Orb Made Kentucky Derby Favorite Ahead of Verrazano, GoldencentsNancy Kercheval
Orb was made the 7-2 morning-line favorite, followed by Verrazano and Goldencents, as the horses prepare for the 139th Kentucky Derby, the first leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.
Orb, ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Claude “Shug” McGaughey III, will leave the gate from the 16th post position in two days at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The horse decided for us,” McGaughey said of the decision to enter Orb. “He had a marvelous winter.”
Verrazano, one of five entries trained by Todd Pletcher, is 4-1 from the 14th post position, and Goldencents, part-owned by University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, will leave from the eighth gate at 5-1, according to Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia.
“That was a great post position,” Pletcher said of Verrazano. “We’re outside Falling Sky and Goldencents. Terrific draw for us.”
Trainer Doug O’Neill, who won last year’s Derby with I’ll Have Another, said he was satisfied with Goldencents’ post draw.
“He has such good natural speed from the gate, post was not as crucial,” O’Neill said.
Kevin Krigger, who is trying to become the first black jockey to win the Derby since 1902, said he wasn’t concerned about Goldencents’ post draw.
“No matter where he breaks from, he’s going to break and get us into the race,” said Krigger, who has in his locker a picture of jockey Jimmy Winkfield, winner of the race 111 years ago.
Revolutionary, trained by Pletcher and ridden by Calvin Borel, is the fourth choice at 10-1 and Normandy Invasion, trained by Chad Brown, is 12-1.
Mike Smith, who is riding Pletcher’s horse Palace Malice at 20-1 odds, is back in the 10th post position. In 19 Derby rides, he has won the race once -- in 2005 atop Giacomo, who left from the 10th gate.
Vyjack, leaving from the outside at 15-1, shouldn’t have any problem moving into the pack, said jockey Garrett Gomez.
“The pressure will be coming from the outside,” he said. “I can follow somebody over. I’ll just try to feather our way over. From the time we leave the gate, we’re coming.”
Five of the 20 horses in the field were given 15-1 odds, three are 20-1, two are 30-1 and five are 50-1, including Falling Sky, whose part-owner is Goldman Sachs Inc. analyst James Covello. Falling Sky will start from the 13th position.
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds 1 Black Onyx Joe Bravo Kelly Breen 50-1 2 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 30-1 3 Revolutionary Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher 10-1 4 Golden Soul Robby Albarado Dallas Stewart 50-1 5 Normandy Invasion Javier Castellano Chad Brown 12-1 6 Mylute Rosie Napravnik Tom Amoss 15-1 7 Giant Finish Jose Espinoza Tony Dutrow 50-1 8 Goldencents Kevin Krigger Doug O’Neill 5-1 9 Overanalyze Rafael Bejarano Todd Pletcher 15-1 10 Palace Malice Mike Smith Todd Pletcher 20-1 11 Lines of Battle Ryan Moore Aidan O’Brien 30-1 12 Itsmyluckyday Elvis Trujillo Eddie Plesa Jr. 15-1 13 Falling Sky Luis Saez John Terranova II 50-1 14 Verrazano John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 4-1 15 Charming Kitten Edgar Prado Todd Pletcher 20-1 16 Orb Joel Rosario Claude McGaughey 7-2 17 Will Take Charge Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas 20-1 18 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron Kenny McPeek 50-1 19 Java’s War Julien Leparoux Kenny McPeek 15-1 20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez Rudy Rodriguez 15-1