05/06/2013 3:57PM

Belmont Park: Kentucky Derby-winning connections send out Norumbega

Barbara D. Livingston
Of Norumbega's last start, trainer Shug McGaughey said, "He probably needed the race physically and mentally.”

ELMONT, N.Y. – Before there was Orb, there was Norumbega.

A son of Tiznow, Norumbega won a 1 1/8-mile maiden race at Saratoga last Aug.  29, giving hope that trainer Shug McGaughey had a talented 2-year-old who could develop into a Kentucky Derby prospect in 2013.

But as quickly as Norumbega surfaced, he was gone, suffering fractures in both hind ankles coming out of that race. While he didn’t need surgery, he did need significant time off.

Wednesday, Norumbega makes his second start of the year against six fellow 3-year-olds in a $77,000 first-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park.

Norumbega, owned by Stuart Janney III – the co-owner and breeder of Kentucky Derby winner Orb – made his 3-year-old debut in April, finishing third to Saint Vigeur by 3 1/4 lengths in a slow-paced, 1 1/8-mile race in the mud at Aqueduct.

“He stumbled there a little bit leaving the gate,” McGaughey said. “Junior [Alvarado] really liked him and asked me to ride him back. He felt like he’d been maybe on the lead if he hadn’t had the stumble. He said, “I had to gather him up a little bit.’ He probably needed the race physically and mentally.”

Alvarado will ride Norumbega from post 5.

Always in a Tiz drops into allowance company for the first time in his career. He won his debut at Saratoga sprinting and has raced in stakes ever since. Most recently, he finished ninth in the Wood Memorial, a race in which he wore blinkers for the first time. Trainer Dominick Schettino is removing them for this race.

“That was probably the worst race of his career,” Schettino said. “We’re trying to regroup and get him his confidence.”

David Cohen will ride Always in a Tiz from the rail.

Midnight Taboo, a son of Langfuhr, returned from an eight-month layoff to win a one-mile maiden race at Aqueduct by three lengths. Doherty, a son of Giant’s Causeway, has finished third in a pair of allowance races at Gulfstream, where he won a maiden race by two lengths in February.

“Both horses have shown some quality,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Midnight Taboo won first time back off a bit of a layoff and hopefully will be a later-developing type. Doherty has been consistent and will likely continue to improve as he gets older, as most Giants Causeways do.”

Integrity, trained by Chad Brown, was third to Battier in an overnight stakes going a mile at Aqueduct on April 7. Battier was recently purchased privately by Eclipse Thoroughbreds and transferred to Pletcher and is being pointed to Saturday’s Peter Pan.

Irsaal and Go Canes Go complete the field.