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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Orb Finds Victory in the Fountain of Youth

Orb (#1 ) out duels Violence in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach Florida. 02-23-2013
The $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes was supposed to be all about the Todd Pletcher trained colt, Violence, and it would have turned out that way if not for a strong rallying performance by an up and coming colt from the Shug McGaughey barn. Taking full advantage of blazing early fractions, Orb, under John Velasquez, circled four wide on the turn to collar Violence late in the Grade 2 affair, and edge on by to win by a half-length over the very game 3-5 favorite. 

Completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:42.24 over a fast track, Orb and Violence left the rest of the field far behind at the wire, with Speak Logistics nearly seven lengths farther back in third. Majestic Hussar, the perpetrator of the very fast early pace, held on to finish fourth in the field of nine Kentucky Derby hopefuls this afternoon at Gulfstream Park.
 
The improving son of Malibu Moon out of the Unbridled mare, Lady Liberty, Orb has now won three straight after needing four races to break his maiden. The Kentucky homebred for Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable got his first win at Aqueduct on November 24, when he rallied powerfully from last to win going away at a flat mile. Behind him that day was future Withers winner, Revolutionary. 
 
More recently, Orb came back to capture a nine furlong allowance at Gulfstream four weeks ago, despite getting bounced around on the first turn. Once clear that day, he made a decisive move on the turn to quickly take command, in a performance that impressed his Hall of Fame conditioner.
 
For McGaughey, Orb moves him one step closer to a career long goal. Despite his illustrious list of accomplishments, McGaughey has never won the Kentucky Derby. Orb may well represent his best chance in years. 

Meanwhile, for the heavily favored, Violence, he may no longer be undefeated, but he did little to tarnish his reputation. Chasing fractions that were simply too fast, proved to be his undoing, but it was a fine performance in his sophomore debut. It will be interesting to see where he emerges next as one of the many highly regarded Derby contenders in the Todd Pletcher barn. 

The win here in the Fountain of Youth was worth 50 points in the new Kentucky Derby points system, which replaced the old graded stakes earnings system. Orb now sits atop the standings with his first 50 points. Violence (20), Speak Logistics (10), and Majestic Hussar (5) also gained valuable points in their quest to make the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field. 
 
The victory capped a big day for McGaughey and Janney, who one race earlier teamed up to take the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes with their excellent turf horse, Data Link. Rallying down the outside, the race favorite got up to score by one length over Joes Blazing Aaron in the one mile turf test. 
 

 

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Older Comments about Orb Finds Victory in the Fountain of Youth...

"DeadHeat" I have no personal interest in who is more accurate, but I use Brisnet SF for the past 2yrs. I remember Andy from the NY circuit, one couldn't ask to be in the company of a more engagening person, but I don't have faith in his SR any more.
"Orb won, but Violence ran a better race. adaman" Along with Danni's eplanation I agree... I don't know exactly if this was the point in time that Violence became hurt, but in the stretch he pretty much stopped running, then when challenged he came on again, this I've seen many times in many races, but is me or was his stride different at that point?
Beyer doesn't make sense to himself anymore. For the Gulfstream Park Derby his intial Beyer was a 95, i believe. It was revised to a 102, much later. He now gives these horses a 97, after a wickedly contested pace and a resulting time that came with in 2/5ths of tying the track record.
97 BSF, Thanks Andy. BTW- 1:42.2 - 3/5 off the track record at a mile & sixteenth.
Realize again, that in that maiden Orb had a fantastic pace to run at. He also made his own trouble at the gate. Also seriously dislike basing anything off of a maiden race when talking about three year olds. Orb is a nice colt who when he gets a good pace can take advantage of it and close. Also Brian, Speak Logistics, in third also closed. Not as well as Orb obviously, but he also came running. Two of the Top three were closers. Majestic Hussar only held off HHE, a horse i don't particularly like, by 3/4 of a length. Yes, Gulfstream has a bias, however that can only get you so far. That could clearly be seen with Majestic Hussar, Cerro, and SQ. Those finished 4th, 6th and 7th. When I look at the race, I realize there is typically a bias, however, you then look to see where the rest of th horses in the top four finished. They were well back, telling me that despite the bias, the pace was too fast. Violence, also was the only horse in the field that was making his first start of the year. The rest of that field had the benefit of a recent start, and yet with the lack of race conditioning, he was still the only colt to stay on at the end. Orb also had the momentum. He should have blown right by Violence, and looked like he was going to. Violence dug back in and didn't let him. Again, even with the lack of a recent race he was able to keep pace with Orb. Orb is a nice colt. I didn't like his chances here, i was wrong. However, when considering all of the factors I do strongly believe Violence ran the better race. Do remember that Cerro was right there, moving with him, before tiring to 6th.
Orb -- 97 BSF
I think Orb is the better animal overall. Look back at his maiden race last year at Saratoga where he spotted the field 8 lengths at the start and almost ran down Violence in that race losing by only a lenth or so. .Orb is the superior animal in my book.
No one came running ... only Orb.
Valid points but Gulfstream has been a speed bias track all meet and Orb did get the pace he needed to get up but he did what most haven't been able to do all meet and that is catch the speed at Gulfstream.
Violence chased a suicidal pace in his first race back, since the CashCall, in his first try over Gulfstream Park. Orb was coming off of a recent win over the track and also was able to stay far off the pace, taking advantage of a pace collapse. Orb ran fantastic, but Violence did run the better race considering the circumstances.
@ amdaman: Please explain that statement about Violence running a better race than Orb. I would like to hear the reasoning behind that thought.
@amdaman
See and I think being well off the pace with those fractions was where you wanted to be. The race set up for him totally.
Orb won, but Violence ran a better race.
Was very impressed with his trip. Coming from well off the pace behind those fractions and still getting by violence before the wire was a fantastic effort.
What a day for Janney and McGaughey! I'd love to see Orb run the longer stretch of the AQU main track in the Wood Memorial.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.