04/29/2013 1:11PM

Kentucky Derby sees Rosario on hot streak aboard Orb

Barbara D. Livingston
Joel Rosario rode Orb in his first five starts, two of them victories.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Joel Rosario is going so good these days that even when he finishes second, he wins.

Rosario was aboard Overwhelming on Monday morning when that 3-year-old maiden served as a workmate for Orb in that colt’s final timed drill at Churchill Downs in preparation for Saturday’s $2 million Kentucky Derby.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

Orb, under exercise rider Jenn Patterson, blew past Overwhelming with incredible ease in midstretch of the half-mile work, and Rosario could only smile as Orb continued to get further and further away from him while galloping out.

“I was watching to see him and what he did,” Rosario said of Orb, his mount in the Kentucky Derby. “He really moved well. I think he worked very well. I didn’t know if I was going slow or if he was going fast.”

Orb went four furlongs in 47.89 seconds, fast enough – and more importantly easy enough – to make some believe he will be the favorite come Saturday.

After riding him in his first five starts – two of which were victories – Rosario was not on Orb for his victories in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby. John Velazquez rode Orb in those two races, but Velazquez is committed to Verrazano in the Derby.

Rosario called himself “really happy” that trainer Shug McGaughey and the colt’s owners gave him the opportunity to ride Orb again. Rosario, who is 0 for 3 in the Derby, said, “I never thought he was going to be one of the favorites for the Derby.”

Orb has done nothing but thrive since coming to Kentucky, similar to Rosario himself.

Any horse Rosario rides these days has to be given extra consideration by bettors. The 28-year-old native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic has been on a tear the last 10 days. Since April 18, Rosario has ridden 23 winners from 56 mounts. That includes two five-win days and two four-win days.

Rosario won the Keeneland riding title with a spring meet record 38 victories and began the Churchill meet Saturday night with five wins from seven mounts. This, after he won the $10 million Dubai World Cup aboard Animal Kingdom on March 30.

“I feel like everything is going good, it’s moving forward,” Rosario said. “Every day, every race I ride, I’ve been given the chance to ride better horses in the race. That makes it easy.”

McGaughey, who is also seeking his first Kentucky Derby victory, said he is very happy to have Rosario back on the horse.

“His confidence level has got to be through the roof and my confidence level in him is through the roof,” McGaughey said. “He’s a young, energetic rider trying to get accomplished what these guys want to get accomplished.”

