Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Orb bides his time, wins muddy 139th Kentucky Derby

By Phil Gast and Cameron Tankersley, CNN
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Sun May 5, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Orb wins 139th Kentucky Derby on a late charge
  • Track at Churchill Downs was sloppy because of rain
  • Another favorite, Revolutionary, finished third

(CNN) -- Orb, far back in the pack for much of the race, made a late charge to win the 139th running of the mud-spattered Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Golden Soul was second, followed by Revolutionary.

Orb, the post-time favorite at 5-1, had a winning time of 2:02.89 over the 1ΒΌ-mile track. The stakes totaled $2 million.

"When it was time to go, I knew he was going to respond well," jockey Joel Rosario said of Orb, calling his race a "perfect trip."

Rosario and Orb stand in the Churchill Downs winner's circle after winning the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Kentucky. Rosario and Orb stand in the Churchill Downs winner's circle after winning the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Kentucky.
139th Kentucky Derby
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>

Shug McGaughey III, a Kentucky native and widely respected trainer who had yet to win the Derby, was overcome with emotion by Orb's comeback, breaking down as he tried to explain his joy.

"I always dreamed of this day and it finally came," said McGaughey.

Orb's co-owner Stuart Janney gave McGaughey the credit, noting that many had been saying his time to win the Derby had come.

"We certainly hoped it had," Janney said. "And it did."

What are Orb's Triple Crown chances?

Palace Malice, ridden by veteran rider Mike Smith, broke out to a several-lengths lead about halfway through the race.

The lead group tightened leaving the backstretch, with Normandy Invasion briefly taking the lead before Orb made his dramatic move.

More than 150,000 spectators packed Churchill Downs in Louisville, where rain had fallen much of the day and left the track sloppy.

The Derby, which features the nation's finest 3-year-olds, is the first jewel of the Triple Crown. The 138th running of the Preakness, on May 18 in Maryland, is the second, followed by the Belmont Stakes, in New York on June 8.

Only 11 horses have won the crown, none since Affirmed did in 1978.

Two riders were trying to make history Saturday, but came up short.

Goldencents was ridden by Kevin Krigger, who vied to become the first black jockey to win the premier race since Jimmy Winkfield took the trophy back-to-back in 1901 and 1902. Goldencents finished 17th.

Rosie Napravnik, 25, riding Mylute, made a bid to be the first female jockey to win the race. Mylute finished fifth.

It was the first Kentucky Derby win for Rosario.

Orb finished more than three seconds slower than Secretariat, which set the race record in 1973.

CNN's Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
He's won six Olympic medals on two legs, but Bode Miller's future will ride on four -- can he replicate his skiing success in the "Sport of Kings"?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
As a jockey, Philip Blacker lived for the thrills and spills of horse racing. As a sculptor, his work captures the horror of World War I.
updated 11:12 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Ever thought zebras couldn't be tamed? Think again. Gary Witheford has a remarkable way with wild animals -- which he proved after a pub boast.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
The internet went wild for so-called "horse yoga" -- but there was something deeper going on that reconnects humans with the animal world.
updated 9:23 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
The going is always soft and the only permanent building is a toilet block. It's the antithesis to the pomp of Royal Ascot ... welcome to Irish beach racing.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Show me the money! Hollywood star Tom Cruise was a big hit when he visited the Glorious Goodwood festival.
updated 8:41 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
updated 9:25 AM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
Winning Post's Francesca Cumani is impressed by the all-round multitasking skills of Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.
updated 4:53 AM EDT, Sat June 7, 2014
 An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.
More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.
updated 7:37 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
A long history of controversy made him the "enfant terrible" of horse racing, but veteran jockey Kieren Fallon is looking for redemption.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT