DERBY LIVE: Orb wins after surging among bettors

AP News
Posted: May 04, 2013 8:00 PM
DERBY LIVE: Orb wins after surging among bettors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs had a field of 19 horses, with Orb topping the field in just over two minutes.

He's the newest contender for a Triple Crown in thoroughbred racing.

The Preakness follows in two weeks and the Belmont Stakes is June 8. The last horse to sweep all three races was Affirmed in 1978.

Black Onyx was scratched from the race on Friday.

NBC televised the 1¼-mile race from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. The purse is $2,199,800, with $1,439,800 to the winner.

Here's a running account of the event and everything going on around it, with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the race.



Orb is almost certain to be among the favorites as he chases the second leg of a Triple Crown in two weeks. On May 18, Orb will be at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes. The race lasts 1 3/16 miles.



Orb paid $12.80, $7.40 and $5.40. Golden Soul returned $38.60 and $19.40 while Revolutionary paid $5.40 to show.



"I'm thrilled to death for (the owners), thrilled to death for the people who put so much time into this horse, and, of course, I'm thrilled to death for me." — Orb trainer Shug McGaughey, who said the victory meant everything to him.



"Orb! Has come in with giants strides in the center of the track. It is Orb in front, down to the wire, Orb has won the Kentucky Derby!" — Larry Collmus, NBC's play-by-play announcer, as the Kentucky Derby finished.



The sign makers at Churchill Downs were ready, no matter who won. Once the horses at the Kentucky Derby headed for the post parade and the starting gate, a tall ladder went up in front of the posted name of I'll Have Another, the 2012 winner.

Workers began taking down the name as soon as the race started. Once Orb crossed the finish line, the name of 2013 Orb quickly went up.

Orb joins Aristides, who won the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, on the awning of the paddock until a new winner crosses the finish line the first Saturday in May 2014.

— Brett Barrouquere —



"I was so far behind and I just let him be calm and let him be relaxed and he was available to do it all." — Orb jockey Joel Rosario after winning the Kentucky Derby.



The moments before the running of the Kentucky Derby included a 7-figure avalanche of betting on Orb, the winner. According to live odds on the Kentucky Derby website, more than $4.7 million was wagered on Orb of $36.6 million gambled on the race, making the horse a 5-1 favorite as betting closed.

Just minutes before, Orb pulled even with Revolutionary as a 6-1 favorite even though more than $4 million was bet on Revolutionary and around $3.5 million on Orb.

— Oskar Garcia —



Orb rewarded last-minute bettors with a win at the Kentucky Derby, with a time of 2:02.89.



Orb is surging among bettors and is now a 6-1 co-favorite in the race with Revolutionary moments before the horses load into the gate. With $33.7 million wagered, more money has come in on Revolutionary but Orb backers made a late move.



The bugle has called the horses to the post, and it's almost time for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. The riders are trotting across the track, and soon they'll be ready to settle the race.



"I saw a lot of men doing it today and I thought I'll try one. ... It might be a once-a-year thing." — Missy Reynnolds of Cincinnati, Ohio, as she puffed on a thick cigar in the paddock area with some friends. Women smoking cigars is a common sight at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day.

— Dylan Lovan —



The AP's Brett Barroquere is in the paddock, where some of the folks most anticipating the race are waiting.

There, sign makers are scrambling to replace the name sign in Frac Daddy's stall after misspelling it "Farc Daddy."

Also, Vyjack is jumpy in the paddock stall, repeatedly kicking its back wall.

— Brett Barrouquere —



Wise Dan, the Horse of the Year, overcame a boggy turf course to easily win the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

Jose Lezcano was aboard as the 6-year-old extended his winning streak to six, a span that began when he switched from the main track to the turf last August at Saratoga. Wise Dan, the 3-5 favorite, beat Optimizer by 4 ¾ lengths with Middie third.



Steady showers for most of the day have finally stopped, bringing many out from under cover and livening up the Derby atmosphere.

Hanging cloud cover didn't stop many from discarding plastic ponchos and hat covers, which began piling up around the grandstand. Judging from those blowing on their hands, gloves might've been a nice idea as temperatures dropped into the 50s.

Ladies trying to brave the cool temperaturess in sleeveless dresses probably would welcome jackets.

— Gary Graves — http:://



Delaunay, the 9-5 choice, powered to a four-length win in the $443,600 Churchill Downs Stakes for his sixth straight victory.

Rosie Napravnik was aboard as the 6-year-old gelding improved to 4 for 4 here. Long shot Pass the Dice rallied to take second.

Trinniberg, last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint champion, set the early pace before fading to seventh.



It's impossible to ignore the rain amid the partying and anticipation at Churchill Downs. As AP photographer David Goldman notes, boxes in the clubhouse considered premier seats on the second level overlooking the straightaway have been deserted during early races because they're wet. They can fetch about $1,000 per seat.

Others have been using plastic sheets to make tents.

Even in a downpour, Megan Grable and Cindy Brenner of St. Louis stayed perfectly dry and enjoyed a box lunch in their trackside box along the finish line.

