When all was said and done on Saturday at Churchill Downs, Orb had become the fifth horse to win the Kentucky Derby at the No. 16 post position.
Orb was one of the favorites leading up to the race, along with Revolutionary (who finished third). Golden Soul was the biggest surprise on Saturday, finishing second despite facing 34-1 odds before the Derby. Golden Soul hadn't won in 2013 and his only career victory was a maiden race.
|Golden Soul ||—||$38.60||$19.40 |
|Revolutionary||— ||— ||$5.40|
While the No. 16 post position hasn't historically sparked many horses to victory at the Derby, it is worth noting that two of the last three champions at the Derby have come at the position. You can't read anything into that, though. Both Orb and Animal Kingdom (2011) had the speed to win from the outside, so their victories had more to do with their respective abilities.
Verrazano's tumble down the proverbial ladder was one of the storylines over the past week. Despite being an early favorite, he had fallen out of favor with a lot of bettors before the Derby. That proved to be a sign, as the Todd Pletcher horse placed 14th, suffering a nasty gash in the process.
Itsmyluckyday also disappointed. The horse came into the race with 9-1 odds, but finished 15th. Itsmyluckyday had won two of his three starts in 2013 before Saturday's action.
Goldencents was also a bet that went curiously awry at Churchill Downs. The colt had won four of his six career starts headed into the Derby (including the Santa Anita Derby on April 6), but ultimately finished 17th.
It was a mixed result for Normandy Invasion. The horse came into the race with 9-1 odds so there was some backing for him to win the race, but he finished fourth. Still, it could have been worse, as he charged late.
Talk will undoubtedly pick up surrounding Orb's Triple Crown legitimacy now. There hasn't been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 so it's only natural that a strong race at the Derby by Orb would lead to some scrutiny.
Orb's combination of speed, endurance and pedigree, as well as his composure (he roared back at the end despite being nudged and falling back early in the race), projects him to finish well at both the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. He has won his last five starts.