Joel Rosario rode a beautiful race over a muddy Churchill Downs track saving Orb from the very fast pace set by Palace Malice and bringing him home with a decisive win. For trainer Shug McGaughey it was his first In fact all the front runners faded back — Palace Malice ended up 10th — and it was long shot Golden Soul who came in second, beating the well-regarded Revolutionary (third) and Normandy Invasion (fourth).
The win was a real coup for trainer Shug McGaughey and for Orb’s owners — racing royalty
McGaughey, a Kentucky native, started as a hotwalker at Keeneland in 1970 for $40/week. He started training at Rockingham Park, a small New Hampshire racetrack about an hour from where I live, before working his way up the ranks. He’s saddled six horses for the Derby but until today, had never won the big race until today.
Interviewed after Orb won the Florida Derby, McGaughey said:
“Probably every morning I get up and do this, I’m dreaming of winning the Kentucky Derby. Obviously I don’t know what the feeling is like, but I’m looking forward to the day I do.”
“I think we bring our horses around a little bit slower. A lot of guys, that’s their goal, to get the Derby. We don’t really do it that way. I want the horse to take me. We have just limited opportunities. Maybe I’ve made a mistake or two, but I really don’t think so. It’s just not something that we press it, that we’ve got to get to the Derby.
The Derby had also eluded Orb’s owners — Stuart Janney 3d and Ogden Mills Phipps, are first cousins and great-grandsons of the Carnegie Steel magnate Henry Phipps. Their families are racing royalty who have been cultivating one of the most prestigious lines of horses in the U.S. other notable horses they bred include Ruffian, Foolish Pleasure, and Private Terms.
This family has owned Orb’s dam line for nine generations, going back to the 1900s. Orb directly traces to a mare, Bold Irish, who Mrs. Carnegie Phipps gave to her daughter and son-in-law (Janney’s parents) to get them interested in flat racing.
Today that gave them one of the only jewels left for their crown.