05/10/2013 10:14PM

ORB!!!!

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Orb, Joel Rosario up, wins the Kentucky Derby for his owner/breeders Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable, May 4, 2013.

ORB's Kentucky Derby is odds-on to be my all-time favorite Run for the Roses.  I grew up revering the red-and-white Janney and black-and-cherry-red Phipps' silks, and Shug McGaughey exemplifies the classic 'old school' horseman.  

I won't write about how that race felt to fans like me - no one could write it as well as Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand already did on her Facebook page.  But a most heartfelt congratulations and hats-off to Orb's amazing connections! 

Here are some photos from Orb's Kentucky Derby, as seen through the lenses of DRF photographers.

Above:  It rained most of the morning, afternoon and evening....but let up for the race.  Phew!

Above:  The Derby walkover.

Above/below:  Orb is at far left, foreground, and Todd Pletcher at far right, foreground, for the walkover.  Below, Pletcher, near #3 Revolutionary, leads the parade to the paddock.

Above:  Shug McGaughey making sure his shoes and pants look good....just in case.

Above:  Todd Pletcher seemed to be sprinting away from Bob Neumeier during the walkover.

Above:  This was not  Itsmyluckyday's day, but any groom who gives a great thumbs-up deserves to be rewarded!

Above:  Orb, with Jenn Patterson and Robbie Medina, in the Derby paddock.  Robbie's face looks like that in nearly every photo I took of him - before or after the race!

Above:  The Phipps family and Stuart Janney - true racing royalty - watch their homebred KY Derby contender before the race.

Above:  Riders head to their horses.  Calvin Borel is at front, left, and Joel Rosario is decked out in the Janney colors.

Above:  Joel Rosario and Stuart Janney converse before the race.

Above:  Normandy Invasion, who would run 4th, before the race.

Above: Verrazano, who many thought would be the Derby favorite.

Above:  Golden Soul, Robby Albarado up, would finish second.

Above:  Gary Stevens was back in the Derby lineup, this year on Oxbow.

Above:  Mylute's pilot was Rosie Napravnik.

Above:  Elvis Trujillo piloted Itsmyluckyday.

Above:  Kevin Krigger rode Goldencents.

Above:  Joel Rosario and Orb head to the post during 'My Old Kentucky Home.'

Above/below:  The 2013 Kentucky Derby....

Above:  The first time by, Vyjack, Verrazano, Falling Sky, Palace Malice and Goldencents were up near the lead....

Above: ...while Java's War was not having such a clean run.

Above:  Verrazano and Falling Sky, first time by.

Above:  Orb heading into the first turn.

Above/below:  Into the first turn.

Above:  Palace Malice and Mike Smith are cooking into the first turn.

Above:  As they head into the homestretch, Normandy Invasion has taken over from Oxbow, while Orb looms at the far left.

Above:  Normandy Invasion (Javier Castellano) and Oxbow (Gary Stevens) fight it out.

Above:  Orb takes over and wins the Kentucky Derby with authority.

Above:  Orb, over Golden Soul (#4), Revolutionary (#3), Normandy Invasion (#5) and Mylute.

Above:  Golden Soul is greeted by Dallas Stewart (far right) after his runner-up finish.

Above:  Revolutionary and Calvin Borel, third, head back to unsaddle.

Above:  Joel Rosario enjoys his first Kentucky Derby win.

Above:  Orb, portrait of the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner. To whomever washed off his face...thank you!

Above:  Shug McGaughey and Robbie Medina lead Orb and Joel Rosario on the turf course.

Above:  This always makes me smile.  Orb's friends keep him from seeing that huge, odd object being placed on his withers.

Above:  Orb and roses.

Above:  Stuart Janney gives his Derby winner an appreciative pat.

Above:  Finally, and to the joy of countless fans, Shug McGaughey has a Kentucky Derby win.

Above:  Lynn Janney and Shug.

Dinny Phipps and Stuart Janney....just think of how long they've awaited this moment!

Above:  This photo's funny, in that Joel Rosario has a rose leaf in front of his lip...looks moustache-y.

Above:  Joel Rosario gives the photographers what they want.

Above:  Smiles and roses!  Reeve (left) and Chip McGaughey (right) savor the moment with friend Trey Gossom.

Above/below:  Winning is fun!

Above:  Shug McGaughey, center of attention after his Derby win.

Above:  Alison McGaughey is pretty as a picture, carrying the roses.

Above:  Orb heads to the test barn.

Above:  The next morning Orb was showered with love and kisses from countless fans and members of the McGaughey team...like Alison McGaughey - who's been showering Orb with peppermints for a long time now.

Above:  Orb visiting with his quiet groom and loving friend, Enrique.  

CONGRATULATIONS again to the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner ORB and his connections!!  This colt made countless dreams come true!  Now...it's on to (hi ho) Pimlico!

Orb's Kentucky Derby:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqVExYZNTgk

With thanks to Michael Amoruso, Justin N. Lane, John Bambury, Jenny Burgos, Elizabeth Macy, Alysse Jacobs and Tom Keyser.