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Belmont Stakes 2013 – Shug Talks Orb

Shug Mcgaughey 615 X 400
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 the Belmont.
“He hasn’t missed a beat,” said McGaughey. “Everything has been A-1 forward.”
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. 


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Older Comments about Belmont Stakes 2013 – Shug Talks Orb...

There were many back in the day who raced off little rest like Quadrangle, who contested the Derby and the Preakness, ran 2nd in the Met Mile, then came back a week later and won the Belmont. Citation won the Derby Trial four days before the Derby, won the Derby and the Preakness and before moving onto the Belmont won the Jersey Derby. There are many, many examples of horses racing successfully off little rest. And jammed in between these races they often had numerous workouts, some as much as a mile long. For instance, between the Derby Trial and the Derby itself, Citation also had a 3f work.
Almost forgot Carry Back who won the Everglades, then the Flamingo, then the Florida Derby, lost to Globemaster I believe in the Wood and came back two weeks later to win the Derby. As Mike in SB said look at the race records to see the number of starts many of the horses had then and compare it to the race records today. Today you have horses that do a lifetime of 15 to 20 starts, some horses did that in one season.
Many times the Blue Grass and the Wood were held less than two weeks before the Derby. Alydar ran in the Blue Grass on April 27 and came back to contest the Derby on may 6 th. native Dancer won the Wood held on April 25, Derby was May 2nd and Dark Star won the Derby Trial that Tuesday and won the Derby. Previous Trial and Derby winners include Hill Gail and Citation. Swaps won an allowance race at CD April 30 and won the Derby May 7th. There are others, but those are a few off the top of my head.
tmallioios if you want proof that horses in the past often raced on two weeks rest just look at their race records. Secreteriat ran in the Wood 2 weeks before the Derby, the Wood and Arkansas Derby were scheduled 2 weeks before the Derby until the 1990's I believe. The Bluegrass was run 10 days before the Derby in the past. Affirmed won the Santa Anita Derby in early April then won the Hollywood Derby two weeks later before winning the Kentucky Derby. Seattle Slew won the Wood two weeks before the Derby. Spectacular Bid won the Malibu, setting a track record, then in two weeks won the San Fernando and two weeks later set the world record for 1 1/4 miles in the Strub. Check the records of the champions of the past , they all ran many more times than todays horses and most ran on much shorter rest.
Since a horse can't talk (except Mr. Ed)... Trainers can only make determinations by what they see... Shug is not a b/s guy so I believe he thinks Orb is ready as he did in the Preakness... I'm hoping Orb repeats Thunder Gulch in '95... Won the FOY, Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, 3rd in Preakness, and then won the Belmont... Hopefully, Orb will do the same... The handicapping part of me sees the flaws but I just like this horse...
If you want to see the extent of race day med use in US racing both thoroughbred and standardbred, all you have to do is look at the entries for any given race. Pretty much every horse is running on LASIx or other drugs. The LASIx use for two yr olds was and is a contentious issue at the Breeders Cup. Frankel's half brother Bullet Train who raced in Europe but is standing here is advertised as LASIx free. Something that cannot be said for our horses.
buds, that 2 weeks laying in bed or on the couch might be a time to study about furosemide, if anything could soak in. I'll admit to a small laugh. Hope you're feeling better.
From what I hear, $$$$$$$$$ easily overwhelms good pharmacological standards.
I omitted any thoughts about drug use, I will leave the comments on turnaround times from drug use to the Vets, they know better than I. Unless of course they are getting the horse high off of legalized pot, then I know firsthand, 2 weeks is plenty of time for the horse to sleep it off. LOL
Anyone that thinks horse’s need 3-4 weeks rest after running a mile and a quarter doesn’t understand this sport, or anything about horse anatomy. A horse isn’t sore or tired for weeks after he runs. Being that it is a mammal, its muscles function a lot like ours. Now if I ran 10 furlongs I might be sore for a week (or maybe dead), but a trained athletic horse might be sore for a couple days. Certainly after 2 weeks his muscles are back to 100%. In fact the biggest issue is the lack of a ridged training schedule, because of the traveling and race prep. Unless the horse gets hurt, sick, or is out of racing shape, a 2 week turnaround is no problem for a large muscular animal!
Starts per animal correlates almost exactly in reverse proprotion to the drug us..My vet soouces continue to tell me horror stories akin to that you would almost find in any back alley in any major city in North America.
Yep and last weekend I calculated, 92% were drugged that went to the post..
