By Dawn Cranfield
Orb Finishes First in the 139th Kentucky Derby
Orb was the winner at the 139th Kentucky Derby on a cold and wet Saturday at Churchill Downs. Despite the muddy conditions, Orb finished the one and a quarter mile race with a winning time of 2:02:89.
With stakes totaling $2 million and bets across the country, the race was on!
Orb outran Golden Soul, who came in second, by two and a half lengths, followed by Revolutionary who was another length back.
Jockey Joel Rosario said of Orb, “When it was time to go, I knew he was going to respond well, a perfect trip.” (cnn.com)
Rosario knows a perfect trip; on March 30, he won the most lucrative horse race in the world, the Dubai World Cup. He rode the 2011
Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, to victory to claim the $10 million purse. When he came to the Kentucky Derby, he won the prep race along with four others.
“‘To win the Dubai World Cup and the Derby, it is like living a dream,’ Rosario said. ‘I feel awesome, and this guy today, it was all him. I was so far behind. I let him be calm and relaxed.’” (nytimes.com)
First cousins, Ogden Mills Phipps and Stuart Janney III, are co-owners of Orb; Janney gives the credit of the horses win to trainer Shug McGaughey III. McGaughey, a Kentucky native is a widely respected trainer with his first win under his belt at the 139th Kentucky Derby, “I always dreamed of this day and it finally came,” says an emotional McGaughey. (cnn.com)
It seems every horse is compared to Secretariat, the greatest thoroughbred of all time, however, there is a reason that the comparison with Orb is more significant (incidentally, Orb finished more than three seconds slower than the legendary Secretariat did when setting the race record in 1973); the Phipps family lost out on the purchase of the renowned racehorse through the flip of a coin.
However, Janney claims, “I never saw my grandmother or my Uncle Ogden spend too much time worrying about spilled milk,” He goes on to say, “They were always about what’s going to happen next. I can remember Uncle Ogden would be very nervous before a big race. There were many times when whatever his expectations were, they didn’t turn out, the horse ran terribly, whatever. It was like he just turned the page.” (nytimes.com)
So, what is next for Orb and his trainer McGaughey, well, neither one of them is saying. Orb, for the obvious reasons, and McGaughey, when asked if the race as changed his life, “The way it’s going to change my life is I won’t have to worry about it anymore. The worry was always there.” (bleacherreport.com)
“Now, he is on an adventure that could lead to the Triple Crown. He won his first Kentucky Derby the right way, an old-school way, and there may be no looking back.” (bleacherreport.com)
The Kentucky Derby is tradition dating back more than a century; the horse race caps a two-week celebration and is widely known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.” The race is for three-year-old thoroughbreds and is held in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May.