— David Goldman



With just under 1 hour before post time, bettors are racking up the wagers but not changing the odds on the Kentucky Derby much.

Revolutionary is still a 5-1 favorite with $24.5 million wagered, according to the Kentucky Derby website. Orb and Goldencents are at 7-1, while the longshot is Falling Sky at 36-1.

— Oskar Garcia —



AP correspondent Janet Cappiello's picks for the Derby are personal — a tribute to her mom who adored the race and never missed a bet, despite living in Connecticut, not Kentucky. Since she always made her bets based on numbers, Cappiello bet a four-horse, $2 exacta box of her mother's favorite numbers: 3, 8, 7 and 11. That's Revolutionary, Goldencents, Giant Finish and Lines of Battle. An added connection: Janet's father lives in St. Croix, home of Goldencents jockey Kevin Krigger.

— Janet Cappiello —



Stephanie's Kitten rallied from eighth to edge Hungry Island by a neck in the $288,750 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.

Julien Leparoux swung the 4-year-old to the far outside with a five-wide move turning for home over the rain-soaked course. She improved to 3 for 3 on the turf here, including the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Fillies.



"You think about it: A state of 3 million people. Last year Kentucky wins the (NCAA basketball) championship, we win it this year, the Derby is part of our fabric and we have a horse in it. It's really special. ... We have no professional sports, this is it." — Louisville coach Rick Pitino to NBC anchor Bob Costas when asked whether people outside Kentucky can truly understand the influence of basketball and horse racing in Kentucky.



Of all 19 horses in the field, Verrazano is the only one who's undefeated after winning five races this year.

The horse didn't run as a 2-year-old, so to keep the unbeaten streak Verrazano will have to buck a trend that's lasted more than a century: No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won without racing as a juvenile.

Verrazano is named for the bridge that links Brooklyn with Staten Island in New York City.

Verrazano will be ridden by John Velazquez, who broke a rib and wrist in a racing accident nearly a month ago. He hustled back two days ago and rode a handful of races in preparation for the big Derby.



For trainer Kelly Breen, it's not the Derby Day he was expecting.

Breen was forced to scratch Black Onyx from the Derby on Friday morning when an X-ray showed a chip in his right front ankle. His absence leaves the field at 19 horses.

"Disappointment is probably the best word to describe it," Breen said Saturday morning. "I thought he had legitimate chance and I was going to bet my money. I was ready to put my money where my mouth was. Now we'll never know."

The injury is unlikely to require surgery, Breen said, but the Spiral Stakes winner will need at least 60 to 90 days of time off before returning to training.

The New Jersey-based trainer will stick around for Derby but may pass the glitz of the frontside and just watch from the barn area.

He wasn't the only member of his family looking to put money on the horse.

"My son is 9 years old. He'd saved up 20 bucks to bet on Black Onyx. He's even disappointed," Breen said.

— Josh Abner —



Umbrellas are piling up in growing puddles at the security station outside Churchill Downs, as national guardsmen and police confiscated the items which barred from the Kentucky Derby.

The lack of cover that could be carried made ponchos, dry shirts and hats popular sellers at vendor stands surrounding the paddock at the historic racetrack. Of course, getting into a vendor tent Saturday afternoon is proving to be a challenge.

People are taking shelter under nearly every inch of overhang, awning and vendor tent, even if they have no interest in buying officially licensed items. Even with a roof over their heads, though, racing fans can't escape the water. Rain is pooling on the brick walkways at the entrance to the track and around the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Alas, of all the branded goodies being sold at the Run to the Roses, dry socks are not among the offerings.

— Brett Barrouquere —



AP reporters have been on the Churchill Downs backstretch all week, interviewing owners, trainers and jockeys and keeping their eyes on each and every horse during their morning gallops. Now that it's Derby Day, Derby Live presents their picks:

— Beth Harris ( 1. Goldencents 2. Itsmyluckyday 3. Revolutionary.

— Jim Litke ( 1. Overanalyze 2. Normandy Invasion 3. Goldencents.

— Gary Graves ( 1. Orb 2. Goldencents 3. Verrazano.

— Josh Abner ( 1. Orb 2. Revolutionary 3. Overanalyze

— Mike Farrell: 1. Itsmyluckyday 2. Orb 3. Goldencents.



Aubby K, the 7-2 favorite, rallied past Burban to win the $345,600 Humana Distaff for fillies and mares. Edgar Prado guided the 4-year-old through the slop to get up by 1 ½ lengths for her second straight stakes victory.



The normally rowdy infield crowd at the Kentucky Derby appears well behaved.

As the rain comes down, fans have taken to sliding across water-slickened tarps and muddy stretches in a makeshift slip-and-slide.

Louisville Police Officer Carey Klain said as of mid-afternoon, only two people had been arrested and three cited for ticket scalping.

"So far, so good," Klain said.

While the area under the grandstand is crowded, people are milling about and moving through slowly but efficiently.

— Brett Barrouquere —



How rainy is it at Churchill Downs?

