Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb rallied from far off the pace to take command in mid-stretch en route to a 2 ½-length victory in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario, Orb covered the 1 ¼ miles on a sloppy main track in 2:02.89 in front of 151,616 fans. It was the first Kentucky Derby victory for McGaughey and Rosario.
“It is a huge thrill,” McGaughey said at the post-race press conference. “I mean, the Phippses and Janneys, has been my whole life for 20 some years now, and they have really kind of given me everything I’ve got. I’m so appreciative to them. I’m extremely proud to be able to work with people such as this. To bring a day like today into their—into all our lives is just a huge, huge thrill for me. All I can do is just say thanks for the opportunity.”
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.
Winner of the Floirda Derby (G1) in his prior start, Orb is a Kentucky-bred son of Malibu Moon out of the Unbridled mare Lady Liberty. He was broken and trained in Ocala/Marion County by Niall Brennan.
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.
On the far turn, the pack closed in on Palace Malice with Oxbow attacking from the inside and Normandy Invasion moving rapidly on the outside to take the lead. However, Rosario had Orb in the clear on the outside and he forged to the lead at the eighth pole and had more than enough to hold off Golden Soul.
Revolutionary closed strongly along the rail to finish third, a head in front of Normandy Invasion.
Sent off as the favorite in the field of 19, Orb returned $12.80, $7.40 and $5.40. Golden Soul, ridden by Robby Albarado, returned $38.60 and $19.40 in finishing a length in front of Revolutionary, who paid $5.40 to show under Calvin Borel.
Normandy Invasion was followed in order 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.