Kentucky Derby News

Here’s some news and notes to pass your way for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby set for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Orb Riding High

We’ve written a lot about famed trainer Shug McGaughey in the lead-up to the Derby, mostly because of his prized horse, Orb.
That theme continued when the red-hot horse won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.

McGaughey, who has yet to train a Kentucky Derby winner in his 30-plus years on the circuit, clearly has a favorite on his hands in Orb. Orb has now won four-straight stakes races and is quickly shooting to the top of many oddsmakers’ lists for May 4.
McGaughey thinks he has a star in the making, one that could capture the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

”It’s my dream,” he told the Associated Press after winning at Gulfstream. ”When the 2-year-olds come in, I always try to think, ‘Well, one of these is going to be the one to take us to the Derby where we have an opportunity to win.’”

Ridden by jockey John Velazquez, Orb caught another serious Derby contender – Itsmyluckyday – inside the eighth pole at Gulfstream and ran to victory.

McGaughey has had success in Triple Crown races – he trained Easy Goer, who won the 1989 Belmont Stakes – but as mentioned, has never trained a Derby winner. Heck, he hasn’t had a horse in the race in over 10 years.

”I haven’t taken one to the Derby since (Saarland in) 2002,” McGaughey said, ”and this horse, by far, is the best opportunity I’ve had since Easy Goer.”

Revolutionary Stands Tall

Another horse making big waves as the Derby draws near?


One of the stars of the Todd Pletcher stable, Revolutionary won one of the first 100-point races of the stakes season by finishing first in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

The result was key for Pletcher’s prized horse, as he’d struggled in an earlier race (Withers Stakes, in February) that left many people wondering what Revolutionary would have in store for the Derby.

Jockey Javier Castellano put those concerns to rest at the Fair Grounds.

He paced his horse to a solid, powerful move on the final turn and did well to hold off a pesky challenger, Mylute, to win the grade 2 stakes.

“[Revolutionary] did everything you could ask, last time and today,” Castellano told Daily Racing Form. “I’m looking forward to the Derby big-time.”

Animal Kingdom Captures Dubai

If horses can have swan songs, Animal Kingdom has written a beauty.

The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner put an injury-plagued campaign behind him to win the $10 million Dubai World Cup – the first American to capture the world’s richest horse race in four years.

A series of ailments have kept Animal Kingdom from running much in the last year, including the 2012 Dubai World Cup. However he showed strong this time around, taking the lead from Royal Delta down the stretch, holding off a late charge by Red Cadeaux to win by two lengths.

“He’s a tremendous horse,” jockey Joel Rosario told the Associated Press following the race. “I let him do his thing, whatever he wanted to do.”


About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

Post Navigation