The 132nd running of the $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby (G1) featured a maximum
field of 20 three-year-olds, facing the testing 1 1/4 mile trip around
Churchill Downs before a crowd of 157,532, the second largest in history.
With such a huge and evenly matched field, the betting public could not come up with a clear
favorite, but when the gate opened Illinois Derby winner Sweetnorthernsaint
was the 5.5-1 choice over undefeated Florida Derby winner Barbaro at 6-1.
Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek was the 8-1 third choice. The race was
run under ideal conditions, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 60's,
over a lightning-fast main track.
Speedballs Keyed Entry and Sinister Minister lead going by the first time. They finished 20th and 16th.
At the start, Barbaro stumbled to his knees but jockey Edgar Prado got him
into stride right away. The expected pacesetters went right to the front,
with 29-1 shot Keyed Entry beating 10-1 shot Sinister Minister to the first
turn. The pair battled it out through very fast fractions of 22.63, 46.07,
and 1:10.88, while just behind them were the Lael Stables pair of Showing Up
on the inside and Barbaro to the outside. Keyed Entry was done on the
midpoint of the far turn, having set the pace for seven furlongs, and at this
point Edgar Prado, who had sat chilly on Barbaro the whole way, finally asked
him for his run. Barbaro got his head in front at the 5/16 pole, and
straightening out for home, he powered away to a 3-length lead with a quarter
of a mile to go. 30-1 outsider Bluegrass Cat, who had raced back in 8th
early, was just hitting his best stride and passed the tiring pacesetters.
But he was left with too much to do, as Barbaro drew away under a hand ride to
win by 6 1/2 lengths at the line, in a time of 2:01.36. It was 2 lengths back
from Bluegrass Cat to deep-closer Steppenwolfer in third, and just a length
back to 24-1 shot Jazil and Brother Derek, who dead-heated for the fourth spot
after putting in strong rallies from last and 14th respectively. Favorite
Sweetnorthernsaint was bumped badly at the start and had traffic troubles
going into the first turn, and faltered through the stretch, finishing
There were five other stakes races on the card with the Derby. Full results for all of them with more photos are here.
Edgar Prado and Barbaro on the turf course prior to entering the winner's circle. Prado said, "He stumbled a little bit coming out of the gate, but he recovered right away. You see what he did when I turned him loose, he took off like a rocket. I never had a doubt in this horse. Mr. Matz did a super job. Hopefully we can get the Triple Crown."
The happy connections with the trophy. Trainer Michael Matz is holding it with owner Roy Jackson on the right. Mr. Jackson said, "We're sort of speechless. We've been in racing for a long time. You always dream of getting to the Kentucky Derby. Just getting here was something really special for us, and to win it is - I really don't have the words to express it right now."
Barbaro walks over to the paddock for saddling. Trainer Michael Matz said, "He's just trained well since he came from Florida. We've never missed anything in his training, never wavered on bit from out plan that my assistant and I wanted to do for this horse. Looks like we made the right plan."
Barbaro in the post parade. Jockey Edgar Prado said, "I'm very happy to win the Derby. Like I said, it's a very prestigious race, it's very special, like a dream come true."
Second place finisher Bluegrass Cat in the post parade. His jockey Ramon Dominguez said, "I couldn't get a better trip than I got today. He came out running and put himself within four or five lengths of the leader. He got himself a lot closer than I anticipated. I asked him to kick in when we turned for home. I wanted to get in the clear so I could circle Barbaro. I was hoping Barbaro wouldn't kick in the way he actually did."
Third place finisher Steppenwolfer in the post parade. His trainer Daniel Peitz said, "I thought he ran his race. I thought he was going to run his race. Barbaro just ran out of the bridle. We weren't going to beat him. I think we had a good trip, we saved all the ground. Pretty clean really."
They tried to put the roses on Barbaro, but he didn't want anything to do with them, so they finally gave up.
Barbaro leaves the winner's circle.
Triple Crown quick links:
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.