06/08/2013 8:26PM

Belmont Stakes: Orb's late run just wasn't there

Tom Keyser
“It looked like turning for home he got a little tired,” jockey Joel Rosario said of Orb’s Belmont.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Five weeks after flying through the final furlong to become a Kentucky Derby winner, Orb floundered in the final three-sixteenths of a mile in Saturday's 145th Belmont Stakes, trudging home a well-beaten third behind Palace Malice in the last leg of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park.

Despite having a strong early pace in which to close, Orb couldn't deliver the same scintillating move he made in the Kentucky Derby, and was unable to pass Oxbow, the Preakness winner who was part of the early pace, for second. Orb was beaten five lengths.

Thus, Orb completes a Triple Crown campaign in which he won the Derby, finished fourth in the Preakness, and third in the Belmont.

"I'm disappointed with a third-place finish," Shug McGaughey, the trainer of Orb, said.

"There was some pace in there. He might have got a little farther back than I thought he was going to be. Maybe the grind of it all made him do that. He made a good run around the turn, he just didn't sustain it as well as I'd have liked, and those horses didn't back up to him."

Joel Rosario, who rode Orb throughout the Triple Crown series, had Orb second-to-last in the early stages while Frac Daddy, Freedom Child, and Oxbow were scrimmaging through early fractions of 23.11 seconds for the quarter, 46.66 - the second-fastest half-mile fraction in the 145 runnings of this race behind only Secretariat's 46.20 - and 1:10.95 for six furlongs.

Orb launched a four-wide move beginning at the five-eighths pole, circled horses to get into third around the far turn, but simply ran out of gas in the stretch.

"I thought it was a perfect trip, he was fine, really comfortable, but it looked like turning for home he got a little tired," Rosario said. "A mile-and-a-half, they all get tired. I couldn't even pass [Oxbow] for second. I guess now we have to think about later on."

[BELMONT STAKES: Replay and post-race reactions]

For the connections of Orb, the third-place finish in the Belmont completed a five-week run that began with their first Kentucky Derby win and dreams of a Triple Crown. It ended with disappointment.

"Winning the Kentucky Derby was a huge thrill, losing the Preakness was a pretty big blow," McGaughey said. "Today is today, we finished third. Again, somebody else won."

Stuart Janney III, the co-owner and breeder of Orb along with Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, said "It's been exhilarating, a bit nerve-wracking. It'll be relaxing from now on for Orb a little bit, for me certainly.

"I think it is disappointing. There were a lot of good horses in this race. He's been going pretty good, he has had a wonderful spring. I think he might not have had quite the kick today that he has had on other occasions."

McGaughey said Orb will get a little freshening and be pointed to the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24.

DowneyProfile More than 1 year ago
The last dirt race before the Belmont, two closers (Forty Tales, Declan's Warrior) ran one-two in the Woody Stephens. After prompting, then being part of a fast early pace in the Belmont Stakes, Palace Malice crawled the last half-mile in 54 seconds. Deep closers don't typically win the Belmont, but this year the race set up for something to come from behind. But there was simply nothing there.
MICHAEL More than 1 year ago
They do not breed them like they used to.....add all the medication and salix and we simply get nothing... Maybe it is really time to change the triple crown to reflect todays breeding for milers.....I rather watch a competitive mile race than wince watching these horses run the last furlongs of anything 10 to 12 furlongs.....
Old timer More than 1 year ago
this does not appear to be a brilliant crop of 3yos. Again where does the Beyer figure come from? The Belmont was SLOW. 2:30 and change is one of the slowest by any measure. Yet he gets a 110 Beyer. Of the three classics, Orb's KD was the most impressive. The horse was tired in the last two races IMO.. Let's just hope that they all stay healthy.
jay More than 1 year ago
Fast Bullet got the 110 Beyer in the True North. Palace Malice got a 98 Beyer.
Infinity More than 1 year ago
I don't understand why nobody mentions PM sire--Curlin was a Beast---what a specimin and lost the Belmont to a once in a lfetime filly...Rags to Riches.......Smart Strike also.....
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
This crop of 3yr.olds will get sorted out in the Jim Dandy and the Traver's, for now it is a guessing game as to who is the better 3yr.old . This years T.C. series was a little funny and looks like there is no stand out and most likely they will be trading W's the rest of the year. I still think Orb is the better but we'll have to wait to see that. STAY TUNED....................
Dave More than 1 year ago
The Orb team knew deep down they should have freshened him up for Saratoga. I'd still have liked to see Revolutionary sit back instead of Castellano moving him way up into a suicidal pace. But then again where were ANY of the closers with any kind of run? This year's Belmont was a tired field of horses, none of whom wanted any part of a mile and a half, and on a deep, tiring track it really showed. Truly a case of someone had to finish first...
JeanK More than 1 year ago
I know Orb was tired but the way the track was playing Rosario kept his mount too far back. the derby was the derby this is a different distance different track. Rosario has a good agent not sure about instinct and wisdom.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
watch Orb surprise everyone in the Travers! seems like they take turns beating each other.
EquinealTDN More than 1 year ago
redboy More than 1 year ago
Their seems to be more than enough Orb bashing going around for whatever reason Never again will any of these 3yo run 3 G1's in 5 weeks in their remaining careers Orb won 2 Grade 1's finished a respectable 4th in another and 3rd in the Belmont all in a span of about 9 weeks,he's a Classy horse with Top notch connections.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johnny V is good and gets way too much credit, after the race when interviewed why not just say I got beat, there is always something the Jocks have to say. G. Stevens is honest and a few others tell it the way it is, just say they didn't have enough in the tank or they are just not good enough, plain and simple
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now people can finally shut up about Overanalyze and Will Take Charge, both are a bust. Will Take Charge biggest claim to fame is when he ran up Verrazano's butt, Moron's were betting this Horse in the Preakness and Belmont based on IF he gets clear. LOL. I had the Winner in Belmont and the Superfecta and the Talking Heads on HrTV,DRF,NBC and ESPN and TVG are all underachieving morons except for Richard Migliore, Scott Hazeltine and Dan Ullman..they all follow the herd for a paycheck and don't take a chance on a pick that may seem right. ORB,ORB ORB, and none of them ever said Oxbow for anything until to won the Preakness....some should just go get another job. I can say this, I got 5 of 6 in the Pick 6, I have off days but these Morons can't pick at all. Mike Beer said Palace Malice was a Bum. Palace Malice was blocked in a big race, had blinkers put on and ran great in 2 other races. He might have done well in the Derby without the Blinkers as well, he was handling the track...Mike Beer from DRF said he hasn't showed him anything and DRF pays this goofball.......
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
Hey don't mess with Beer, he's a great go against handicapper. Consistentlydisses horses that win and if he doesn't mention them at all they are playable. Illman has been a little better lately.
Michael More than 1 year ago
take the shoes of him, put him on the farm, bring him back in August for training on the grass that is. His style does not fit dirt racing, too much to do too late.