Orb caught Itsmyluckyday inside the eighth pole and drew clear to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby by 2¾ lengths Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by John Velazquez, Orb ran 1⅛ miles in 1 minute 50.87 seconds and paid $7.80, $3.80, and $3.40 for his fourth straight victory. Orb also won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream in February.
Orb entered the race already owning enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. By finishing second, Itsmyluckyday earned 40 points to also qualify.
Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher, finished fifth. Undefeated as a 2-year-old with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Shanghai Bobby probably needed to finish at least third to clinch a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
Itsmyluckyday returned $3 and $2.60, and Merit Man paid $8.60 to show.
Louisiana Derby — Revolutionary made a late surge to hold off a charging Mylute in the 100th running of the $1 million Grade II race at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Revolutionary broke poorly, a familiar trait for the 3-year-old, but Javier Castellano guided the horse to the lead and was seemingly in command. However, Mylute closed rapidly and midway down the track’s long stretch appeared on the verge of taking the lead. Castellano coaxed one final burst from Revolutionary and he held on for the win to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
Revolutionary paid $6.80, $4.20, and $3.10. Mylute returned $12.60 and $6.10, and Departing paid $4.40 to show.
Dubai World Cup — Animal Kingdom showed that an American horse can win the world’s richest horse race on an all-weather track, pulling away down the straight in the $10 million race in the United Arab Emirates.
The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, ridden by Joel Rosario, overtook the Bill Mott-trained Royal Delta with about 500 yards left, opened up a 3-length lead, and held off a fast-charging Red Cadeaux to win by 2 lengths.
An American horse hadn’t won the race since 2009, and especially since it was moved to Meydan Racecourse in 2010.
The victory may be the last hurrah for Animal Kingdom, who was sold to the Australian company Arrowfield for breeding purposes.