Recent allowance winner Orb will likely run Feb. 23 in the $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, providing that he pleases trainer Shug McGaughey in a workout scheduled for Feb. 18.
"I'm looking towards it. I'm going to work him on Monday and make up my mind," McGaughey said Feb. 16. "I'm leaning that way, because there's nowhere else to run him."
The colt, a homebred son of Malibu Moon who races for Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable, broke his maiden at Aqueduct Racetrack in his fourth lifetime start Nov. 24. He came right back to capture a 1 1/8-mile entry-level allowance at Gulfstream Jan. 26 despite encountering traffic in the first turn.
"When I came down here after he broke his maiden, I thought it was a deal where I'd get to run him a couple times and then when we got him back to New York and we'd run him over the bigger track—and that'd be his gig," McGaughey said. "He was a surprise the other day, but he was training awfully well for it."
It won't be the first meeting between the two, however. Orb also debuted at Saratoga in the race won by Violence, closing with a rush to finish third. He finished 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner after getting away last from the rail post position in the seven-furlong race.
McGaughey is also scheduled to saddle Data Link Feb. 23 for a start in the $150,000 Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream. The 5-year-old son of War Front concluded a most productive 2012 season with a 2 1/4 -length victory in the Citation (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park in November.
Data Link won back-to-back allowance races at Gulfstream in 2011 before being sidelined for eight months. After winning a Gulfstream allowance in December 2011, he finished third in the Canadian Turf last March before becoming a grade I stakes winner in the Maker's Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
"He's a good horse. He hurt himself down here as a 3-year-old, so he was set back," McGaughey said. "When he was ridden right last year, he always ran good."
McGaughey also reported that Point of Entry, who defeated 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom in the Feb. 9 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT), will likely return in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs May 4.