mike ,you and everyone else make statements about horses not running as use 15 years as the barometer. i go back to secreteriat and after.all the winners ran in either the wood or the blue grass.if i am mistakien.please start giving us proof.guys like you trash the breeders the drugs and all.why did you not trash the breeders when orb won the derby or all the other i said,i may be shut me up with proof of a horse running 2 weeks before the derby(except for charismatical) and you saw what happened to him.please show me the old timers that ran.also in those days the purse structure was not what it was now.they had to run.vic my friend,before you talk about the purity of the game outside the u.s.a . remember everyone was shocked with the findings of the sheiks in gods earth can you be so sure that the rest of these guys dont you have concrete proof.did they take an oath in front of your eyes.everything is great in me reality for once.give me multiple names of horses.give me quality horses ,not just 1 timers.woody ran cielo back in 1 week after the never heard from him after that.
BUT, as I continue to marvel with the beautiful charges I see in germay, France, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, England and Japan: no wraps, few overheated in the warm up, very few blinkers, easy going in the starting gate....Ah the wonderous effect of our DOPED horses stand out in the world as what is the |EXCEPTION of what they should be, well they are that way in the rest of the world.
Ah drugging the poor things is SO GOOD for their long term health!
If you look at the history of the sport, until the last 15 years or so, horses ran much more often and with shorter intervals between races. All the Triple Crown winners from the 1970's ran their final prep 2 weeks before the Derby. Horses historically did not need 5-6 weeks between races, in fact most trainers would look for a prep race 2-3 weeks before a big race. This was a formula for success for decades and decades, horses in the 1960's and before ran even more often. Remember Citation won the Derby Trial a week before the Derby, and the Jersey Derby between the Preakness and the Belmont. If horses today need 5-6 weeks between races it is because of the way horses are trained and medicated, and when you see how hard it is today for a top 3 year old to even finish the year, just check how many of the leading 3 year olds from last year even were racing in November, it seems like something is wrong today and the old methods and fewer drugs was a lot better for both the horse and the sport.
  • DiegoVol · I think it has to do more with Breeding. The Horses of today are weak legged compared to horses 20-30 years ago. · 1631 days ago
dipak,as i mentioned before.the reason so many longshots win the belmont is because they are running fresh.the favorites have basically run in the 2 prior races.they are usually not empty in the tank,but not at maximum peak.thus the field is leveled off a little.the problem also is that everyone and their mothers thinks the belmont is about breeding.well if that is the case.lets get all the tiznows,AP Indys and tapit breds in the race.they love it need ability need a balance.but all the horses you mentioned above.they were all coming into the race off of non efforts.this years race has some of those candidates.look for horses that ran fast and are doing well.personally to me orb,oxbow are complete tosses,not because they aren't good.but because in my mind they have to be exhausted.hall of fame trainers can chirp all they want.i look at history.3 races in 5 weeks ,especially hard grueling races are not the formula for success.what ever happened to a trainer pointing to a race.i am sure this is everyones dream,to over use their horse.i could see if you won the first 2 legs.then go for it.i have to hear shug lecture us how the belmont is a historic race and you run for the do not know what the future holds.shug,are you telling us that something may happen to this horse.also shug.the travers,the gold cup and the breeders cup are historic can wait and have a fresh horse for them.personally ,i would be shocked if this horse is in the gate saturday.somehow i feel you will see a replay of last year and also of big brown.they knew he was shot before the race.yet they got caught up in the triple crown hype and almost killed the poor horse.sometimes you just have to say NO.regardless of the rewards.
Mr. Shug told also the same things before the Preakness Stakes and he was so confident that his horse end up in 4th place 6 lengths behind, so do not take words from any trainer , only trainer's word 90% perfect , it was late Robert Frnkel, i belived him waht he said. generally outsider horse with longshot wins the belmont stakes, i got Sarava 65-1, Jazil 9/2 , it was a big day for me. last year favourite came second behind winner. so i do not take any words from any trainer or any pundit, i analyze myself whatever experience that i have in handicapping horses, this year i will not place any bet in belmont after loosing heavily on ORB in Preakness,
zatt, i love your enthusiasm for shugs confidence.tell me is he as confidant as he was prior to the preakness.or if you recall dutrow with big brown.they all but guaranteed the triple about last year.i can still se and hear oneill is like this horse has not run in 1 month.that is how good he is doing.evry trainer is going to be confidant.right or far as the big fields.well excuse the majority of the other trainers and owners that do not wake up every morning to all the champion breds you are so use to seeing or have been seeing ever since you took on the job as the phipps trainer.i have a better idea.why don't you select the 5 horses you want to run against in the belmont stakes.regardless if i think they have a shot.they have the right to dream.for many of them it might be the only chance they get to be at the front of the say is. "go for it".
Geldedridgling, since any horse can win it just as Sarava, Jazil, Drosselmeyer, Ruler On Ice, Da' Tara

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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