Orb came roaring off the turn with a six wide sweeping move, reached the lead in mid-stretch and went on to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby by 2 ¾ lengths this past Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
At the start, Palace Malice surprisingly took the early lead and ripped off kamikaze like fractions of :22.2, :45.1, and scorched six furlongs in 1:09.4.
Goldencents stalked the pace in second, along with Falling Sky, Vyjack and Verrazano
As the pace began to meltdown on the turn for home, Normandy Invasion made a bid and seized command, albeit briefly.
All the while Orb was gathering momentum. Normandy Invasion completed a mile in 1:36 flat, and at that point, Orb had reached sixth position. He caught the leader inside the eighth pole and drew clear of the field while drifting out in deep stretch.
“This race is really special,” winning jockey Joel Rosario said. “You can see all these people, I mean, it’s something really unbelievable to see. Like right now I feel like I win the Kentucky Derby, it’s like a dream. I feel so good right now, I can’t explain to you how I feel.”
Golden Soul closed well from far back, while Revolutionary, with Calvin Borel up, came up the rail for third.
“We got beat by a great horse,” said Dallas Stewart, trainer of Golden Soul. “He ran terrific”.
Orb, who completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:02.3, paid $12.80, $7.40, and $5.40. Golden Soul paid an eye popping $38.60 and $19.40, and Revolutionary returned $5.40.
Normandy Invasion was fourth followed 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.
This year’s Derby was worth $2,174,800, with $1,414,800 going to the winner. The runner-up earned $400,000, third-place $200,000, fourth-place $100,000, and the fifth-place finisher received $60,000.
Attendance at Churchill Downs on Derby Day was reported as 151,616, the ninth-largest in the history of the race.
Here is the complete order of finish with comments and possible future plans:
1) Orb– was as far back at 17th position in the early going, circled the field while going as much as six wide on the turn for home and just exploded down the stretch.
It looks like he will head to the Preakness with full steam ahead.
“He looks great,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “I got back here last (Saturday) night and he was done up and standing up at the front of the stall, doing fine, and this morning (Sunday) he walked fine. Until they hooked him up at the back of the stall getting ready to ship him, he was standing up at the front of the stall eating out of his hay rack and seemed to be just fine.”
“Can’t wait to get there, (the Preakness)” McGaughey added. “I was eagerly anticipating running him here (in the Kentucky Derby) and I’m going to be that way if everything goes right and we get to go to Pimlico.”
2) Golden Soul– was as far back as 15th down the backside, picked his way between horses and closed well down the lane to be second…kudos to jockey Robby Albarado for the great ride.
Trainer Dallas Stewart said he will “probably pass” on the Preakness because of the short time span between the Preakness and Derby. He said he would instead would point the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
3) Revolutionary– also far behind early, ran into some traffic issues at the head of the stretch, closed well but just wasn’t good enough last Saturday from where I sit.
“I thought he ran super,” trainer Todd Pletcher. “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.”
Pletcher also said “doubts” none of his record tying five starters would run in the Preakness and that Revolutionary will be pointed to the Belmont Stakes.
4) Normandy Invasion– had a good trip. He broke well and sat seventh most of the way. He then made a huge move on the turn to take the lead but weakened slightly in deep stretch.
“He came out of the race really well,” trainer Chad Brown said. “I got a beautiful trip. He (Javier Castellano) gave me a great ground-saving trip in the first turn. I thought down the backside he made an excellent decision to stay off the rail and get out in the three or four path. At that point he identified Verrazano and figured I’ve got a live horse to follow just through the few holes that were ahead of him”.
“When the cadence quickened, he went with him and I looked like the winner at the top of the lane,” Brown said. “I would say at the eighth pole or sixteenth pole is when he got a little rubber-legged. I thought he was courageous in defeat and fought to the end. He just missed third there and he galloped out of it a little bit.”
Brown also said he and owner Rick Porter have “no plans” for the Preakness and that their goal is the Travers in August at Saratoga.
5) Mylute– another who was well back early (last after the first quarter mile) but was charging hard late and was only beaten about four lengths.
His fifth place finish under Rosie Napravnik was the best in derby history for a female jockey.
“We were right inside of Orb the whole way and I knew we were in good shape,” Napravnik said. “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.”
The Preakness is “a possibility” for Mylute.
6) Oxbow- was close (second) for most of the hot early pace and didn’t retreat as much as I thought he would down the stretch.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” trainer D Wayne Lukas said. “I thought at the quarter pole, Oxbow was going to get it, but then I saw the pack coming…. (Jockey) Gary (Stevens) was very happy with Oxbow.”
Lukas also said Oxbow and Will Take Charge will both head to Pimlico in two weeks for a rematch with Orb.
7) Line of Battle– outran his 32-1 odds for sure. He was 14th in the early stages, yet closed ground to wind up a decent seventh.
Lines of Battle, who is trained by Aiden O’Brien, headed back to Ireland last Sunday morning.
“He came out of the race fine,” said T.J. Comerford, assistant to O’Brien. “They went so fast so early, it was a shock to his system. (Jockey) Ryan (Moore) said he was bothered by the kickback but once he settled in he ran well.”
