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Orb shrugs off Churchill slop to uncork winning rally in Kentucky Derby

Joel Rosario rides Orb during 139th Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs Saturday May 4 2013 Louisville Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Joel Rosario rides Orb during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) ORG XMIT: DBY193

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Horse Wgt PP 1/4 1/2 3/4 1M Str Fin Jockey Odds

Orb 126 15 16-11/2 16-1 17-1 5-1/2 2-21/2 1-21/2 Rosario 5.40

Golden Soul 126 3 15-1 15-1/2 15-hd 7-hd 3-hd 2-1 Albarado 34.50

Revolutionary 126 2 17-1/2 18-2 18-1 12-1/2 5-1/2 3-hd Borel 6.40

Normandy Invasion 126 4 12-11/2 7-1 6-21/2 1-1/2 1-hd 4-hd Castellano 9.30

Mylute 126 5 18-4 17-hd 16-1/2 9-1/2 6-2 5-6 Napravnik 15.30

Oxbow 126 1 6-1/2 5-11/2 2-1/2 2-1/2 4-1/2 6-2 Stevens 24.90

Lines of Battle 126 10 13-hd 14-1 14-hd 11-hd 11-21/2 7-1/2 Moore 31.90

Will Take Charge 126 16 10-hd 10-hd 11-11/2 6-1 9-1/2 8-1 Court 36.40

Charming Kitten 126 14 11-hd 12-2 8-1/2 10-1/2 10-1/2 9-hd Prado 33.20

Giant Finish 126 6 9-1 9-31/2 9-11/2 13-11/2 13-1/2 10-hd Espinoza 38.60

Overanalyze 126 8 14-1 13-1/2 13-1/2 16-1 15-4 11-hd Bejarano 16.20

Palace Malice 126 9 1-hd 1-31/2 1-31/2 3-11/2 7-1/2 12-2 Smith 23.70

Java’s War 126 18 19 19 19 14-hd 14-1 13-nk Leparoux 21.50

Verrazano 126 13 4-1/2 2-hd 3-1 4-2 8-2 14-61/2 Velazquez 8.70

Itsmyluckyday 126 11 7-21/2 6-11/2 7-1 8-1/2 12-hd 15-2 Trujillo 9.50

Frac Daddy 126 17 8-1/2 11-1 12-1/2 17-1/2 16-2 16-25 Lebron 25.00

Goldencents 126 7 2-1 4-1 5-hd 15-11/2 17-2 17-3 Krigger 7.90

Vyjack 126 19 5-hd 3-1 4-hd 18-1/2 19 18-nk Gomez 18.80

Falling Sky 126 12 3-hd 8-1/2 10-1/2 19 18-2 19 Saez 39.70

• Time (11/4 miles): 22.57, 45.33 , 1:09.80, 1:36.16, 2:02.89

16 Orb $12.80 $7.40 $5.40 • Exacta (16-4) paid $981.60

4 Golden Soul $38.60 $19.40 • Trifecta (16-4-3) paid $6,925.60

3 Revolutionary $5.40 • Superfecta (16-4-3-5) paid $57,084.00

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Updated: June 6, 2013 7:16AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Way back in the pack heading into the final turn, Orb was calm even if his ­jockey wasn’t.

Then trainer Shug McGaughey’s bay colt picked up speed, churning through a sloppy track that resembled creamy peanut butter, and blew past rivals one-by-one.

By that time, jockey Joel Rosario knew he was aboard the Kentucky Derby winner.

Orb powered to a 21/2-length victory Saturday at Churchill Downs, giving McGaughey and Rosario their first Derby wins.

“I was so far behind,” Rosario said. “He was very relaxed, it’s exactly what I wanted.”

Rosario had Orb in the clear on the outside and they forged to the lead in deep stretch, with enough momentum to hold off 34-1 shot Golden Soul.

It was a popular victory before a crowd of 151,616, which poured enough late money on Orb to make him the 5-1 favorite, a position ­Revolutionary had owned most of the day.

McGaughey, a 62-year-old native of Lexington, finally got the Derby victory he had long sought. Orb was just his second starter since 1989, when he settled for second ­after Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer on a muddy track.

“It means everything to me,” the Hall of Famer said. ‘I’ve always dreamed of this day and it finally came.”

The race was dominated by closers. Golden Soul rallied from 15th to second. Revolutionary was 18th at one point and finished third. Normandy Invasion finished fourth. The second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown will be May 18 when the Preakness Stakes is held at Pimlico.

The rain that pelted the track earlier in the day had stopped by the time 19 horses paraded to the post for the 139th Derby. While it created a gloppy surface, it didn’t seem to bother Orb, who had never previously run on a wet track.

“I said, ‘A day like today might have cost me one Kentucky Derby, maybe it’ll turn around and help us today,’ ” McGaughey said.

Rosario had ridden Orb five times with two wins before John Velazquez took the reins for the back-to-back stakes victories that made Orb a Derby favorite.

But Velazquez chose to ride Verrazano and ended up 13 spots behind Rosario and Orb. Not a bad reunion between horse and rider.

“After passing the three-eighths pole, I knew it was time to move and I can see he was catching horses really quick,” said Rosario, whose Derby victory follows his March 30 win in the $10 million Dubai World Cup aboard 2011 Derby champion Animal Kingdom.

Orb’s triumph was a victory for the old school of racing, in which a private trainer such as McGaughey works exclusively for wealthy owners, in this case Stuart Janney and Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps.

“The Phippses and Janneys has been my whole life for 20 some years now, and have really kind of given me everything I’ve got,” said McGaughey, who never lost his thick Southern drawl despite years of working in New York.

The first cousins, among the sport’s blue bloods that include the old-money Whitney and Vanderbilt families, also got their first gold Derby trophy.

History was denied on several fronts:

◆ Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Derby record fell to 1-for-36 after sending out a record-tying five horses for the second time. Besides Revolutionary, Charming Kitten was ninth; Overanalyze was 11th; early pacesetter Palace Malice was 12th; and previously unbeaten Verrazano was 14th.

◆ Rosie Napravnik’s bid to become the first woman jockey to win ended with a fifth-place finish aboard Mylute. It still was the highest finish by a woman rider, bettering her ninth-place showing two years ago.

◆ Kevin Krigger failed in his attempt to be the first black jockey to win since 1902. He rode Goldencents to a 17th-place finish. Rick Pitino owns 5 percent of the colt, who failed to deliver a horses/hoops double for the coach of the national champion Louisville basketball team.

◆ D. Wayne Lukas missed out on becoming the oldest trainer to win at 77. He saddled two horses: Oxbow was sixth with 50-year-old Gary Stevens making a Derby comeback after seven years in retirement, and Will Take Charge was eighth.


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