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Orb, Verrazano the 1-2 favorites for Kentucky Derby

8:45 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- Orb and Verrazano, tied for first in the new points system that determined this year's Kentucky Derby qualifiers, both drew outside positions in Wednesday's starting gate draw.

Orb, trained by Kentuckian Shug McGaughey and ridden Joel Rosario, drew the No. 16 position, which is in the auxiliary starting gate.

After the draw, Orb was installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite to win the race, followed by Verrazano at 4-1. Goldencents came after that at t 5-1.

"I like being the favorite. I like being the favorite in every race I'm in because there's a reason why you're the favorite," said McGaughey.

Mylute, to be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, drew the No. 6 position. The odds on Mylute were set at 15-1. Napravnik can become the first female jockey to win the Derby.

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, out of retirement after seven years away from racing, will be in the No. 2 position with Oxbow. Stevens is a three-time Derby winner, and Oxbow is trained by Hall of Fame D. Wayne Lukas, four-time Derby winner.

In the 4th spot among the favorites (10-1) will be Revolutionary, who will start in the No. 3 position. Revolutionary, another Pletcher-trained entry, will be ridden by three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel.

Verrazano, one of five Derby entrants trained by Todd Pletcher and to be ridden by John Velasquez, drew the No. 14 spot, the widest position in the main starting gate. Velasquez sustained a cracked rib and a chipped bone in his wrist in a fall on April 7.

Orb and Verrazano both totaled 150 points in the pre-Derby standings, based on performances in specified races. The Derby qualifiers had previously been decided by earning in graded-stakes races.

"It was a great post position. We got everything we wanted," said trainer Todd Pletcher, who has five horses entered in the race, including Verrazano.

Goldcents, third in the points and co-owned by Louisville basketball Coach Rick Pitino, drew the No. 8 position. 

Goldencents is trained by Doug O'Neill, winner of last year's Derby with I'll Have Another. 

He will be ridden by Kevin Krigger, bidding to become the first African-American jockey to win the Derby since 1902.


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