Golden Soul finished second, and co-favorite Revoluntary was third.
It was the first Kentucky Derby win for veteran trainer Shug McGaughey. It was also a big victory for jockey Joel Rosario, who also won March's Dubai World Cup aboard a previous Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom.
Great race, but it was tough going on that track.
Orb is owned by the Janney-Phipps families, families who have owned many winners of many top races over the decades, including Ruffian, Buckpasser, Bold Ruler, and Easy Goer. Today was their first Kentucky Derby win.
Orb was bred by Claiborne Farm of Paris, Kentucky, one of the most famous thoroughbred farms in the world and mentioned on a number of posts on this blog in connection with the legendary Secretariat. Orb's pedigree can be found here.
He is a grandson of the top sire A.P. Indy, and his ancestry includes some of the biggest names in thoroughbred racing history.
All week, McGaughey said he agreed with that philosophy but could not help but hope that eventually a horse would come along who was unquestionably good enough to run the 1 1/4 miles against stiff competition. He felt Orb was that horse.
"Over the winter he just grew into a race horse," he said. "And then he kept doing it. Never really had one setback."
Stuart Janney and Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps are the latest in one of the country's oldest and most successful horse racing operations, which dates back 100 years and includes multiple hall of fame awards but no Derby winners but their share of heartbreak. Phipps sold a mare in foal in 2006, and the resulting colt, Super Saver, won the 2010 Kentucky Derby, also run over a wet track.
To say nothing of his father's famous coin toss with Penny Chenery back in around 1969.
Video (but given how NBC and Universal are about take-down notices on YouTube, this may not be available for long):