Trainer Shug McGaughey reported Sunday that Orb exited his stretch-running victory in Saturday's $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in good order.
“He came back fine. He's at Payson Park – that's where he lives. I was with him when he got on the van (Saturday) night, and he was fine. And they tell me he's fine today.”
Orb, who had won an entry-level allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 26, rallied from seventh under John Velazquez to capture his stakes debut with a half-length triumph over previously undefeated Violence, the 3-5 favorite.
“It was great. We got a good pace, but for him to be able to catch up from where he was over this kind of track, twice, is saying a whole lot,” said McGaughey, who trains the 3-year-old son of Malibu Moon for breeders Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable.
Orb earned 50 points in Churchill Downs' new points-based qualifying system for the Kentucky Derby, virtually assuring the rapidly developing colt a spot in the 20-horse field for the Run for the Roses.
“He's come so far over the winter,” said McGaughey, whose colt was sent to post Saturday as the 5-1 second choice. “My people have done a great job with him. If he keeps improving, maybe he'll be something.”
McGaughey said a decision on where and when the colt would run again would be made upon the return of Janney from New Zealand next week. The $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream on March 30 is a strong option.
“I would never have thought when I brought him down here that he'd be where he is today,” McGaughey said. “He just kind of grew up.”
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