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What a stirring finish on a track listed “good” as Joel Rosario, off an awkward start aboard No. 16 Orb, made a bold six-wide move and stormed home like a runaway freight train to win the Kentucky Derby going away.

It was a long time coming for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and legendary owners Stuart Janney and Ogden Mills Phipps. This was a great event for the books all over the city and they did a great job handling the overflow crowds. The race writers should all get big pats on the back for their patience in answering all the questions from bettors who come out of the woodwork to wager on the big race.

We here at GamingToday would also like to congratulate Mary Jungers from the South Point, Mark Dufty from Jerry’s Nugget, Cannery’s Joe Porrello, our back-to-back bookie battle winner who just keeps ticking, and Aliante’s Steve Ferrero. The group had Orb as their top pick in our Derby bookie round up. Great job to all.

I myself would like to sincerely thank all of those who attended the first annual Vic Vivio Memorial Derby Seminar. We packed the house at Palace Station and had a great time.

Now it is on to the Preakness in just two short weeks. Will the very patient Shug wheel back Orb? If all is OK he will, but you can believe Shug will not run a horse that is not 100%. I have stated in the past it will be almost impossible to get another Triple Crown winner, but after watching this colt with the perfect fit Rosario riding, he looks to have a great shot at pulling it off if he gets past the Preakness.

Runner-up Golden Soul got an ideal trip under Robby Albarado, who was really looking forward to this year’s Kentucky Derby. At almost 35-1 he made the $2 exacta $981.60, the $2 trifecta over $6,925 and the $2 superfecta $57,084. No one hit the exacta five, which means a $303,033 carryover.

You can bet me that the big boys will be all over it.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik gave No. 6 Mylute a great ride after checking when in tight in the early going. They came home with a big six-wide run and just did miss the show by two heads finishing a solid fifth – best ever by a female jockey. She will win this race in the very near future.

The third place finisher, No. 3 Revolutionary, who beat Mylute by a neck in the Louisiana Derby, had to wait behind Golden Soul and managed a good inside run once clear.

In hitting the Kentucky Derby the key race behind the absolute winner Orb was the Louisiana Derby. That event supplied Golden Soul, Revolutionary and Mylute. If you attended our seminar this point was made, and if you got Saber’s daily selections at all five top finishers were there.

So what happened to the undefeated Verrazano? The rigors of war with no solid two-year-old foundation seems just too much for these lightly raced 3-year-olds. The winner Orb had a solid 2yo foundation with four starts.

It just seems trainer Todd Pletcher needs to give his horses more rest to get the best out of them. With his loaded stable, you can bet he will be armed and dangerous when the Belmont gets here. He will have some fresh horses ready to run.

Goldencents showed some early speed, then was taken back and eased up late in what trainer Doug O’Neill said was a good move by jockey Kevin Krigger. He just did not like the wet dirt being kicked back into his face.

O’Neill said he is heading to the Preakness, and this time I believe you will see Krigger from the bell. Itsmyluckyday was in good position but just could not get into the race late and finished far back.

I don’t know what Mike Smith was thinking on Palace Malice as he sent this one out from the get go trying to steal it. The field should be set by next Monday and we will have full coverage. Let’s hope Orb has a good week. Shug says Orb is doing great and they are looking forward to the trip to Baltimore.


Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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