Kentucky Derby 2013 Results: Most Intriguing Storylines to Come from 139th Race

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Kentucky Derby 2013 Results: Most Intriguing Storylines to Come from 139th Race
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby shaped up to be one of the biggest races in recent memory, and it didn't disappoint, leaving us with some storylines to follow throughout the rest of the year.

While Orb's come-from-behind victory stole the show at Churchill Downs, that was far from the only intriguing event to unfold as some of the world's best thoroughbreds competed for the Run for the Roses.

Let's jump in to the biggest storylines that came from the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

 

Is Orb the Missing Piece to the Triple Crown Puzzle?

Rob Carr/Getty Images

It never disappoints. Every year, the winner of the Kentucky Derby is smothered with questions and expectations about the possibility of winning the elusive Triple Crown. The problem is, those expectations have been all for nothing in every year since 1978, when Affirmed took all three legs in stunning fashion. 

But could this be the year that the sport finally gets the monkey off its back? Does Orb have what it takes to rekindle his Derby magic at the Preakness and Belmont Stakes?

Only time will tell, but it certainly looks promising so far for the three-year-old colt. He's responding incredibly to his trainer, Claude "Shug" McGaughey, and jockey Joel Rosario is the hottest rider on the planet. 

In 2012, I'll Have Another won the Triple Crown's first two legs in a similar fashion to Orb's Derby victory. Perhaps that's a fortunate sign for the Phipps family.

Or maybe it's just a bunch of hype that we're obligated to have after each Run for the Roses.

 

Hype Surrounding Goldencents Doesn't Pay Off

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Going into the race, Goldencents was undoubtedly the most talked-about contender in the field. With connections to Louisville coach Rick Pitino and a chance for trainer Doug O'Neill to win his second straight Derby, hopes were high.

On top of that, jockey Kevin Krigger was aiming to become the first African American jockey to win the sport's most prized event.

It didn't pay off, though. After a strong start and being in position to make a late run, Goldencents faded down the stretch and finished 17th out of 19 horses.

Horse racing is as unpredictable as they come, and that was more true than ever this year with a heap of real contenders. But you have to wonder with Goldecents' no-show Saturday if the hype was way too much for what he was capable of. 

 

Pletcher Goes 0-for-5, McGaughey 1-for-1

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Representing 26.3 percent of the field and with two of the favorites, trainer Todd Pletcher likely felt pretty good about one of his horses reaching the winners' circle. 

However, Orb's victory meant Pletcher struck out with his heap of contenders. 

Four of Pletcher's five horses finished outside of the top eight, with the lone exception being third-place Revolutionary. Other than Revolutionary, who was one of the race-day favorites and who ran brilliantly, Pletcher's horses laid an egg on the race track Saturday in a big way. The trainer is now 1-for-36 at the Derby.

It raises the question of whether stockpiling horses is as effective as putting all of your focus on one contender. Compared to Orb trainer McGaughey's style of focusing on one thoroughbred and doing what's best for that horse, Pletcher's strategy doesn't seem so appealing.

I'm not saying Pletcher isn't a world-renowned trainer. You don't get five horses into the Kentucky Derby without being world-class at your profession. But there's a difference between "getting there" and "winning there," and that's where Pletcher and McGaughey differ. 

Here is a look at the final standings, courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com

 

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

 

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