Trainer Shug McGaughey watches over Orb at Pimlico.

Trainer Shug McGaughey watches over Orb at Pimlico.

© 2013 Rick Samuels/The Blood-Horse Image may not be used in any way without permission from the photographer.

There's Realistic Confidence in Orb Camp

Trainer and jockey like Preakness chances but acknowledge a race is a race.

Trainer Shug McGaughey said May 17 Orb  is coming up to the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in fine order, but there is still a race to be run against eight other horses.

"I think it would take a very good horse to beat him," McGaughey said of Orb, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). "But he gets over the (Pimlico Race Course) surface very well, and right now I don't see any obstacles in our way.

"We all know there are lots of ways you can lose a race, but I think we're the guys in the right position to make a run. He galloped a mile and a quarter (May 17) and he moved on the track great. He has been eating well, and I'm pleased with his appearance.

"We had another great day today."

Joel Rosario, who rode Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's Orb in the Kentucky Derby and the Malibu Moon  colt's first five starts, wore a Maserati cap during a morning press conference. Maserati is involved with Orb's owners in a sponsorship-for-charity endeavor.

When asked if he has driven a Maserati, Rosario said: "Not yet." But he said riding Orb is "really close."

Rosario discussed having to break from post 1 in the May 18 Preakness.

"I don't think it will be a problem," he said. "He's a horse that comes from behind, so I really don't think it will affect him. For long distance (races), I think it's OK."

McGaughey said no one could have ridden Orb better in the Derby, so he doesn't plan to mess with success.

"I'm a man of very little instructions," McGaughey said. "We all know anything can happen when the gate opens, so all I can tell Joel is to ride with confidence."

Post time for the Preakness is set for 6:20 p.m. EDT. Some forecasts are now calling for a 50% chance of rain by afternoon in the Baltimore, Md., area.