Projecting Triple-Crown Odds for Orb

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04:  (L-R) Joel Rosario atop Orb celebrates with the trophy after winning the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby as owner Ogden “Dinny” Phipps , trainer Shug McGaughey and owner Stuart Janney III look on at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After a thrilling, come-from-behind victory at the 139th Kentucky Derby, it's Orb that will be dominating headlines as we begin to figure out his chances at winning the elusive Triple Crown.

In a mud-filled race, many were wondering if the inconsistent Orb was ready to make a late surge or if the conditions would deter him. Obviously, he proved which of those were true with his victory.

Now that we have our champion and a better outlook, it's time to dive into Triple Crown odds for the three-year-old colt to see if he has a real chance of matching what Affirmed did in 1978.

My unofficial, predicted odds for Orb to win the Triple Crown are 15-to-1.

For trainer Claude "Shug" McGaughey III to have a better feel of his horse's chances, all he has to do is look around at the competitors at Churchill Downs. The massive flock of favorites made predicting the race so difficult that the favorite seemed to change every hour.

With that level of quality surrounding Orb, it would be a miraculous feat for him to threaten the Triple Crown. Out of Verrazano, Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, Revolutionary and more, there will be a heap of contenders threatening Orb.

Don't let the thrilling run of I'll Have Another in 2012 fool you. Even winning the Preakness Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby is a huge feat, to say the least, and Orb will go down in history if he's capable of doing that.

While it's too early for official odds to come out on Orb's chances at the Triple Crown, don't expect them to be high. Oddsmakers and bettors will take into account the quality horses surrounding Orb. 

Here's the list of where each horse finished in the Kentucky Derby:


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


Heading into Saturday's race, there was no telling which of the contenders would claim glory at Churchill Downs. Though, Orb was one of the favorites throughout a week that saw the odds change like crazy and ended up being the favorite when the gates opened (according to

At first, it seemed like a mistake. Coming out of the 16th gate, Orb was stuck near the back of the 19-horse field for much of the race as he couldn't escape a crowded, muddy flock of horses.

But when the horses approached the final turn, Orb's dominance began to show. After being one of the last three horses at the time, he put on a show as he reached the outside and blistered past his competition.

Orb may not have great odds of winning the Triple Crown, but what he was able to do Saturday at Churchill Downs was nothing short of spectacular and will go down in horse racing lore.