Orb Works Toward Cigar Mile Start

by | 10.13.2013 | 3:30pm
Orb gallops at Pimlico before the Preakness Stakes

Working towards a possible start in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap on November 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack, Kentucky Derby winner Orb returned to the worktab Sunday morning, breezing a half mile in 49.77 over the main track at Belmont.

“I thought he worked fine,” said Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey of the Malibu Moon colt, most recently eighth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28. “I asked him for :50, he went in :49 and change; 25 and change, 24 and change, and galloped out in 1:02. I'm trying to get him started again and go from there.”

Orb has run twice at a mile, finishing fourth in a maiden race at Belmont a year ago and breaking his maiden at Aqueduct last November.

“I'll make up my mind in a couple of weeks,” said McGaughey. “I'll just fool with him and see where it takes us.”

The trainer added that 2-year-old standout Honor Code, runner-up in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne on October 5, could work next week as he begins preparations for the Grade 2 Remsen on November 30 at Aqueduct.

“I've got plenty of time,” said McGaughey. “I might work him next weekend, but he's not going to run until November 30, so I don't have to pound on him.”

  • Terri Z

    As long as Johnny V is on Orb’s back, he’ll have no problem. Orb and Johnny V are a winning combination.

  • Bein

    I’m glad he’s left Fair Hill and is back at the racetrack with Shug. He’ll get him back to reality.

  • Leonard Willschick

    After that effort in the Jockeu Club Gold Cup I had assumed that Orb would be retired for the season. If a trainer other than the hallowed Shug was doing this, there would likely be an outcry.

    • Bein

      Good grief, why? He’s barely run all summer.

  • Horses change as they grow. Orb is pushing 4 and is not the same horse he was as a juvenile. Toss out the KY Derby, as I truly believe the mud changed the whole complexion of that race. A good horse, but perhaps not a Grade I horse.

    • the voice of reason

      so do you toss out his wins in FOY and FL Derby on fast tracks too? what about losing the travers on a fast track by less length after an 80 day lay-off? are palace malice and will take charge grade one horses? WTC has one grade 1 and palace malice has one grade 1–orb has two. orb’s record against will take charge is 3-1 in orb’s favor, and is 2-2 with palace malice.

      here’s some food for thought–orb had a 6 race winning streak culminating in the most important race of the year in N. America, and the most important 3 yo race in the world–followed by a 4 race losing streak, two of which were thirds–he’s been off the board only 2x this year and has run in grade 1’s exclusively since march.

      palace malice had a 6 race losing streak followed by a 2 wins followed by another loss. palace malice has won 3 races in his entire life.

      will take charge had a win a loss and a win, followed by a 4 race losing streak, 3 of which were by double digits, followed by a very close win, where the top for finishers were all separated by less than a length, followed by a win in a a second string race.

      what about verrazano? he has the best record on paper, but has lost every time he’s faced the other three, and after it’s my lucky day was pulled up in the pegasus and oxbow came up lame int he haskell romped over horses that were literally claimers. he’s failed badly over 9f and against the top 3 year olds when they are healthy every time.

      the chances that palace malice and will take charge will hit the board in the classic, let alone win it, are slim–history shows it take a very special 3 yo–3 yo’s like curlin and sunday silence–to do it. neither are even in the same universe talent wise as those horses. they have recency on the 3 yo eclipse division, but their records fail significantly in comparisn to orb’s–and should they lose the BCC, which is likely, and orb win the cigar, the competition is over–orb’s 3 grade one’s and 7 wins ends the discussion and makes comments like yours seem foolish (which it really is anyway).

      • What I meant was he was brilliant at 2. And not so brilliant now. I toss out the Derby, because of the mud. Perhaps on a dry track he would not have won. What has he done lately? My point was that horses physically change as they age. They get heavier for one thing. Their proportions change as the back can get longer until the horse is 5. Brilliance can be fleeting. I am not commenting on his personality or will to win. Just that physically he may not be (and actually isn’t) the horse he was at 2.

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