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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:44 am 
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5 things to know Saturday at the Kentucky Derby
By The Associated Press | The Associated Press – 29 minutes ago

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The Kentucky Derby is Saturday at Churchill Downs. Here are five things you should know:

TODD'S SQUAD

Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle a record-tying five horses - Verrazano, Revolutionary, Palace Malice, Overanalyze and Charming Kitten. He first tried it in 2007, when his best finish was sixth. His only win came in 2010 when he entered four and won with Super Saver.

COMING UP ROSIE

Rosie Napravnik rides long shot Mylute in her attempt to become the first female jockey to win the Derby. She's the sixth woman to try, and she had the best finish in 2011 when Pants On Fire was ninth.

KRIGGER CHASES HISTORY

Kevin Krigger, a 29-year-old jockey from the U.S. Virgin Islands, will ride Goldencents in a bid to become the first black jockey to win since 1902. That's when Jimmy Winkfield won for the second time. Goldencents is co-owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and trained by Doug O'Neill, who won last year's Derby with I'll Have Another.

SHUG IS BACK

Trainer Shug McCaughey is in the Hall of Fame, but his resume is missing a Derby win. He's 0 for 6 in the big race. He will saddle Orb, the early 7-2 favorite. His best finish was second with Easy Goer in 1989.

SUNSHINE BOYS

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens own a combined seven Derby wins. At 77, Lukas could become the oldest trainer to win with either Oxbow or Will Take Charge. At 50, Stevens is back in the saddle after ending a seven-year retirement earlier this year.

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:48 am 
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2013 Kentucky Derby: Who Will Walk with the Roses?
Yahoo! Contributor Network
By Brianna Brooks | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Wed, May 1, 2013 3:35 PM EDT

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It's Derby week in Louisville, Kentucky and the city is abuzz with excitement for The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports to commence. Saturday, May 4 marks the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown. Twenty horses will enter the starting gate on Saturday evening, but only one will take home the Garland of Roses.

Let's break down the Derby favorites:

Orb

After humble starts in his first three outings, placing third, fourth, and fourth respectively, Orb is now riding a four-race win streak coming into the Derby. Most recently, Orb triumphed in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at the end of March, and in the Grade II Fountain of Youth in February, where he defeated Itsmyluckyday (placed second), whom he will face again on Saturday.

Orb is the top rated 3 year old, according to the latest NTRA rankings, and has been impressive in workouts at Churchill Downs this week. Trained by Hall of Famer Claude "Shug" McGaughey, Orb provides his best shot for winning the elusive Run for the Roses. Previously ridden by John Velazquez, Orb will take on a new jockey for the Kentucky Derby, as Velazquez will be riding another Derby favorite, Verrazano.

The jockey riding Orb on Saturday will be 28 year old Joel Rosario. This will be his fourth Derby start, and he has yet to finish in the money. It will be interesting to see if the jockey change affects Orb this weekend.

Verrazano

131 years have passed since a horse has won the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2 year old. Derby contender Verrazano looks to do just that on Saturday with jockey John Velazquez onboard.

Verrazano is unbeaten in all four of his career races, including victories in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, and the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. In his last race, the Wood Memorial, Verrazano beat fellow Derby contender Normandy Invasion who came in second. Although Verrazano pulled out the win, this race raised some doubts as the colt only won by three-quarters of a length and turned in a slow time of 1:50.

As the son of More Than Ready, Verrazano has Derby winners in his bloodline: Barbaro, Sunday Silence, and Sunny's Halo. We will find out Saturday if Verrazano will be the next to make the list.

Revolutionary

Trainer Todd Pletcher is saddling five horses for this year's Kentucky Derby. Verrazano is the favored horse out of his stable, but Revolutionary is a strong contender as well. Revolutionary has finished in the money in all six-career starts and has finished first in his last three races, including winning the Louisiana Derby in March. He has faced two other Derby runners, beating Mylute in the Louisiana Derby, and losing to Orb last November.

