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Orb Re-Energized for Travers

During his nine-week stay at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, no one had a better perspective than Jennifer Patterson on Kentucky Derby winner Orb, the 4-1 third choice for Saturday's 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers.

 

An assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, Patterson was Orb's exercise rider throughout the Triple Crown. When the Malibu Moon colt was sent to Fair Hill the day after the June 8 Belmont Stakes, Patterson was close behind.

 

"Physically, I had a fall and gotten hurt. I just kind of grinded it out until Belmont day," Patterson said. "Orb and I both went on a little vacation. Instead of coming back and getting on six horses, I'd start off slowly. It was good having him down there.

 

"It's such a nice atmosphere down there. He really did great. He's put on a lot of muscle weight. He's bigger and stronger now, and I'm just really happy with the way he is. He's come up here and he's kind of got it in his head, 'OK, back to work again.' He knows what's going on."

 

Orb capped a five-race win streak with his 2 ½-length victory in the Kentucky Derby, then followed by finishing fourth in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont, all as the betting favorite.

 

He had six breezes at Fair Hill before returning on August 11 to Saratoga, where Orb sizzled through a half-mile work in 47.68 seconds on Monday.

 

"I think he's going to do really well. We're coming into it as good as we can," Patterson said. "He's fit. Mentally, he's good, but there's a lot of other good 3-year-olds out there. He could run the best race of his life and still maybe finish second or third.

 

"I'm really excited for it because I think it's going to be a great Travers, and I think we're going to be right there. We're ready. We have him right. We have him where we want him to be, and it's just going to be up to him on Saturday."

 

 

 

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