(Reuters) - Orb won the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Orb hit the lead passing the iconic Twin Spires and kicked clear to win the $2 million, 1-1/4 mile classic.
Golden Soul, a long shot, finished second while Revolutionary, who started the race as joint favorite with Orb, was third in the 19-horse field.
Orb emerged as a real contender to win the Run for the Roses after winning his four previous races, including the Florida Derby, one of the key lead-up events.
Rosario held his mount back in the early stages of the race, which was held on a wet and muddy track officially rated as sloppy.
He worked his way through the field as the early leaders started to fade before making his winning charge in the final stretch, storming down the center of the track to win America’s most revered horse race.
The three-year-colt paid $12.80 for a $2 bet and now has the chance to win the coveted Triple Crown.
Reporting by Julian Linden in New York, editing by Gene Cherry