Orb at Belmont Park

Orb at Belmont Park

Coglianese Photos

Orb Returns to Training at Belmont Park

Orb returned to the track for the first time since his victory in the Kentucky Derby.

On a rainy May 8 morning at Belmont Park, Orb  went to the racetrack for the first time since his victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 4.

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's Malibu Moon  colt jogged a mile under exercise rider Jenn Patterson in preparation for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

"The weather was terrible, so instead of galloping, he just jogged," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "It was a pretty miserable morning when he went out. But Jenn said he was feeling good and moving good. All signs are good.

"I thought he jogged really well," McGaughey added. "I was pleased with what I saw. Seemed to be good and settled in, wasn't all frazzled. He's been eating really, really well since Saturday. It seems to me that all systems are 'go.'"

Though training plans changed due to the muddy track, McGaughey said Orb will gallop Thursday, rain or shine, and is likely to breeze May 13 before shipping to Pimlico the following day.

After adding a Kentucky Derby victory to his Hall of Fame résumé, McGaughey has been somewhat overwhelmed by the avalanche of congratulations and tributes to his consummate horsemanship.

"It's hugely appreciated. I appreciated the reception we got in Louisville. What's happened after the Derby is absolutely mind-boggling and very, very flattering for me," McGaughey said. "The phone calls, the e-mails, the newspaper articles have just been absolutely wonderful. Nobody knows how much how I appreciate this reception."

The Kentucky native has long been respected for his low-key, no-nonsense approach to training Thoroughbreds.

"I try to conduct myself in the right way and try to run my stable in the best possible way. I try to surround myself with good people, who played a role in this," he said. "I think that people have appreciated that. I had no idea that a horse race could bring that out."