McGaughey Excited About Derby Contender Orb

Orb (#1 ) out duels Violence in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach Florida. 02-23-2013

Shug McGaughey isn’t one to be afflicted with Derby Fever, but the Hall of Fame trainer admits that he’s excited about the prospect of running Fountain of Youth (G2) victor Orb in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 4.

“Like I said after the Fountain of Youth, I wake up every morning thinking of winning the Kentucky Derby. I wish I’d won it a long time ago so I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore,” McGaughey said Thursday morning. “The reason I don’t get Derby Fever is that I want to take the right horse. Maybe I made a mistake or two not taking them, but I really can’t look back and say that I did. I’m looking forward to the experience. I’m looking forward to two Saturdays from now.”

Orb, who earned enough qualifying points (50) in the Fountain of Youth to make it into the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field, is training for a start in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 30. The son of Malibu Moon, who breezed a half-mile on Monday at Payson Park in 48 2/5 seconds (second fastest of 16 recorded at the distance), will seek his fourth straight victory (third at Gulfstream) in the Florida Derby.

“Not that I didn’t think that he had a chance to be a decent horse, but it’s just how quick he’s become a decent horse,” McGaughey said. “After he broke his maiden, he just put it all together. Winning and growing up and getting his gate experience behind him, it just sort of mentally came together.”

After breaking his maiden at Aqueduct on Nov. 24 in his fourth start, Orb captured a 1 1/8-mile allowance, followed by his half-length upset over heavily favored Violence in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 23.

McGaughey had a similar experience of a 3-year-old suddenly coming into its own at Gulfstream Park in 1997.

“I had a filly one time who had finished second and third in stakes as a 2-year-old and when I put blinkers on her and brought her down here, she won everything she ran in,” McGaughey said.

Glitter Woman captured the Forward Gal (G3), Davona Dale (G3) and the Bonnie Miss (G2) at Gulfstream before capturing the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland.

McGaughey has saddled only six horses for starts in the Derby since 1984 and none since 2002, when Saarland finished 10th. Easy Goer finished second behind Sunday Silence in both the Derby and Preakness before winning the Belmont in 1989.



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Older Comments about McGaughey Excited About Derby Contender Orb...

I am rooting for Orb to win one of the few big races that has eluded the Phipps family.
His pedigree has stamina written all over it, he shouldn't be overlooked.
More trainers should be like this Gent. Enter Derby quality horses only. NOt just run a good horse who has no shot to win, just so you can say your in the Derby.
My pops tells me this story *all the time* of Lukas and Whittingham on a flight to NY - perhaps his alzheimers is kickin' in?!?! Dad goes "...and Wayne told me, "You know what? I got him..I got him...Charlie likes to drink too alot!" Its something along those lines, but I don't think he really ever did lol
He does get good stock.
one of the most quietly successful trainers since Whittingham.
gogetem shug

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