He too, is facing a jockey change for his most important race to date, but his new jockey is no stranger to the Derby. Calvin Borel, a three-time Derby winner will mount Revolutionary on Saturday. He last won the Derby in 2010 aboard Super Saver, another Pletcher-trained horse.
Normandy Invasion

When Normandy Invasion steps onto the track on Saturday, fear and elation will intermingle as owner Rick Porter hopes for a far different outcome than his last Derby experience. Fans may remember Eight Belles, an energetic filly who showed true heart in a second-place finish against Big Brown in 2008, only to breakdown immediately after with two broken ankles. She was euthanized onsite. Normandy Invasion has a chance to provide Rick Porter with a more joyful memory of the Kentucky Derby.

Normandy Invasion has not won in a graded stakes race, with his last victory coming last November. He finished second behind Verrazano in the Wood Memorial, his most recent race. He looks to avenge his loss on Saturday.

Goldencents

Although not the heavy favorite, Goldencents is the favorite in Louisville, Kentucky. The colt is co-owned by Rick Pitino, the head coach of the 2013 NCAA basketball champion Louisville Cardinals. Rick Pitino has enjoyed a successful year on the hardwood, and he hopes to enjoy the same success at Churchill Downs on May 4.

This is not Rick Pitino's first foray into horse racing, he has also co-owned horses named after this season's basketball team: Russdiculous (after Russ Smith), Gorgui (after Gorgui Dieng) and Siva (after Peyton Siva). Goldencents, although not having a basketball namesake, is his most decorated horse.

After winning the Santa Anita Derby, Goldencents has now won two of his three races this year. Aboard Goldencents is jockey Kevin Krigger who has a shot at history if he wins the Derby. Krigger would become the first African-American to win the Derby since 1902.

This year's Kentucky Derby has no clear-cut favorite, but as a Louisvillian, I will be cheering for Goldencents this Saturday to keep the Garland of Roses in the bluegrass.

Brianna Brooks moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 2008.

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:50 am 
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we need a triple crown winner for our time! hopefully, this year is the year....

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 3:07 am 
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Rosie and her horse Mylute will lead the pack this Saturday...

http://espn.go.com/espnw/more-sports/92 ... -born-ride

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:53 am 
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Todd Squad' ready for the Kentucky Derby
By MIKE FARRELL (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 9 hours ago

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Todd Pletcher sent his five Kentucky Derby contenders to the track early on Friday morning.

The ''Todd Squad'' went out at 5:45 a.m. for their final trips to the track before the Derby on Saturday afternoon.

''We're 100 percent done,'' Pletcher said. ''We'll leave well enough alone from here.''

Pletcher certainly has strength in numbers with a record-tying five runners in the 1 1/4-mile race at Churchill Downs.

With the training done, all that remains for Pletcher is to lead the undefeated Verrazano, Overanalyze, Palace Malice, Revolutionary and Charming Kitten to the saddling paddock.

''We laid out a plan to get here with them and it's all come down pretty much like we hoped,'' Pletcher said.

Pletcher will go for the rare Kentucky Oaks-Derby double. Princess of Sylmar won the $1 million Oaks on Friday afternoon.

---

STEVENS DOUBLES: Gary Stevens will be pulling double-duty at the Kentucky Derby by riding in the race and reporting on it.

The Hall of Fame jockey will be aboard Oxbow, a 30-1 long shot in Saturday's race. Stevens has ridden in 18 Derbies and won three times. The 50-year-old jockey is four months into a comeback after being retired for seven years.

During his years out of the saddle, Stevens joined NBC as a racing analyst. Since he can't be in two places at once, Stevens will contribute a taped interview to the broadcast and will be miked for sound during the Derby.

''Gary is still on our announce team, but he is a jockey trying to win a Kentucky Derby and we respect that,'' producer Rob Hyland said.

NBC host Tom Hammond jokingly chided Stevens ''because he has abandoned me at the desk.''

Stevens would love to have it both ways: a garland of roses at the finish and a bang-up broadcast.

''I am going to be a little bit greedy here and hope to become a main story line of the race,'' he said. ''I hope everybody has a great show and everybody gets around there safe.''