Comerford said the Preakness may be a possibility.
“We will see what Aidan wants to do, but he may consider it since he ran so well,” Comerford said. “He was a little bit like a 2-year-old with his first start. There was no time after Dubai (the group II UAE Derby on March 30) to run on dirt and you hate to use the Kentucky Derby as a prep. He’s bred for the dirt and the Belmont may be more of a consideration.”
8) Will Take Charge– who came out of the race with blood on his leg, for most part, had a pretty rough trip. He was forced five wide on the turn for home and was checked hard as well.
“He got a little nick and that is maybe where it happened,” Lukas said. “The seven-week break (from the Rebel Stakes) was a good idea and I’d do it again. He was a fresh horse and I think he will definitely be better in the next one.”
“We are all going to have to get better to beat him, (Orb)” Lukas said. “I think the Preakness will be the biggest hurdle for him for the Triple Crown. If he gets by that, he gets to go back home to Belmont and run right out of his stall.”
9) Charming Kitten– was mid pack during the race and at the end. He made a brief move at about the half mile pole but couldn’t build on it.
“I was very pleased with Charming Kitten’s race,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He ran great. For a horse running his first time on dirt, in a field like that on a track like that, he did very well. But he’ll go back to grass now. That’s where he belongs.”
10) Giant Finish– could get no closer than ninth position early and finished tenth, beaten about 14 lengths. No further plans have been announced yet.
11) Overanalyze– was never a factor and was beaten slightly more that 14 lengths. Immediate plans call for this colt to run back in the Belmont Stakes.
“(Owner) Mike Repole also indicated we’d go next in the Belmont with his horse,” said Pletcher. “He got shuffled around on the turn in the Derby, but came on late. It wasn’t a horrible effort; actually it wasn’t bad at all.
12) Palace Malice– set ridiculously fast early pace and retreated to 12th down the stretch. Another who’s immediate future is still up in the air.
“Mike (jockey Mike Smith) said if he rode (Palice Malice) again, he wouldn’t send him away from the gate like he did,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Once the horse got going, he didn’t want to come back. We’ll take him up to New York now and look around and figure out where we want to go with him next.
13) Java’s War– might have been one of the bigger disappointments of last Saturday afternoon as completely missing the break and spotting the field several lengths right out of the gate.
He came back from the Derby in good shape and was “bright” while walking the shedrow on Sunday, according to assistant trainer Phil Bauer. The colt is not under consideration for the Preakness but the Belmont Stakes remains a possibility
14) Verrazano– was sucked into that sizzling early pace and was thru at the quarter pole.
“Verrazano just never seemed to travel well at all,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I think the track really affected him. Somewhere along the way yesterday somebody stepped on his rear left hock and left an abrasion on it. It isn’t that serious and I don’t think it was the reason for why he ran the way he did, but it was just indicative of what kind of race it was. We’ll step back with him, too, and make a plan at some point.”
15) Itsmyluckyday– was fairly up close early (6th-7th positon) but faded badly when they turned for home.
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. reported Itsmyluckyday came out of a disappointing performance in the Derby “100 percent.” The trainer said it was “60-40” that Itsmyluckyday will run in the Preakness Stakes.
“We have to blame it on the (sloppy) race track. It’s not just making an excuse. He trained too well to run so bad,” Plesa said. “You could see where he was struggling with the racetrack all the way around. It wasn’t a case of soundness; it was a question of handling the racetrack.”
Itsmyluckyday was scheduled to ship to MonmouthPark on Sunday morning.
16) Frac Daddy– had a lot of 25’s going on in the Derby…like he was 25-1 and finished 25 lengths behind the winner. No future plans have been released at this writing.
17) Goldencents was disappointing as well and was being pulled up at the mid-stretch marker.
Trainer Doug O’Neill said “He was in good position early 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.”
“He came out of it in good shape… and it looks like we are going to go there (the Preakness)” said O’Neill.
“We’re still scratching our heads about the way the race unfolded,” O’Neill added. “I think he just didn’t enjoy the kickback (from mud being splashed by other horses) and where he was.”
O’Neill had praise for young jockey Kevin Krigger and the way he handled Goldencents once the race unfolded. (Not letting him get caught up in the suicidal early pace)
18) Vyjack– was third after the first quarter mile and gradually faded to 18th. I had a feeling they shouldn’t have run him with that lung infection he had a few weeks ago.
Vyjack also might join the Preakness field, according to trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Rodriguez said he will take a close look at him when he returns to his barn at Aqueduct Racetrack this week.
“(Jockey) Garrett (Gomez) told me that the horse ran off for the first five or six furlongs and that he just eased him up. He said he had no control of the horse in the beginning,” Rodriguez said. “He said the horse broke well, but he shied away from the crowd and when he took hold of him the horse just took off. He was never able to relax.”
Rodriguez said Vyjack came out of the race in good physical shape.
19) Falling Sky– broke as good as a horse could break, but just couldn’t keep up, was eased late and beaten some 50 lengths.
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