In a work trainer Shug McGaughey called 'breathtaking" and said gave him "chills,” Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Orb sizzled a half-mile in :47.18 at Belmont Park May 13 in preparation for the May 18 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course.
The son of Malibu Moon went his opening quarter in :24.47 and flew home his final quarter-mile in :22.71 under exercise rider Jennifer Patterson before galloping out five furlongs in :59.54.
McGaughey said he felt the work was even more impressive that his final work at Churchill Downs when he went in company.
“I thought it was breathtaking,” said McGaughey. “For him to go off nice and relaxed in 24 and change and come home on his own the way he did, and gallop out the way he did, and drop his head and walk home, it sent cold chills up my back.”
McGaughey said he wasn't concerned about the fast time of the work or the gallop-out.
“No, not at all, because of the way that he did it,” he said. “If he’d been struggling or she’d been asking, maybe. I think it’s a tribute to the way he came out of the Derby, and to come back and be able to have a work like that and do it the way he did it…I couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I’d probably have been a little bit disappointed if he’d gone out there and gone 52, but right now I’m on cloud nine,” he added. “The way he was striding today, the way he held his leads through the lane, I thought was just…I thought it was spectacular.”
Orb, owned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, is riding a five-race winning streak, having also scored in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). He was scheduled to van to Baltimore at about 10 a.m. EDT May 13, McGaughey said.