Shug McGaughey at Pimlico.

Shug McGaughey at Pimlico.

Rick Samuels

'All Systems Go' for Orb, McGaughey Says

The Kentucky Derby winner jogged and then galloped a mile at Pimlico May 16.

Orb , the expected heavy favorite for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), jogged and then galloped the morning of May 16 at Pimlico Race Course to give trainer Shug McGaughey every reason to be positive about the colt's chances in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Orb, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), jogged for a while and then galloped a mile on the fast dirt surface at Pimlico. The Malibu Moon  colt owned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable arrived in Maryland May 14 and jogged May 15.

"As far as I'm concerned it's all systems go," McGaughey said May 16. "I was just looking at his attitude this morning, and wanted to see if he's fresh. He has been here two days, and I'm pleased. Actually I'm very pleased at what I've seen."

Orb drew post 1 in a nine-horse field for the May 18 Preakness. Though not the post McGaughey had hoped for, the trainer said he doesn't believe it's an issue.

"The one post here is different than the one post at Churchill Downs (for the Kentucky Derby)," McGaughey said. "It's not going to be a concern."

Orb is even-money on the Preakness morning line, followed by Mylute at 5-1, Departing at 6-1, and Goldencents  at 8-1.

Janney, whose family has been an integral part of the Maryland breeding and racing scene for decades, was among those on hand to observe Orb's morning routine.

"It's a huge sense of pride," Janney said of having Orb in the Preakness. "I've been out here most mornings before the Preakness for most of my life, so it's great to bring this horse here. I'm proud of him."

"We've been doing this for the last 20 years together," Janney said of his association with the Phipps family. "Some they own entirely. Some I own entirely. I think we'd all say that we're very glad we were together at the Kentucky Derby and lucky enough to win it with a horse that we happened to own together. I said after the race, 'Shug was very clever to do that so that he didn't have one owner that was ecstatic and another owner who was less than ecstatic'. "