Orb emerged as the winner in the 139th Kentucky Derby on Saturday with Joel Rosario in the saddle after being as far back as 15th in the middle of the race. However, some horses that were expected to run well did not—most notably 7-to-1 contender Goldencents.
After winning his previous four races entering the first leg of the Triple Crown, Verrazano was the pre-Derby favorite. His odds ballooned thereafter, but ultimately, Verrazano was still an 8-to-1 bet.
Despite having a Hall of Fame jockey in John Velazquez and the training of the legendary Todd Pletcher, Verrazano simply never got going. That was at least somewhat due to a gash that Verrazano sustained during the race, though, as documented by LGS Racing (Warning: Photo is mildly graphic.):
Here's the pic of Verrazano's gash - he'll be back! twitter.com/LGSRacing/stat…— LGS Racing (@LGSRacing) May 5, 2013
Additionally, Itsmyluckyday—who was listed at 9-to-1 just before the starting gates opened—didn't even come close to living up to his namesake.
Below are the complete results from this year's Run for the Roses, followed by several notables that didn't live up to expectations.
Note: All statistics and information, unless otherwise indicated, are courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com.
|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|
Goldencents (Odds: 7-1; Place: 17)
There were so many encouraging signs that indicated Goldencents might ride into the winner's circle. Unfortunately, what would have been an historic, storybook conclusion to Goldencents' bid wasn't meant to be.
Trainer Doug O'Neill won last year's race with I'll Have Another, and his top horse this time around looked exceptional in coming off of a triumph at the Santa Anita Derby.
The speedy colt was stymied by the sloppy, muddy track, showing that his experience training in similar conditions didn't translate to success in competition at Churchill Downs.
It was hard to fathom such a subpar finish for Goldencents, and it thwarted Kevin Krigger's bid to become the first black jockey to win the Derby since 1902.
Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader highlighted just how far off the winning pace Goldencents was:
Final Derby chart: Rick Pitino's Goldencents eased up and finished 49 1/2 lengths behind winner Orb.— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) May 5, 2013
Louisville Cardinals basketball head coach Rick Pitino owns five percent of the horse, which only enhanced hometown sentiment for Goldencents. It was an extremely underwhelming showing for a horse with such favorable odds, and it had to be the biggest disappointment in the field.
Verrazano (Odds: 8-1; Place: 14)
Few would have predicted that Verrazano's finish would correspond precisely with his post position of No. 14.
That's what makes horse racing so thrilling, though. Verrazano looked invincible to begin his young career, which didn't get underway until 2013.
After winning the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes against top-notch competition, expectations were raised for Pletcher's pupil. Eventually, Revolutionary passed Verrazano as Pletcher's top contender, and Verrazano wound up being a total non-factor.
Pletcher on Verrazano: "He just never got the kind of trip we hoped for. That fast pace was just no good for him. - MORE - @kentuckyderby— loumonaco (@loumonaco) May 5, 2013
More Pletcher: "And he (Verrazano) was the one - of all of our horses - who was affected most by the racetrack. :e just couldn't handle it."— loumonaco (@loumonaco) May 5, 2013
Odds were ballooning on Verrazano throughout the week, so it's not quite as big of a surprise that he didn't run well. Having said that, this was arguably the best all-around horse in the field with his combination of swiftness and size.
A legitimate bid to win never materialized for whatever reason, as Verrazano suffered his first career loss in lopsided fashion.
Itsmyluckyday (Odds: 9-1; Place: 15)
The Fourth and requisite force to win was not with this three-year-old on Star Wars Day, as Itsmyluckyday trudged through Churchill Downs and never cruised into contention.
A big reason Itsmyluckyday's odds kept dropping ahead of the race was because of a previous victory on a wet track, as Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports alluded to:
FWIW, these are the Derby horses that have won a race on a wet track: Revolutionary, Giant Finish, Itsmyluckyday, Falling Sky, Vyjack.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 4, 2013
Which horse did you find to be the biggest letdown?
Whether it was the atmosphere of intensified stakes or the complexion of the track surface, that past success was not replicated in any way on Saturday.
Itsmyluckyday provided trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. with a golden opportunity to win his maiden Triple Crown event.
Jockey Elvis Trujillo simply lacked the resume of many of the field's top finishers, too, which is at least part of why Itsmyluckyday didn't live up to the increasing buzz he generated late in the week.