Even the bugler is wearing a red poncho as he blows the call to the post in the early races.

— Beth Harris —



This stat check comes from ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell ( ). According to Rovell, roughly 5.1 million ounces of beer will be consumed at the Kentucky Derby.

That's nearly 319,000 16-ounce pours.



Berlino Di Tiger held off Chamblerlain Bridge by a nose to win the $138,250 Twin Spires Turf Sprint, the first stakes on the Derby Day program at Churchill Downs.

Making his third start in the U.S. after beginning his career in Brazil, Berlino Di Tiger pulled the 11-1 upset with Leandro Goncalves aboard.

Chamberlain Bridge showed he is still going strong at 9. He won the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint here in 2010.



With $11,2 million wagered and a little more than four hours before post time, Falling Sky is getting the least love from bettors. The horse trained by John Terranova II and ridden by Luis Saez was at 37-1 odds.



Among the actors, musicians and athletes arriving on the red carpet are a fitting type of celebrity for a horse race: Poker players.

Imagine that, gamblers at the Kentucky Derby.

Among them is Phil Hellmuth, who's won 13 gold bracelets and $12.2 million at the World Series of Poker and is known to place a bet or two beyond the felt. He tweeted a picture ( ) of himself, with "The Voice" contender Nicholas David and actress Jennifer Tilly — all posing with the Stanley Cup. Makes sense, we guess.

Fellow poker player Robert Williamson dressed in all black and white, from his hat to his shoes, with one exception — socks covered in sometimes neon-colored daisies.

"They give me a little color," Williamson said.

Tilly, a poker player herself, glided onto the red carpet to cheers from a large throng of onlookers assembled under a canopy near food and booze vendors at Churchill Downs. Tilley, who voices some characters on "Family Guy," agreeably posed as photographers shouted requests: "Look this way please!" ''Can you pose to the right?"

— Brett Barrouquere —



David Lehr, the Churchill Downs track superintendent, has downgraded the main track to "sloppy" due to consistent rain falling Saturday morning and early afternoon. The track is now "sealed," or packed down so that excess water rolls off rather being absorbed in the surface.

Track conditions could continue to change before the Kentucky Derby, the day's 11th race.

Only eight of the 19 Derby runners have ever run on a dirt track rated worse than "fast."

Normandy Invasion is one of the 11 never to have run on an off track but trainer Chad Brown hoped this morning that his colt would take to the possibility of a sloppy surface.

"I'm told his breeding is good for the mud," Brown said. "I see that go both ways. Sometimes it does prove to be true and sometimes even if they're bred for it, they don't run in it. You really don't know until you try it."

— Josh Abner —



Revolutionary is the first Kentucky Derby horse with $1 million in bets. The 5-1 favorite passed the mark with $8.3 million in total wagers at Churchill Downs.



The famous faces are starting to arrive. Among the sightings: National anthem singer Martina McBride, TV personality Star Jones, basketball greats Julius "Dr. J" Erving and Scottie Pippen, Speaker of the House John Boehner, New England Patriots lineman Vince Wilfork, actor Anthony Anderson and actress Valerie Harper, who was recently diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

— Janet Cappiello —



"The more, the merrier, as far as I'm concerned." — Frank Hanlon, 31, of Memphis, Tenn., on added security joining at Churchill Downs in response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon last month. Kentucky National Guardsmen searched bags and passed metal detecting wands over race goers, while raincoats, towels and small cameras were being inspected.

— Brett Barrouquere —



The last Kentucky Derby run on a track listed as sloppy was in 2010, when Calvin Borel rode 8-1 Super Saver to victory. That day, 1.32 inches of rain fell at Churchill Downs. Saturday's forecast calls for the rain to become progressively steadier as post time approaches.

Borel also won on a sloppy track in 2009 when 50-1 shot Mine That Bird splashed home first. The jockey nicknamed "Bo-rail" because of his rail-hugging rides at Churchill will be aboard Revolutionary in the Derby.

— Beth Harris —



Betting strategies at the Kentucky Derby vary as wildly as the hats.

Some racing fans plan out their wagers days in advance, poring over statistics and previous races to make an informed decision. But many fly by the seat of their pants, choosing an interesting looking horse or colorful jockey silks.

"I love cats," said Shelly Dozier-McKee of Atlanta, who decided to bet on Charming Kitten in the Derby. It's her first trip to Churchill Downs, and Dozier-McKee said she received some betting tips from former University of Louisville coach Denny Crum during a party Friday night.

She said Crum, who won two NCAA basketball championships, showed her how to bet exactas and trifectas, she said.

"I got some good insider tips from him," Dozier-McKee said from under a black, wide-brimmed hat adorned with a feather.

Jeremy Hewson learned how to bet horses from his grandfather back in Greenfield, Ind. He'll study the racing form, looking at speeds and performances in past races.

Hewson said the rainy track would factor into his picks, but so far he likes Verrazano in the Derby.

"Unless I see something that changes my mind," he said.

— Dylan Lovan —


Derby Live follows the Kentucky Derby and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press from across Louisville, Ky. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.