Derby Winner Orb Progresses at Fair Hill

Derby Winner Orb Progresses at Fair Hill
Photo: Rick Samuels

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Orb   is working his way back to racing at Fair Hill, the Elkton, Md. training center where he's been stabled since June 9, the day after finishing third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Orb has breezed three times since his Fair Hill arrival, including a half-mile in :49 1/5 seconds July 20, as he trains up to the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.

"Orb's doing really good," said his trainer Shug McGaughey. "I was down there Saturday (July 20) when we worked him, and I thought he did great. He looked great, his attitude's perfect. As of today, all systems are go."

McGaughey has taken advantage of the facility at Fair Hill, which includes a hyperbaric chamber, cold water spa, and water treadmills for horses, as well as paddocks, rolling hills, and wooded walking trails.

"A horse can be a horse there," McGaughey said. "I had never been to that place before, and when I went down there I could see what the situation was. There was no sense in bringing him out of there. It's in a country-type atmosphere, the track's good, it's not crowded, and there's a lot of amenities there that we don't have here. I think it's worked out really well; in fact, I went from one horse there to eight."

Assistant trainer and exercise rider Jennifer Patterson is at Fair Hill with McGaughey's horses, stabled with trainer Bruce Jackson. McGaughey hopes to get in at least two more works before bringing Orb to Saratoga in mid-August.

"I got a text from Bruce Jackson yesterday," McGaughey said. "(Orb) just walked yesterday after working and (the text read), 'Orb quite fresh this morning.' Everything's good. He did so well at Payson Park, but this is Payson Park on steroids with all those amenities."

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