- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Kentucky Derby winner Orb was heavily favored to win Saturday's $1 million Preakness at Pimlico, middle jewel of the Triple Crown, but at the conclusion of the 1 3/16-mile classic it was Oxbow, another colt with legendary connections, who ended Orb's quest to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
Poised for the Preakness, Kentucky Derby winner Orb has racing world buzzing about Triple Crown potential
If the Kentucky Derby was a coming-out party for Orb, the fabulously talented winner of five consecutive races, it was also an unveiling for his rider, Joel Rosario, who in the space of just a few months has come to be recognized as the best jockey in North America.
“Sometimes I pinch myself and say, ‘Why does this happen to me?’ ” said McGaughey, noting how many talented horsemen never had the same opportunities that he has had. “When I got to really rolling, I remember many a day after we’d won a big race in New York, I’d be leaving and I’d think, ‘How lucky am I? Why is this happening to me?’ ”
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.
Derby fixtures share a slew of stories: Kentucky Derby 139 the latest chapter for these Churchill Downs familiar faces
Among the more than 151,000 assembled today at Churchill Downs were some old friends of the Kentucky Derby – a mutuel clerk who's been punching tickets for half a century, an acclaimed photographer who's been a fixture since Bold Forbes upset Honest Pleasure 37 years ago, and an elevator operator who in her nine years here has made a legion of friends to last a lifetime.
Though the rains came early on Kentucky Derby Day, it wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of Lexington native Shug McGaughey as the veteran horseman and Hall of Famer watched his colt Orb come running late over the sloppy, sealed Churchill Downs oval to score a decisive 2 1/2-length victory in Derby 139.
It was the first Derby win for the trainer, jockey Joel Rosario and the homebred Orb's owners, longtime industry stalwarts Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stables.
Trained by Charlie LoPresti and ridden by Jose Lezcano, Wise Dan covered the 1 1/8 miles on a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as yielding in 1:51.84.
The victory was worth $331,993 and boosted Wise Dan's earnings to $4,059,631 with a record of 22-15-1-0. Wise Dan's past five victories have come in Grade I races.
Wise Dan is a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Wiseman's Ferry out of the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle.
Trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Delaunay covered the seven furlongs on the sloppy main track in 1:22.35.
The victory, the sixth in a row for Delaunay, was worth $264,031 and improved his earnings to $803,486 with a record of 39-14-8-3. It was the first graded stakes victory for Delaunay.
Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Stephanie’s Kitten covered the mile on a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as yielding in 1:37.94.
The victory was worth $173,654 and increased Stephanie’s Kitten’s earnings to $1,280,403 with a record of 11-6-0-3 that includes a victory in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GII) here.
Stephanie’s Kitten is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of the Catienus mare Unfold the Rose.
Forget baseball for a minute; on the first Saturday in May, betting on the Kentucky Derby is the national – and international – pastime.
Last year, more than $187 million was wagered on the Derby, and only about 13 percent of that was generated by the 165,307 fans who shoe-horned into Churchill Downs to see I'll Have Another charge to an upset victory. The remaining $163.2 million was bet off-track.