Revolutionary and Orb: May They Meet Again


Two three-year-old colts were featured in this weekend's stakes races, both of whom will likely be among the top selections in the Kentucky Derby. Although Orb and Revolutionary ran in different races over the weekend, they have met before: in the second at Aqueduct on November 24, 2012. That was a $67,000 maiden special weight contested at one mile, in which Orb prevailed over Revolutionary.



1-5 favorite Revolutionary found early trouble that day, as he was blocked at the start and came away last. Orb was taken back after a clean start, and the two Derby hopefuls trailed the field at the first call. John Velasquez took Revolutionary to the rail, while Orb was guided outside to a clearer path by Joel Rosario. When things opened up in the stretch, though, it was Orb who had all of the run. Orb came out a bit at the top of the lane, but was quickly redirected to his target, running right towards pacesetting Freedom Child, who deferred and shifted inside as Orb ran by. Orb ran without Lasix that day, as he had before.



Revolutionary has raced three times since. First, he remained at the same conditions on a good Aqueduct inner track. Drawn outside that day, Revolutionary broke flawlessly, this time under Ramon Dominguez, and pressed the pace in third before drawing off to a commanding victory.


Next came the Withers, where Revolutionary received a third rider change to Javier Castellano, Like in the maiden race against Orb, Revolutionary was drawn inside and took up running at the back of the pack near the rail. Unlike the maiden race, however, Revolutionary came into the stretch full of run and bobbed and weaved his way to a neck victory.


Most recently, in the Louisiana Derby, Castellano remained as the rider and again took Revolutionary to the back early. He avoided traffic this time, however, and opted to circle the field rather than come up the inside. This kept Revolutionary free from trouble, but it also got him to the lead at the top of the stretch where he would have to hold horses off. Revolutionary showed a new dimension in responding, engaging with Mylute before taking command by a neck.


Closing into a solid pace, Revolutionary ran his final ¼ in 12 & 2/5. The last ¾ of the race went in 38 & 2/5 for a final time of 1:50 & 1/5. Nothing spectacular, but Revolutionary has shown the ability to pass horses and draw off. He has also shown the ability to engage with approaching horses and hold them off. He is a member of female family 1-x, which bodes well for his chances in the Kentucky Derby, and a dosage profile of 10-8-12-1-1 indicates some true staying stamina in his recent ancestry.  



Orb has also raced three times since his maiden win over Revolutionary. He was sent first to a $75,000, nine furlong optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park, where he ran with Lasix for the first time. Orb was held back early and settled in last before beginning his run on the backstretch and taking command in the lane. In his first test at nine furlongs, Orb ran his final ¼ in 13 & 1/5 after a slow opening. The last ¾ went in a solid 37 & 2/5 for a 1:51 final time.


John Velasquez got the call for the Fountain of Youth, Orb's next start. He took Orb back, as usual, off of the hot pace. Violence overtook the pacesetter coming around the far turn, but Orb ran by him in the stretch. Violence dug in, but Orb held on stubbornly for his third consecutive victory.


In the Florida Derby, Orb stayed closer to the slow pace, but had racing room as usual. He began his run going into the far turn and caught Itsmyluckyday in deep stretch. Like in his maiden race and the Fountain of Youth, Orb came into the stretch with a powerful run, then almost seemed to flatten for a second at the top of the lane before locking onto the lead horse. Orb ran his final ¼ in 12 & 2/5 after a slow beginning. The final ¾ went in 38 flat for a 1:50 & 4/5 final time.


While I am no expert on emotional confirmation, Orb has always had clean trips and has seemingly been deferred to by horses he passes. He is a member of female family 8-c, which includes Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus and all-timers Ruffian and John Henry (plus another very sound racehorse, Brass Hat). His 11-12-15-0-2 dosage profile, like that of Revolutionary, has plenty of stamina.


I admire the accomplishment of both of these horses, but at the moment, Orb looks like the most dangerous horse pointing toward Churchill Downs. Revolutionary is among the rest of my top five, which includes, in no specific order, Itsmyluckyday, Vyjack, and Normandy Invasion. We will know more about the latter two, Verrazano, and the interesting Mr. Palmer this weekend.


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Older Comments about Revolutionary and Orb: May They Meet Again...

Patrick. I think Borel is a good choice for this horse. If anyone will keep him out of trouble and get him out of the gate in good order, Borel will.
Sorry, I meant JC
buckpasser. I agree he has been slow from the gate. But how much was it the horses fault! I am actually glad that JV is no longer on him. I seen several mistakes he made in the withers but was still able to win. JV certainely got him home to his credit but if it wasn't for mistakes I thought he made, Revolutionary would have won by alot. I,m glad Borel is aboard in the KD. Also I guess Java's War is finished for the Derby as he always gets stuck in the gate. Hence last race. Only the surface saved him. Don't look for that kind of rally at Churchill!
I do think Orb has been free of trouble in his races and I think that he improves with each race and if he has an outside post in the Derby, he may well end up in the winners circle. I think Floridaf hit the nail on the head with Revolutionary in comparing him to Union Rags as being slow from the gate and finding himself in trouble. If there is any race where slow from gate and finding trouble on the way spells doom it is the Derby.
This is best article I've read today (4/15)= You nailed the "Closer-frame" and now, who's the "Pace-Colt" in KD #139?
Revolutionary was finally circled outside in the LA Derby, but, save his maiden breaker, he hasn't been getting out of the gate quickly. He's also been drawn inside and been settled, near last, on the rail for most of his running. Certainly his trouble in the Withers, really the only trouble hes been in, may be attributed to many things (horse, jockey, luck). Revolutionary, however, must take the blame for being slow from the gate and thus subject to such trouble. Also, though he and Orb are both closers, Orb's trips have been free of such events.
Looked like Revolutionary was over whatever "getting himself into trouble? " he's had, with his win in the Louisiana Derby. I like him better out of the two in this blog, for the Kentucky Derby, behind my other two favorites on the trail, Hear The Ghost and Verrazano. I do like the continued improvement of Orb.
Or both!
It sure seems like these two NY horses will meet again, be it in the Derby, or the Travers.
One of the things that has really impressed me about Orb is the fact that he has won at Gulfstream while running off the pace, something you don't typically see at that track. The more I think about it, the more I become sold on Orb. Revolutionary strikes me as this year's Union Rags...always finding or creating trouble for himself.
Thanks for posting this race, Alex ... You can really see the talents of both young horses developing in this maiden race.

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