The $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Yum! Brands is the world's most famous horse race, featuring the best 3-year-olds in North America contesting the 1 1/4 mile trip under the shadow of the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs before 151,616 fans. Rains all afternoon downgraded the main track to sloppy and the turf course to yielding. After Black Onyx scratched on Friday, just 19 went to post in this 1 1/4 mile classic beneath the famous Twin Spires. Orb was sent off as the 5-1 favorite for trainer Shug McGaughey, exiting wins in the Florida Derby (G1) and Fountain of Youth (G2) both at Gulfstream Park. In to challenge him included 6-1 second choice Revolutionary, winner of the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds and the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct, 7-1 third choice Goldencents, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1), and 8-1 fourth choice Verrazano, undefeated in 4 starts including the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct and the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), but was unraced as a juvenile.
When the gate opened at 6:33pm, jockey Mike Smith sent 24-1 Palace Malice to the front and he set a a blistering pace over the sloppy, sealed track through fractions of 22.57, 45.33, and 1:09.80 while as many as 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Verrazano and 25-1 Oxbow who stalked him for the first 3/4 mile. On the far turn, Palace Malice tired from the fast pace, which set the race up for the closers. 9-1 Normandy Invasion, who raced 7th about 8 lengths off the early pace, moved up to take the lead at the top of the stretch, getting the mile in 1:36.16. Normandy Invasion led to the 1/8 pole but was tiring fast. Jockey Joel Rosario kept favorite Orb out of trouble in 16th some 18 lengths off the pace early, but circled the field entering the lane to take over the lead just inside the 1/8 pole and won going away by 2 1/2 lengths over late-running 34-1 Golden Soul in 2:02.89. It was another length back to another closer, Revolutionary, third. Verrazano, who was up close early, faded late to check in 14th beaten 15 3/4 lengths, while Goldencents was through after a mile and was eased by jockey Kevin Krigger, officially finishing 17th beaten 49 1/2 lengths.
Video replay - from Churchill Downs