mark of their barn”.
Owner and breeder Stuart
Janney III added, “They wanted to make sure that they had a horse that had a
really good chance to win the race.”
Orb was making his first
start on a wet track. He broke from post position 16 and quickly found himself
in 16th place going down the backstretch. Orb was swung out wide on
the final turn and advanced on the tiring leaders, getting to fifth place at
the top of the stretch. By mid-stretch Orb took the lead from Normandy Invasion
and drew off to win by 2½ lengths.
Orb paid $12.80 to win for
a $2 bet from a win pool of $36,615,208. Golden Soul finished second, while
Revolutionary got the show spot, and Normandy Invasion completed the
It was not only a popular
victory for the bettors, but also for the State of Kentucky when their native
son McGaughey finally got his Derby victory. The tearful trainer summed it up
best, “It means everything to me. I had always dreamed of this day and it