Ronald Hayes More than 1 year ago
Looks like that move from the west coast to the east, was a smart one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Normandy Invasion has won only once, I'm glad Orb will now be the favorite over Verrazano, and I think WTC is now on the downside heading in to the Derby. Only 20% chance of rain for 5-4-13
tommy tutone More than 1 year ago
Anyone know the status of the British horse? Think he might like the mud?
dazed and confused More than 1 year ago
Lines of Battle arrives Wed. If its muddy, using.
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Yes, probably, but so will most of the major contenders, so that doesn't move him up the list much. Plus, he will get out of quarantine pretty late in the week.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Shug, looking real good this year with a real nice colt. Orb.
michael stapler More than 1 year ago
I misquoted myself below in regard to "MUD HORSES" should it turn out that way on Derby Day. Here is a list of mudders, based on breeding that you can take to the bank as I see them. Orb- top bottom and inbred for mud MyLute- Mr Prospector/Dr Fager/In Reality all in lineage Lines Of Battle- Dr Fager/In Reality Palace-Robero/InReality/Relaunch Verrazzano-Dr Fager Oxbow-In Reality IF IT COMES UP REAL WET OR MUDDY an exacta of the top 3 wouldn't be the dumbest thing you eber did. If it comes up sloppy, ORB is my huge play.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Nice post Michael. Hopefully, the trainers will fit the horses with mud caulks. They never seem to mention that on air. Perhaps, someone should alert the broadcast team that, mud caulks is considered an equipment change, same as blinkers on or off.
Garth Lewis More than 1 year ago
Well people no one is talking about javas star.......will fly and catch them where it matters most......the wire......go make some money guys.....
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Java's WAR, right? A lot of people on net have been touting him, actually. Don't get it. The Derby is not on Polytrack.
Kermit Pleasant More than 1 year ago
A good rider yes!! But no Pat Day!
Sam More than 1 year ago
WILL More than 1 year ago
Perl More than 1 year ago
Heh heh. Not sure the all caps are necessary but I agree Day was the wrong fit for Easy Goer. Still, Pat was an excellent rider. He's pretty much the most beloved man in Louisville so if you go down there speak kindly of the man. It was nice how his horses were routinely overbet on oaks and derby day. Now we have Calvin filling that role.
Chavarris More than 1 year ago
Or NY/CA haters ...
Chavarris More than 1 year ago
Seriously? The most overrated rider of our generation? He had terrific numbers because he had no real competition in the Oaklawn-Churchill circuit. He was always average when he spent any time with the NY or CA jockey colony! Rosario right now is riding as well as anybody EVER! Will he sustain it? Probably not, then again, no one does. But he has been a VERY good rider for years now, first in California, then in NY (with limited support), then Gulfstream, and then Keeneland. Unless you are blind or don't know anything about racing, he's one of the top 3 riders in the game right now!
ron More than 1 year ago
i picked up on joel r. riding at golden gate then a players dream he goes to southern cal. and lights up the board when he rides,leaves s.cal. few spot rides and does good wherever he goes then to n.y. does good there then fla. and a quick show up at dubai. i hope he stays on the east coast, and i think he will. to me he is the new jerry bailey'.
m More than 1 year ago
Anyone think NI could handle an off track?
Tom Temple More than 1 year ago
Therein lies the problem. Since he has never been tested on the slop it is practically impossible to pre-judge. On another note, his sire/dam stats for the slop doesn't tell us much either other then they do not stand out. His sire mud stats shows 18%. Compare this to Mylute who shows 28% and NI is found wanting. However, if you like NI, bet him no matter what. If you don't, and he wins or places, you will kick yourself forever. Good luck!
Sam More than 1 year ago
I think Will Take Charge is a possible winner, but, boy, he sure didn't like the slop at S,A,
Tom Temple More than 1 year ago
It is possible now for the track to be rated fast as rain possibilities have diminished a bit for Saturday. May turn out to be a nice day afterall which will increase WTC's chances a bit. Not sure if I like the comments about him coming from those 'in the know' but stranger things have happened. Good luck!
michael stapler More than 1 year ago
YES. Normandy Invasion is bred to love the Wet going. Only second to Orb in comparison to wet breeding.
Sam More than 1 year ago
Have you checked the PPs of all twenty starters to see how many actually RAN on the slop?
Eric More than 1 year ago
Don't over think it. If you like NI, then play him. You will feel a lot less bad if you play him and he loses than if you change your mind because you don't think he'll like an off track and he wins. To quote an often used cliche, "good horses can run on cut glass". If you think NI is good enough then just bet him and forget the rest. Good luck!
Larry More than 1 year ago
Normandy Invasion is my Derby horse!! For me it is the hunch bet of a lifetime,as I was born on June 6,1944(The real D-Day). I'm also a serious handicapper,and always like horses that are a closing 2nd in a major prep. Should be 10-20/1 !!!
Perl More than 1 year ago
He will be 10-1 tops, probably lower unless he draws very poorly.
candy_ride More than 1 year ago
i say around 12-1.
John More than 1 year ago
After Goldencents ran 2nd to Shanghai Bobby, I told my buddy, this horse is going to be an excellent sprinter or miler ! In the Santa Anita Derby, when he didnt make the lead I felt good my bet was safe from Goldencents, but.........................on the backside I said to myself, "who is that horse galloping so easy " ?..............it was Goldencents and when Kevin Krigger pressed the button, this horse exploded ! I THINK, being one of us so called "experts," this horse can get a jump on alot of horses into the long stretch, its the last 110 yards that Ill be holding my breath as I can see a wall of horse's closing on the outside ! Im thinking, for safety sake, Im going to wheel Midnight Lucky on Friday to ALL in the Derby, hope for another Mine the Bird ! Good Luck all and safe racing !
Tom Temple More than 1 year ago
Goldencents has great improving form coming into the Derby. He has a great shot and his sire has a 33% mud rate so it is possible he has a good chance Saturday. Good luck to you also!
Jason Zeber More than 1 year ago
Tom do you have a full list of mud stats or tomlinsons for the field?
Tom Temple More than 1 year ago
Just the Bris forms which include the mud stats. The following horses have good sire/dam mud stats: Java's War Revolutionary Goldencents Vyjack Govenor Charlie Mylute The following are proven on the mud: Falling Sky Frac Daddy Itsmyluckyday Palice Malice Revolutionary Vyjack However, all have only run one race on record on an off-track so nothing that discernable although Vyjack ran one of his best on a sloppy track winning by almost 6 lengths and posting his highest Bris speed figure.