Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
Several Churchill Downs trainers are picking Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) winner Orb to win Saturday’s Preakness (GI) and are expecting the Malibu
Moon colt to head to Belmont with a shot to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner.
Perhaps no trainer will be cheering for Orb harder than David Carroll, who worked for trainer Shug McGaughey from 1985-90 and was the main exercise rider for Easy Goer, who finished second in the 1989 Kentucky
Derby to Sunday Silence.
“I think you’ll see big races from Itsmyluckyday and Goldencents, but I don’t think anyone is going to beat Orb,” Carroll said.
Carroll added that he would love to see Orb head to New York with a shot to win the Triple Crown.
“I was at Belmont when Smarty Jones
was going for the Triple Crown and it was the most electrifying
atmosphere I’ve ever seen. If Orb were to win the Preakness, I would
love to be up there for it. The atmosphere would
“(Orb) has a Hall of Fame trainer, he
has the pedigree and the owners, and well it doesn’t get any better
than that. It would just be right. Maybe it’s too good to be true, but
if it did happen, it would be tremendous.”
Other horsemen at Churchill Downs picking Orb on top in the second jewel of the Triple Crown include Paul McGee, Jack Bohannon, Bret Calhoun, Norman Casse, Scooter Dickey, Brad Cox,
Buff Bradley, Dale Romans and Phil Bauer.
“You’ve got to like Orb,” McGee said. “That’s who I think is going to win it.”
“I’ve got to stick with the Derby winner,” said Bohannon, who is the longtime assistant trainer to Rusty Arnold. “I’ll be pulling for a Triple Crown winner.”
“Orb is tons the best,” Calhoun said.
“I think we’ve got a shot at a Triple Crown. He was the best horse all
winter and proved it on Derby Day.”
“I like Orb and he is going to win the Triple Crown,” said Casse, assistant to his father, Mark.
“I like Orb,” Dickey said while sporting an Orb hat Thursday morning. “I watched him all winter and he’s the best I’ve seen.”
“I think Orb is the horse,” Cox said. “A lot of people like Al Stall’s horse (Departing) and I think he’ll run well too.”
“I like Orb and one reason is because Shug is so high on him,” Bradley said.
“I think Orb is going to win the
Preakness and I think he’ll win the Triple Crown,” Romans said. “I’ve
never said that about another horse.”
“I don’t think anyone can beat Orb,” said Bauer, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek.
The Preakness is scheduled as Race 12
on Pimlico’s 13-race card Saturday and has a post time of 6:20 p.m.
(all times Eastern). Orb, the even-money favorite on the morning line,
will break from the rail in the field of nine.