Orb winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes.
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Orb winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes.
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Orb's Next Start Undecided, McGaughey Says

Colt exits half-length win in Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes in good order.

A decision on the next start for Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) winner Orb  has not been made, according to trainer Shug McGaughey, who reported the son of Malibu Moon  was doing well Feb. 24.

"He came back fine," McGaughey said the morning after Orb's stakes debut in the Feb. 23 Fountain of Youth. "He's at Payson Park, that's where he lives. I was with him when he got on the van (Saturday) night, and he was fine. And they tell me he's fine today."

A Kentucky homebred for Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, Orb is out of the Unbridled mare Lady Liberty.

McGaughey said a decision on Orb's next appearance will wait for Janney to return from New Zealand the week of Feb. 25. The $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream on March 30 is a strong option.

Orb rallied from seventh under John Velazquez to capture the Fountain of Youth by a half-length over previously undefeated Violence, the 3-5 favorite.

The victory virtually assures Orb of a starting spot in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The race carried 50 points for the winner on the new system that determines the starters for the May 4 race at Churchill Downs.

Orb also won an entry-level allowance race with a big stretch effort at Gulfstream Jan. 26.

"It was great. We got a good pace, but for him to be able to catch up from where he was over this kind of track, twice, is saying a whole lot," said McGaughey.

"He's come so far over the winter," added McGaughey, whose colt was sent to post Saturday as the 5-1 second choice. "My people have done a great job with him. If he keeps improving, maybe he'll be something.

"I would never have thought when I brought him down here that he'd be where he is today. He just kind of grew up."