---

DUAL ACTION: Pletcher has a record-tying five Derby starters. Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time Derby winner, will saddle Oxbow and Will Take Charge.

Ken McPeek, the third trainer in the race with multiple entrants, barely rated a ripple during Derby week with his long shots: 15-1 Java's War and 50-1 Frac Daddy.

Of the two, Java's War is the more accomplished. He won the Blue Grass Stakes most recently, his third career win. The problem is that all his victories have come on synthetic tracks or turf. The Derby is run on dirt.

Frac Daddy has one win in six races, none of them in rich stakes races. McPeek will add earplugs in an effort to keep the colt calm during the post parade.

''Every now and then he'll hear a noise and he gets a little spooky,'' he said. ''It helps him to keep quiet.''

Once Frac Daddy arrives at the starting gate, the rider aboard his escort pony will remove the plugs.

Frac Daddy is owned by Carter Stewart and Ken Schlenker. The oil men from Montana named the colt for the process of hydraulic fracturing. Also called fracking, the technique is used to extract oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals.

---

BLACK ONYX OUT: Long shot Black Onyx was a late scratch for the Kentucky Derby because of a chip in his left ankle, leaving 19 horses to vie for the roses.

The scratch occurred Friday after early wagering for the race had opened, so Black Onyx's No. 1 post position will be left empty on Saturday. The remaining horses will stay in their original starting gates.

Trainer Kelly Breen said the colt looked good training on Friday, but he had some swelling in the ankle, so an X-ray was taken that revealed the chip.

''He's back in the barn. He's not feeling that bad because he just tried to bite me,'' Breen said. ''It couldn't have been worse timing.''

He said it's too early to know if Black Onyx will need surgery.

Jockey Joe Bravo was left without a Derby mount. He hasn't won the race in two previous attempts.

''I'm just very thankful that the horse is going to be OK,'' he said. ''I'm just really sorry for the whole team.''

The scratch came too late for Fear the Kitten to get into the Derby. The colt was on the list of also eligibles as the 21st qualifier in the point standings that determine the field.

Black Onyx qualified for the Derby by winning the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. He was 50-1 on the morning line.

---

PINCH HITTING: Dr. Mary Scollay will fill in for Dr. Larry Bramlage as the on-call veterinarian for the Derby.

Bramlage remains hospitalized following a Churchill Downs backstretch accident on Thursday. He suffered a head injury when his golf cart overturned and he was briefly knocked unconscious.

The on-call supervisor provides equine injury updates at the Derby and other major races.

---

AP Racing Writer Beth Harris contributed to this report.

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:46 am 
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The streak continues. Verrazano will stalk the leader and make his move with 3 furlongs to go and win by a length.


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:14 am 
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Rain is in the forecast. The track will be muddy. It's gonna be an wide-open field. The Derby has a nasty habit of letting a longshot entry winning it. I won't be surprised if one of the long-shot odds of winning such as Golden Soul (50-1), Frac Daddy (20-1), Itsmyluckyday (15-1), or Overanalyze (15-1) crosses the finish line first. A Hail-Mary Superfecta: 12-18-9-16 or 4-9-6-3. Just having fun.


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:41 am 
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Orb wins a muddy, sloppy Kentucky Derby
By Jay Busbee | The Turnstile – 2 hours 58 minutes ago

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The 139th Kentucky Derby, a mud-spattered affair, is now in the books, and the winner is Orb at Churchill Downs. Golden Soul placed second, and Revolutionary showed in third.

Verrazano and Falling Sky were the early leaders, but were quickly swallowed up by the pack. Palace Malice led from the first quarter pole through the entire backstretch, setting the fourth-fastest pace in Derby history. But Palace Malice's multiple-length lead couldn't hold, and several horses passed on the outside line.

Jockey Joel Rosario kept Orb hidden deep in the pack for much of the race, at one point as far back as 15th. But coming around the final turn, Orb pushed hard through the center of the track, kicking forward throughout the frontstretch to win going away. Orb's trainer Shug McGaughey, a horse-racing legend, had never won a Derby until now.

