Kentucky Derby Results: What We Learned from a Thrilling Run for the Roses

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 4, 2013

Orb is the 2013 Kentucky Derby champion after a thrilling Run for the Roses.

The Shug McGaughey-trained horse took the lead down the home stretch and never looked back—holding on to beat Golden Soul and a fast-finishing Revolutionary. The win become just the fifth-time that a favorite has won the Derby in the last 25 years, but this one was completely deserved for Orb.

In case you missed it, here are some of the big storylines and talking points to emerge from the 139th Kentucky Derby and Orb's thrilling victory on the night.

The Rain Played Havoc for Many Horses

As expected, the rain at Churchill Downs this week meant that the chances of several horses were going to change. For some—like Golden Soul—that was a positive thing, but for the vast majority of the field, the rain severely dented their chances at success.

Pre-race contenders such as Goldencents, Overanalyze, Verrazano and Itsmyluckyday were all found wanting in the sluggish conditions—as the more renown wet-track horses came to the fore—finishing up to 49 lengths behind the first-place finisher in Orb.

It simply wasn't their day in the rain. 

As Did the Blistering Pace

Yet as much as the rain played havoc to the race, the blistering pace here also severely dented the chances of several horses, with Palace Malice setting a brutal pace early on in the race.

He registered an incredible 45.1 for the half-mile and forced horses to go much quicker than they had expected. The likes of Verrazano were caught out by the quick pace, and despite Palace Malice fading quickly, the damage had already been done.

Those trailing the leaders—such as Orb—were able to make strong runs once they hit the final stretch and utilize the long home straight at Churchill Downs to their advantage.

Calvin Borel Learned From Last Year's Mistakes

Last year, Calvin Borel chalked up a very disappointing in the Derby on board Take Charge Indy, who slipped down the field throughout the race to finish in 19th position.

And whilst his horse this year in Revolutionary was arguably stronger than that of Take Charge Indy, it was also clear that Borel has learned from his mistakes—guiding Revolutionary home along the inside to just nab third ahead of Normandy Invasion.

It was a stellar ride from Borel, and one that will no doubt please connections; perhaps more importantly, it was one that showed he's still a champion Derby jockey and a serious threat in 2014.

Orb is a Deserved Champion

Yet perhaps the biggest storyline to emerge from the weekend is that of Orb, who is a deserved champion in 2013. He was brilliantly ridden by Joel Rosario throughout the race, and despite taking some time to end up with favorite status, he still ended up winning the first-place prize.

Orb handled the wet conditions and quick pace perfectly—biding his time and coming from the back with a strong run. He took the lead down the home straight, and whilst he did look unsettled for a moment, he quickly got back in stride to pull away from the chasing field.

He has been the best horse in 2013 so far and showed that here with a comprehensive victory—one that was completely and utterly deserved for the colt.

2013 Kentucky Derby: Complete Standings for Entire Field

Place Horse Jockey Trainer Post
1 Orb Joel Rosario Claude R. McGaughey III 16
2 Golden Soul Robby Albarado Dallas Stewart 4
3 Revolutionary Calvin Borel  Todd Pletcher 3
4 Normandy Invasion Javier Castellano Chad Brown 5
5 Mylute Rosie Napravnik Tom Amoss 6
6 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 2
7 Lines of Battle Ryan Moore Aidan O'Brien 11
8 Will Take Charge Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas 17
9 Charming Kitten Edgar Prado Todd Pletcher 15
10 Giant Finish Jose L. Espinoza  Anthony W. Dutrow 7
11 Overanalyze  Rafael Bejarano Todd Pletcher  9
12 Palace Malice Mike Smith Todd Pletcher  10
13 Java's War  Julien Leparoux Kenny McPeek 19
14 Verrazano John R. Velazquez Todd Pletcher 14
15 Itsmyluckyday Elvis Trujillo Eddie Plesa, Jr.  12
16 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron  Kenny McPeek 18
17 Goldencents Kevin Krigger  Doug O'Neill  8
18 Vyjack Garrett Gomez Rudy Rodriguez 20
19 Falling Sky  Luis Saez  John Terranova II  13

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