LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A record $47,112,118 was bet on yesterday's Kentucky Derby, according to preliminary figures compiled at Churchill Downs.
Simulcast wagering alone totaled $39,503,473, also a record. And a record 996 outlets offered betting on the Derby.
So there were a lot of losing tickets. If you had one, listen to what the losing jockeys and trainers had to say.
Favored Unbridled's Song, hampered by orthopedic bar shoes and bad post position, finished fifth.
"It seemed like he had a little trouble getting over the ground," trainer Jim Ryerson said.
Added jockey Mike Smith: "I thought he looked pretty good about the five-eighths pole, but as the pace began to pick up a little more he was really struggling with those bar shoes on. He couldn't get the traction everybody else did."
Cavonnier, the 5-1 second choice, lost in the final stride.
"I thought I was going to win," said his jockey, Chris McCarron. "He made a move down the backstretch all on his own. Turning for home, I ducked inside when Unbridled's Song blew the turn, and then my horse got hit right across the face by the whip [of Halo Sunshine, ridden by Craig Perret]. He threw his head, and that didn't do him any good. It was purely accidental because we were riding hard side-by-side."
Cavonnier was coupled in the betting with stablemate Semoran.
"I had a perfect trip," said Semoran's jockey, Russell Baze. "I just didn't have enough horse."
Nick Zito's two horses, Diligence and Louis Quatorze, were a coupled 13-to-1 -- and ran like it. Diligence was ninth, Louis Quatorze, 16th.
Said jockey Kent Desormeaux: "From the moment [Diligence] left the gate, he never tried a step."
Prince of Thieves, who finished third, went off at 7-1.
"We got bumped at the start and got in tight quarters down the backside, but he hung in there," said jockey Pat Day. "When we turned into the stretch I called on him and a couple of other horses drifted over a little bit, and we had to alter our course to the outside. . . .He was getting awfully tired down there late."
Honour and Glory, the early leader, faded to 18th.
Said his jockey, Aaron Gryder: "He ran a great mile."
Charlie Whittingham, 83, was trying to break his record as oldest trainer to win a Kentucky Derby. His Corker finished 11th. "He was closing ground, but he was too far back and had too much to do," Whittingham said.
Perret, rider of fourth-place finisher Halo Sunshine, said: "I had a super trip. He ran a super race."
But just try to cash those Halo Sunshine tickets.
Mecke, fifth in the Kentucky Derby last year, won the Early Times Turf Classic one year later.
Ridden by Day, Mecke charged from last in a field of 12 coming out of the final turn and overcame Petit Poucet by a head. Petit Poucet, ridden by McCarron, was an additional neck in front of Winged Victory, with Jerry Bailey riding.
Out of favor
In the 122 years of the Kentucky Derby, the betting favorite has won 48 times -- and finished out of the money 32 times. Not since Spectacular Bid in 1979 has a favorite won. The favorites, odds and where they finished the past 18 races:
Yr ...... Horse .......... Odds .... Fin
'80 .. Rockhill Native .. 2.10-1 ... 5th
.. Proud Appeal-x ... 2.30-1 .. 18th
.. Air Forbes Won ... 2.70-1 ... 7th
'83 .. Marfa-x .......... 2.40-1 ... 5th
'84 .. Life's Magic-x ... 2.80-1 ... 8th
.. Chief's Crown .... 1.20-1 ... 3rd
.. Snow Chief ....... 1.05-1 .. 11th
.. Demons Begone .... 2.20-1 ... DNF
.. Private Terms .... 3.40-1 ... 9th
.. Easy Goer-x ....... .80-1 ... 2nd
.. Awe Inspiring-x ... .80-1 ... 3rd
.. Mister Frisky .... 1.90-1 ... 8th
.. Hansel ........... 2.50-1 .. 10th
'92 .. Arazi ............. .90-1 ... 8th
'93 .. Prairie Bayou .... 4.40-1 ... 2nd
.. Holy Bull ........ 2.20-1 .. 12th
.. Serena's Song-x .. 3.00-1 .. 16th
.. Unbridled's Song . 3.50-1 ... 5th
Road to the Triple Crown
Date Race (Grade) Track Winner
1/2 Tropical Park (III) Calder OK by Me
Spectacular Bid (III) Gulfstream Seacliff
1/20 El Camino Real (III) Bay Meadows Cavonnier
Hutcheson Stakes (II) Gulfstream Appealing Skier
2/10 San Vicente (III) Santa Anita Afleetaffair
2/24 Fountain of Youth (II) Gulfstream Built for Pleasure
3/2 San Rafael Stakes (II) Santa Anita Honour and Glory
3/2 Best Turn (III) Aqueduct Romano Gucci
3/2 Southwest Stakes (II) Oaklawn Ide
3/3 Palm Beach Stakes (III) Gulfstream Harrowman
3/15 Cherry Hill Mile (III) Garden State In Contention
3/16 Florida Derby (I) Gulfstream Unbridled's Song
3/16 Baldwin Stakes (III) Santa Anita Sandtrap
3/16 Swale Stakes (III) Gulfstream Roar
3/17 San Felipe (II) Santa Anita Odyle
3/17 Louisiana Derby (III) Fairgrounds Grindstone
3/23 Rebel Stakes (III) Oaklawn Ide
3/23 Golden State Derby (III) Golden Gate Halo Sunshine
3/30 Gotham Stakes (II) Aqueduct Romano Gucci
3/30 Jim Beam (II) Turfway Roar
4/6 Santa Anita Derby (I) Santa Anita Cavonnier
Flamingo Stakes (III) Hialeah El Amante
4/10 Lafayette Stakes (III) Keeneland Wire Me Collect
Arkansas Derby (II) Oaklawn Zarb's Magic
4/13 Blue Grass (II) Keeneland Skip Away
4/13 Wood Memorial (II) Aqueduct Unbridled's Song
4/13 Bay Shore Stakes (III) Aqueduct Jamies First Punch
4/13 California Derby (III) Golden Gate Pike Place Dancer
4/19 Forerunner Stakes (III) Keeneland Rough Opening
4/20 Federico Tesio (III) Pimlico Tour's Big Red
Lexington (II) Keeneland City by Night
4/27 Derby Trial (III) Churchill Valid Expectations
5/04 Kentucky Derby Churchill Grindstone