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Orb Gives McGaughey and Rosario Their First Kentucky Derby Victory

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 superfecta.
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 finally came.”  


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Older Comments about Orb Gives McGaughey and Rosario Their First Kentucky Derby Victory...

I'm so happy for Shug, well deserved win. I love the fact that Orb kept pulling on the reins after finishing. He wanted to run. Awesome race and all the horse's did good. I'm more happy that they were all safe and sound.
Congrats to Shug and Orb. I couldn't be any happier for them. They represent the sport incredibly well.
Hope it's a Triple Crown Year
@Goblin... He was definitely focued, just too focused!
@sword, One of the last things Jerry Bailey said on the NBCSN wrap-up yesterday was that Dogwood now needs to consider another equipment change for Palace Malice. I was stunned that he went from being unfocused and "green" to running like a quarter horse. Who knew?
UPDATE -- BSF of 104 for Orb's Derby win.
@Andy..Definitely not a good decision. I guess he became too focus and just want to run.
Colt won the race NO ONE ELSE
What's better than picking the Derby winner on the first Saturday in May? Picking him on the third Saturday in March, when he was 13-1, :-))) .
Great for McGaughey's tears! God bless you!
Orbtastic ... On to the Preakness!
I guess adding blinkers with Palace Malice was a mistake!

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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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