09/23/2013 5:09PM

Belmont Park: Orb puts in final work for Jockey Club Gold Cup

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Barbara D. Livingston
Orb will make his first start since finishing third in the Travers Stakes in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup.

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ELMONT, N.Y. – Orb will try to become the first Kentucky Derby winner to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup in the same year since Ponder did it in 1949 when he runs in Saturday’s 95th renewal of the $1 million race. Funny Cide and Affirmed are both Derby winners who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup as 4-year-olds.

On Monday at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, Orb worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 over the dirt track. According to trainer Shug McGaughey, who was on hand for the work, Orb went his first three furlongs in 37 seconds and his last quarter in 24.20.

Orb is coming out of a third-place finish in the Travers on Aug. 24, his first start since he ran third in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

“All indications are he bounced out of the race really well,” McGaughey said. “Everybody’s been very pleased with what’s gone on down here. I thought he was very eager to get to the pole this morning. He was looking to work.”

With the New York State Gaming Commission and the New York Racing Association imposing enhanced security measures on Gold Cup participants, Orb was scheduled to ship to New York on Tuesday. All Gold Cup participants are requested to be on the grounds by noon Wednesday and were scheduled to undergo out-of-competition drug testing.

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The field for the Gold Cup continues to grow, and there could be as many as eight horses entered Wednesday. Over the weekend, Last Gunfighter, a winner of four of five starts this year, including the Grade 3 Iselin last out, was added to the mix.

On Monday, trainer Todd Pletcher said he likely would enter Vitoria Olimpica, winner of the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, after an overnight stakes failed to fill. Pletcher already is pointing Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice and Whitney Invitational winner Cross Traffic to the Gold Cup.

Flat Out, the reigning two-time winner of the Gold Cup, was scheduled to work Tuesday at Saratoga and ship down Wednesday for a shot at a three-peat. Ron the Greek is possible as well.