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.

Thomas Nicholson More than 1 year ago
I bet Orb in the Travers. He looked like he was going to take off at the 1/8TH pole but he didn't have any kick. He held for 3Rd, which wasn't bad considering he wasn't cranked up. He had an excuse of the lay-off, but that being said he is starting to be a $$$$$$$ burner. He will be hard to lay off Saturday at what I have to guess will be 4 to 1 or better odds. So I think I will give him one more shot and I think his connections are thinking the same thing.
Scott More than 1 year ago
I've been an Orb supporter since the FOY and I still think he might be the most talented 3 year old (although, both Palace Malice and now Will Take Charge might prove me wrong by the end of the end of the season), but I won't be covering him on top in this one. I think you can include him in your 2nd and 3rd tier and know that he is very consistent, but this race stinks of Flat Out. This is his favorite track and the pace set up will be perfect for his style. For me, the real question is will PM or Orb finish in second behind him. I doubt I will spend much on this race, but Cross Traffic might be good enough to hold 3rd as well. I don't expect any of the others to hit the board. Good luck! After hitting Orb in the Derby, I will be happy for him and his connections if they beat me this Saturday.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
I was just watching a replay of this race when Skip Away just held off Cigar in this race in 96. what a very fast horse he was! according to equb. he had a 136 beyer. just wonder how many lengths him and Cigar would have CRUSHED this field by!
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
About 6 at least.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
kind of gives you perspective...skip away or cigar would be 1/50 in this field.
Nyra StretchRunner More than 1 year ago
I am frankly quite surprised that we still use this " Saratoga - graveyard of favorites " tag. I think it is just a term that we continue to use, even when it is not backed up by figures. Look at any race track in the country. There is nothing to indicate that only at Saratoga favorites fail all the time. Favorites fail routinely, all over. In my opinion, this tag needs to be consigned to the trash heap.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
The tag is Graveyard of Champions, not Graveyard of Favorites. It still relevant
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
i think the title is deserved due to the totally unpredictable flops by CHAMPIONS usually in a big race and usually because of a terrible ride. Palace malices loss to alpha or capo bastones win are not the stuff that legends are built on but the fact that MAN O WAR lost his only race to a rival (UPSET. Who said they don't have a sense of humor) who he had beaten 6 times prior happened at Saratoga. And SECRETARIAT lost to ONION at saratoga so the 2 greatest horses ever both beaten by vastly inferior competition at the same track...then there was the 1930 travers where GALANT MAN was defeated by 100/1 shot JIM DANDY who shipped in from california after loosing several races at agua caliente racetrack in mexico not big races but allowance type races in mexico.there are many such examples and that is why saratoga is the graveyard of short priced champions.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Any horse ever run for 175k then won classic. I was only eight in 1984. Where is Fort larned, this would of been super race if he was here. Still a great field would been awesome to see the champ in here no matter how bad he has been this year.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
Fort larnedi think is done...would be surprised to see him race again.
Steven Rolf More than 1 year ago
I really hate to tell this but the reason Saratoga is the graveyard of favorites is because horses come in from Belmont that look like monsters and then lose because they are too totally different racetracks. Most horses that win at Belmont don't win at the spa and vice versa. Don't fall into the x traffic trap.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Horse has run two big races already over the surface. If he loses its not the surface.
Mark More than 1 year ago
And its graveyard of champions
jay More than 1 year ago
Black Onyx will win the BC Classic and be voted 3 yo champion and Horse of the Year.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Yup. I have a huge futures bet on him. Money in the bank.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
i have Catatonic Cat, try to top that
Steven Rolf More than 1 year ago
Who is black onyx?
Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
Somebodys been smokin wampum.
B More than 1 year ago
I assume that you are joking. Is he still even in training?!
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
So a horse favorite to win a race, WINS that race and is criticise for doing so. That is ORB, makes no sense to me why so many people upset about this horse winning the derby. Be mad at Giacomo he blew whole bunch of tickets. A lot of people had Orb that day I did and if I did what was wrong with y'all. Have you seen my batting average. I gave you speak logistics, Corfu, paynter. When I am bad I am BAD. won derby. How you people miss that
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Orb fan so I wanna know why Orb? It almost sounds personal with some of the people on this blog regarding Orb...if you hate a horse that passionately, you got some issues...root for your favorites but don't disrespect the others.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I don't get it either, really weird. Somebody compared his accomplishments to mine that bird. I don't remember mine that bird winning FOY and Florida Derby. I might not like a horse but if wins he wins. Just move on to the next one. People on here act like they to fight you for liking the winner of the Kentucky derby the most prestigious race in American history.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
I guess some folks look it like rooting for your fav. team...like if you root for the RedSox you have to by default hate the Yanks. It doesn't have to be like that in Horse Racing...at least in my case, I just appreciate good horses no matter who their connections are.
Brenda Benavidez More than 1 year ago
I dont get it either. I think its like Daniel said, it seems personal. & yea just because we like Orb they seem like they want to hurt us just for liking him & backing him up. We all have our own opinions. I think if you're not a fan of a particular horse, then dont show up in articles about them. p.s. Both of you had 1 dislike & im pretty sure it was Mark who disliked you..
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Yeah Mark is a habitual hater, he can't help it...Lol
Brenda Benavidez More than 1 year ago
You guys are totally right.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
Orb will do his talking on the track....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Victoria Olimpica goes wire to wire, but only pays $3.40 to win. Turns out Todd put all his money on him. Just kidding, but still not as funny as this horse in this race. Three solid horses and so it will be a wonderful betting race unless PM can't get out of the gate or Flat Out can't keep a straight course in the slop or Orb isn't race ready. Enough of the excuses and let's get down to business. First, keep them all healthy and ready for BC. Second, bring your money sat. and back up your horse and your opinion. There have been too many high pursed walkovers, so this race is refreshing. It could be a $40 tri, but I think the win bet is interesting and at solid odds. After this, their odds get even better because of the Dude.
Kenny More than 1 year ago
Palace Malice.............EZ
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
orb and palace malice in a photo
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
How many triple crown winners have won a breeder's cup in the same year?
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Is that a trick question? There has not been a triple crown winner since the inception of the breeders cup, so obviously there has been zero to have the opportunity to attempt it.
Perl More than 1 year ago
I think he means horses that have won triple crown races and won a BC Race the same year. Off the top of my head....Sunday Silence, AP Indy, Unbridled and Curlin all come to mind. Bernardini and Victory Gallop both came within a length or so. Easy Goer missed it by a neck. Alysheba missed it by a nose (one of the greatest races ever).
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
i love facts Perl. Plus 10000,
kc m More than 1 year ago
just 5 out of 28: drosselmeyer (won it at 4; won the belmont), curlin (won it at 3; won the preakness), a.p. indy (won it at 3; won belmont), unbridled (won it at 3; won derby); sunday silence (won it at 3; won both the derby and the preakness). only sunday silence didn't have at least one very bad finish in one of the TC races. none of the TC races dominates, unlike the travers (the belmont dominates).
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
You forgot alysheba at 4 and Ferdinand at 4. If were counting drosselmeyer at 4. Hate to be picky.