Derby Day dawned gray and never got any brighter. By the 6:24 p.m. ET post time, the track was soaked and muddy, shifting odds in the favor of the horses that could handle the muck. Verrazano, the only undefeated horse in the 19-horse field, saw its stock steadily slip, with Revolutionary and Orb coming in at 6-1 odds just before post time. Close behind were Rick Pitino's Goldencents (7-1), followed by Itsmyluckyday, Verrazano and Normandy Invasion (8-1). Pitino's good fortune as the reigning king of college basketball didn't carry over to the track, as Goldencents finished 17th.

For the Derby, a $2 bet paid $12.80. A $2 exacta, picking the first and second horses correctly, paid $981.60, while a $0.50 base on the trifecta (top three) paid $1,731.40. A $1.00 base on the superfecta (top four, including Normandy Invasion) paid $28,542.00.

Next up: the Preakness Stakes in two weeks. No horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, but Orb will take his shot.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 2:13 am 
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Kentucky Derby winner Orb to tackle Triple Crown
ReutersReuters – Sun, May 5, 2013 5:36 PM EDT

(Reuters) - The connections of Kentucky Derby winner Orb have already set their sights on trying to complete the Triple Crown after their colt pulled up well from his victory in the first leg.

Shug McGaughey, the Kentucky-based trainer of Orb, wasted no time declaring his intentions to run the three-year-old in the remaining two legs.

Speaking to reporters outside the winner's barn at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning, McGaughey said he was already thinking about the next two races, the Preakness Stakes on May 18 and the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

"I'm looking forward to getting the process going again and seeing what happens and go from there," McGaughey said.

"I said last week that I wished it had happened to me earlier so I didn't have to worry about it anymore, but I'm not sure I believe that now.

"Yesterday was quite a day and today's been quite a day so far. It's been quite, quite a thrill."

McGaughey said Orb was being flown to New York on Sunday and would remain there before being moved to Baltimore next week to finish off his preparations for the Preakness.

AGONISING WAIT

It has been 35 years since a horse last completed the Triple Crown. That was Affirmed in 1978 and the wait for another horse to win the three races has been agonizing.

Last year, I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness to renew hopes, but was scratched on the eve of the Belmont and never raced again.

What makes the Triple Crown so difficult to win is the makeup and timing of the three races.

They are each held in different states, over different distances, during a span of five weeks. And the winner invariably faces different opposition each time.

It is not uncommon for the horses which finish close behind the winner in the Preakness (1 3/16 mile) to save themselves for the 1 1/2 mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three races. The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles.

The field for the Preakness will not be decided until just a few days before the race but only a handful of the 19 horses who contested the Derby are expected to back up.

Trainer Dallas Stewart, who prepared the Derby runner-up Golden Soul, said his horse was unlikely to race in the Preakness.

"At this point, I think we will pass on the Preakness and look at the Belmont," Stewart said. "That would give us five weeks and hopefully we can get one of the three (races in the Triple Crown series)."

Revolutionary, which finished third for trainer Todd Pletcher, was also skipping the Preakness to save himself for the Preakness, as was his stablemate Overanalyze.

Normandy Invasion, which led the field turning for home and finished fourth, will not race in the Preakness either and was being aimed at the $1 million Travers at Saratoga.

Mylute, which finished fifth under jockey Rosie Napravnik, was a strong possibility to take on Orb in the Preakness as long as the horse was not fatigued.

"We need a couple more days to think about it," said Todd Quast, the general manager of the farm which owns Mylute.

"When he came out of the Louisiana Derby he was so high that we worked him back eight days later. If he comes back with that kind of energy we have to seriously look at it."

Doug O'Neill, who won last year's Preakness with I'll Have Another, said he would saddle up Goldencents in the Preakness even though the colt was well beaten in the Kentucky Derby.

Goldencents, which won the Santa Anita Derby, was among the favorites to win the Run For the Roses, but struggled in the wet and muddy conditions and finished 17th.

"We're a go for the Preakness," O'Neill declared.

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