Orb wasn’t the only one to score big in the first stop in the Triple Crown.
NBC Sports drew the most viewers for a Kentucky Derby in 21 years during Sunday’s race, which featured two rarities for the sport: a black jockey and a woman jockey.
Goldencents, owned in part by Rick Pitino, coach of Louisville’s national basketball champions, finished in 17th place. His jockey, Kevin Krigger, was trying to become the first black rider to win the race since 1902.
Rosie Napravnik, also bidding to make history as the first woman jockey ever to win the world’s biggest horse race, finished sixth aboard Mylute. Rosie did come away with the highest finish by a female rider. Two years ago she placed ninth in the Derby.
The ratings were up 16% from last year. Pre-race figures were also boosted in NBC’s coverage spanning 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Winning thoroughbred Orb will next chase the Triple Crown at the Preakness Stakes on May 18.