Iowa's Jerry Crawford watched his horse Dulahan take 3rd at last year’s Kentucky Derby. There was a lot less excitement for Iowans in this year's Run for the Roses as Donegal Racing didn’t have a horse in the race.
But with the field wide open and the mint juleps flowing and plenty of big hats at Churchill Downs, Revolutionary and Orb were the prerace favorites.
Orb, running 15th well into the race, made a late charge to win the 139th running of the mud-spattered Kentucky Derby.
Golden Soul was second, followed by Revolutionary.
Late money made Orb and Revolutionary co-favorites at 6-1 at post time.
"I was so far behind and I let him stay calm," jockey Joel Rosario said of Orb. "Perfect trip. I stayed on the outside. I didn't want to be too wide."
Trainer Shug McGaughey was overcome with emotion, breaking down as he tried to explain his joy.
Palace Malice, ridden by veteran rider Mike Smith, broke out to a several-lengths lead about halfway through the race, the lead group tightened, and then Orb made his move.
More than 151,000 spectators packed Churchill Downs in Louisville, where rain had fallen much of the day.
The Derby is the first jewel of the Triple Crown. The 138th running of the Preakness, on May 18 in Maryland, is the second, followed by the Belmont Stakes, in New York on June 8.
Only 11 horses have won the crown, none since Affirmed did in 1978.
Addition reporting by CNN