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Orb gives McGaughey, Janney and Phipps emotional first Derby
Though the rains came early on Kentucky Derby Day, it wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of Louisville native Shug McGaughey as the veteran horseman watched his colt Orb come running late over the sloppy Churchill Downs oval to score a decisive 2 1/2-length victory in Derby 139.
It was the first Derby win for the trainer as well as Orb's owners, longtime industry stalwarts Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stables.
For a brief moment, Normandy Invasion looked ready to give the veterans who traveled from across the United States to visit the well-named colt a triumphant win in the 1 1/4-mile Derby. Palace Malice set the early pace through a swift first quarter in :22 2/5 and the half in :45 1/5 while jockey Joel Rosario patiently settled Orb well back near the rear of the field while about three wide off the rail.
Normandy Invasion was the first to go after Palace Malice, sweeping past the pacesetter entering the stretch and powering home. However, the rest of the field was quickly gaining ground, with Orb was going best of all. Rosario had the Malibu Moon sophomore circle the final turn widest of all and the duo swallowed Normandy Invasion while easily holding the rest of the closers to stop the clock in 2:02 4/5.
Orb was sent off the 5-1 favorite in the 19-horse field, paying $12.80, $7.40 and $5.40.
Golden Soul filled out the runner-up spot, while Revolutionary and Normandy Invasion completed the top four finishers.
Next under the wire were Mylute, Oxbow, Lines of Battle, Will Take Charge, Charming Kitten, Giant Finish, Overanalyze, Palace Malice, Java's War, Verrazano, Itsmyluckyday, Frac Daddy, Goldencents, Vyjack, Falling Sky.