The wet and wild 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is over. Orb lived up to his lofty expectations and took home the coveted roses. However, not all of the field would make the bettors happy.
Some of the major contenders simply couldn’t handle the adverse conditions and weren’t able to recover in time to make a good run, which opened the door for other horses to step up.
Here are some of the most surprising finishes from the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Goldencents was one of the major favorites coming into the race Saturday, at one point having 7-1 odds placed on him. Goldencents received a lot of media attention coming into the historic event because of his owner, Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.
Goldencents had some extremely impressive performances coming into the Derby, including a debut victory at Del Mar of over seven lengths. The horse then went on to put up an impressive second-place finish in Champagne and took another victory in the Delta Jackpot.
This horse had lofty expectations and a lot of the media’s attention but just couldn’t get the job done when it came down to the race. Goldencents was one of the horses that looked bogged down and struggled in the sloppy conditions. He started out as a major contender and was only able to muster a 17th-place finish in the field of 19, finishing over 49 lengths behind the winner.
Verrazano is another horse that came into this race with serious expectations. Verrazano did better than Goldencents but certainly didn’t live up to all the hubbub.
Verrazano came into the race with wins at Wood Memorial and the Tampa Bay Derby and had a few extremely impressive performances before taking the track in Kentucky.
As one of the major contenders coming into the race, a lot was expected of Verrazano, especially because he was trained by Todd Pletcher. Pletcher trained 2010 Derby winner Super Saver and led all trainers in monies won in 2011.
Verrazano had a lot going for him as he came into the race, but in the end he came up over 15 lengths short of a victory and was one of the many horses who couldn’t keep up with the speedy pace of the race.
Golden Soul makes this list for a different reason from the other two. Golden Soul outdid himself and surprised everyone as he crossed the finish line just two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner, Orb, as he took home a second-place victory at the Kentucky Derby.
Soul placed fourth at the Louisiana Derby and second at Lecomte before taking on the field in the Kentucky Derby, and due to his impressive pedigree which includes his sire, Perfect Soul, the former Canadian champion turf horse, Golden Soul was expected to perform much better on turf than anything else.
Golden Soul was able to thrive in the mud and muck and stayed solid throughout the race—solid enough to come in second place.
Trainers can now add mud and rainy conditions to the list of what Golden Soul should run on, because he surprised everyone and made anyone who picked him at the 31-1 pre-race odds a big winner at the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
|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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