The 139th Run for the Roses took more than a few interesting turns, as the 2013 Kentucky Derby was full of surprises from Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Orb, the consensus favorite entering the derby, lived up to his hype by breezing through the competition with a 2.5-length victory, per ESPN. While an Orb win certainly wasn't a shocker, there were some big surprises from the Kentucky Derby this past weekend.
Here are the three biggest things that stood out to me.
Kentucky Derby Results
|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
Verrazano Finishes Near Back of the Pack
Under the care of famous trainer Todd Pletcher and experienced jockey John Velazquez, Verrazano was supposed to be a legitimate contender in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
In their power rankings entering the Run for the Roses, the guys at the Daily Racing Forum had Verrazano as their No. 2 horse for the race. Instead, the colt placed a dismal 14th after being undefeated in four starts.
Verrazano had 8-1 odds entering the race (via KentuckyDerby.com) but was never a factor in the race, starting from the 14th post.
Pletcher had a rough day on Saturday, but nothing was more surprising than the performance of Verrazano.
Astonishing Performance for Golden Soul
Golden Soul entered the 2013 Kentucky Derby with 34-1 odds (via KentuckyDerby.com) and left Churchill downs placing second in the 139th Run for the Roses.
What's so impressive about Golden Soul's placing on Saturday is that he did it on a sloppy track. Golden Soul is known as a stretch runner, so the muddy track wasn't necessarily a benefit for the colt on race day.
Coming from behind, Golden Soul persevered through the inclement weather to earn trainer Dallas Stewart and jockey Robby Albarado a second-place finish.
After a fourth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby on Mar. 30, Golden Soul upped the ante and rewarded those bold enough to put their money down on the longshot.
Todd Pletcher Horses Disappoint
Entering the Run for the Roses, Todd Pletcher was pegged to find success in the derby due to boasting five horses in the race.
His prized horse, Verrazano, was the biggest disappointment among Pletcher-trained colts, as he finished 14th after analysts had predicted him to finish near the top. While Revolutionary did place third, Charming Kitten finished a disheartening ninth while Overanalyze and Palace Malice finished 11th and 12th.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Pletcher hasn't had much success in the derby despite his reputation as one of the best trainers.
Kentucky Derby draw today... Since 2007, Super Saver is the only of Todd Pletcher’s 17 Derby starters to finish better than 6th.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 2, 2013
While Revolutionary became the second top-six finisher for Pletcher, the top finish doesn't outweigh the lack of performance from Pletcher's horses on Saturday.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer