Orb had his final workout in preparation for the Belmont Stakes on Sunday morning at 6:00am. Shug McGaughey’s Kentucky Derby winner breezed in the company of
grade one stakes winner Hymn Book.
Orb went the first
half-mile in :48.30 and pulled away from Hymn Book in the final furlong, finishing up in 1:00.48. His trainer and
exercise rider felt great about the workout, confirming the Orb is ready for
“He hasn’t missed a beat,” said McGaughey. “Everything has been A-1
Exercise rider Jenn Patterson added, “He started off nice and
steady, which Shug wanted, and finished up strong. I gave him his head at the eighth pole and he opened up his
stride. He did everything very easily. I didn’t have to encourage him at all.
He came off the track and he was kind of spooking and playing, but in a good
way. He’s just happy and feeling good. Everything went right this morning.”
Shortly after the workout, as Orb was cooling out in the barn, I got
to meet with McGaughey, where he discussed what went wrong in the Preakness and
what he hopes will happen in the Belmont.