Buzz Tenney, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, reported Sunday morning that Kentucky Derby winner Orb appeared well following his last-place finish in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational.
Orb, who bobbled at the start of the race, was placed three wide in fifth place for the first six furlongs of the 1 ¼-mile race and then faded. He was beaten 22 ¼ lengths by winner Ron the Greek.
“Orb seemed to come back fine,” Tenney said. “He cooled out fine, and we put him on the van and sent him back to Fair Hill [Md.] last night. Really no excuses we could see.”
The Jockey Club Gold Cup was the eighth race of Orb's 2013 campaign. He opened the year winning an allowance race on January 26 at Gulfstream Park and then reeled off wins in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, the Grade 1 Florida Derby and the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.
Following that, Orb was fourth in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes. McGaughey then moved Orb to the Fair Hill Training Center to prepare for the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, and the Malibu Moon colt appeared to blossom. He was third, beaten less than a length by winner Will Take Charge in the Travers and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106.
“He looked great, I thought, coming out of Fair Hill,” Tenney said. “Going over [to saddle for the Jockey Club Gold Cup], I think we were all very, very confident, and it was disappointing, to say the least. We scoped him after the race yesterday, and he was clean. So far, that's all that's been done.”
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