Derby (G1) winner Orb galloped 1 ¼ miles under exercise rider Jenn
Patterson at Belmont Park Friday morning, looking the picture of a
happy, healthy horse ready to take on the challenge of Preakness 2013 at Pimlico on May 18.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
“I was pleased with everything I’ve been seeing,” trainer Shug McGaughey said.
Hall of Fame trainer has had trouble taking his eyes off the 3-year-old
colt that provided him with his first Kentucky Derby success at
Churchill Downs on May 4.
filled out so much physically. I look at him and I can’t believe what
I’m seeing from last November to now,” McGaughey said. “Mentally,
everything’s come together. He was a bit difficult at the gate all of
his 2-year-old year and that’s all behind him. I couldn’t be more
pleased with his development.”
Orb, who closed from 17th
to post a dominating 2 ½-length victory in the Derby, has won five
races in a row, starting with his maiden victory at Aqueduct last
November. In his two most recent starts in the Kentucky Derby and the
Florida Derby (G1), in particular, Orb was well in command as he crossed
the finish line, leading observers to conclude that in each instance he
had reserved some energy for his next race.
think it’s because he’s getting it done quicker than we think he is. In
the Florida Derby, Johnny (Velazquez) said he got there quicker than he
thought he would and he had to throttle him down. I think it was the
same in the Kentucky Derby. He got to those horses quicker than he (Joel
Rosario) thought he would.”
Orb is regarded as a closer, but his running style doesn’t leave him at the mercy of the early pace.
comes from back, but they don’t take him back. It depends on the color
of the race. If it’s a fast pace, he’ll be off of it, but if it’s slow, I
think he’ll actually be laying up close like he was in the Florida
Derby – within four, five, six lengths,” McGaughey said. “And he’s got
enough of a punch that you don’t take him out of the game plan when you
do lay up close.”
Itsmyluckyday, who finished second to Orb in the Florida Derby before faltering to 15th
in the Kentucky Derby, galloped at Monmouth Park Friday morning.
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who arrived from his South Florida home base to
Monmouth Thursday afternoon, supervised the morning exercise.
looked as good to me as he did in Kentucky (before the Derby),” Plesa
said. “His gallop today was very, very well into the bit. He’s just
feeling very good.”
Forecasts for weekend rains in New Jersey caused Plesa to call an audible while mapping out Itsmyluckyday’s work schedule.
hoping to work him the next couple days. We’re expecting rain up here. I
was initially going to work him Sunday, but I’ve moved it up to
Saturday,” Plesa said. “We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow. I can
work him as late as Monday. If something happens and it’s still raining
on Monday, which it could be, I don’t have to work him, but my
preference would be to work him.”
Plesa said Itsmyluckyday is tentatively scheduled to ship to Pimlico on Tuesday.
also turned in an enthusiastic gallop Friday morning at Pimlico Race
Course under his jockey, Kevin Krigger. It was the first piece of
serious exercise for the colt since he finished 17th in the Kentucky
Derby last Saturday. He returned to the track Thursday and jogged.
is spending the two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness with
trainer Doug O’Neill’s outfit at Pimlico. He is the exercise rider for
all 14 of the O’Neill horses stabled at the Baltimore track and has
picked up a pair of mounts on the Saturday racing program at Pimlico,
but his priority is Goldencents, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner.
jogged for a half-mile and appeared to be very alert and interested
when Krigger asked him to pick up the pace and gallop about six
is the first time I’ve ever been able to gallop him and I got what I
was looking for out of him – a pretty good relaxed gallop,” Krigger
said. “He stayed relaxed and that’s basically what I’m focusing on,
letting him achieve the workouts that he needs, not be rank doing it and
be comfortable and relaxed. I got that out of him this morning.”
trainer Jack Sisterson liked what he saw from the Into Mischief colt
during the 20 minutes he was on the track Friday.
one horse that gets a lot out of his training,” Sisterson said. “We
wanted to see how he would come out of the Kentucky Derby and he’s
bounced out of it with high energy. He moved over the track well and
Kevin was really happy with him this morning.”
trained well at Churchill Downs but turned in a disappointing
performance in the Derby, which was run over a sloppy, sealed surface.
He was near the pace early, but on the run up the backstretch Krigger
realized that Goldencents would not be a contender in the final quarter
mile and didn’t ride him hard to the wire.
not the first race that he’s not run to expectations, but it was the
Derby and a race that we all wanted to win,” Krigger said. “At the same
time it was a race that we enjoyed participating in. We didn’t get the
turnout that we were looking for but he came out of the Derby happy and
he came out of the Derby sound and his energy level is up. It’s like he
didn’t even run last week. We’re just keeping our focus. I don’t think
any of us has lost any confidence. We looked back at the race and if he
had gotten beaten in the stretch we would probably feel more
disappointed than we do. It’s as simple as he didn’t run his race at
all. We’re just drawing a line through that race and staying focused and
keeping our confidence. As you can see, he’s doing the same thing.
We’re all on the same page.”
is scheduled to gallop again on Saturday and Sunday. O’Neill is flying
in from California on Sunday to watch the colt breeze on Monday morning.
Krigger said that O’Neill will see a horse that has adapted well to the track.
looks great, is traveling great,” Krigger said. “From my first day
galloping him, I’m pretty confident that we’re going to be pretty
competitive in the Preakness.”
is looking to become the third African-American rider to win the
Preakness and the first since 1898 when Willie Simms won aboard Sly Fox.
George “Spider” Anderson captured the 1889 Preakness with Buddhist. Six
African-American riders have previously ridden in the Preakness. The
last was Wayne Barrett, who finished eighth in 1985 with Sparrowvon.
Derby (G3) winner Departing galloped “a spirited” 1 ½ miles in the
words of trainer Al Stall Jr. on Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Departing is scheduled
to work Sunday morning at 8:30, walk Monday and then train the next two
mornings before shipping to Pimlico on Wednesday.
Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill
Friday morning. A decision on the Preakness status of the fifth-place
Kentucky Derby finisher will be made in the morning.
trained well this morning and showed good energy. I was satisfied with
what I saw and passed that on to the owners,” trainer Tom Amoss said.
“After he trains in the morning, I’ll call the owners at 7 and we will
make a decision on the race.”
three of trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Preakness hopefuls, Oxbow, Will Take
Charge and Titletown Five, galloped early Friday morning at Churchill.
Lukas plans to van nine horses to Pimlico on Tuesday with a 3 a.m.
departure from Churchill Downs.
Hall of Fame trainer saddled Oxbow and Will Take Charge for sixth- and
eighth-place finishes, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby. Lukas was
particularly impressed with Will Take Charge’s effort during a troubled
look at the aerial view of the race, and Will Take Charge may have been
running the best of all,” Lukas said. “He was moving with Orb and then
he got checked twice when Verrazano ducked in and out in front of him.”
Invasion galloped at Belmont Park Friday morning for trainer Chad
Brown. The Tapit colt owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, remains a
candidate for the Preakness. Brown said on Sunday morning that the
fourth-place finisher in the Derby - who led in the stretch - would not
run back in two weeks in the Preakness. However, Brown reconsidered that
stance on Monday and decided to wait until this weekend before deciding
whether Normandy Invasion would be entered in the Preakness.
Govenor Charlie, Vyjack and Street Spice remained Preakness candidates Friday.