04/26/2013 4:07PM

Kentucky Derby: Orb gets familiar with Churchill starting gate

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Barbara D. Livingston
Orb came out to the track later than usual Friday morning so that he could get accustomed to the Churchill Downs starting gate.

Trainer Shug McGaughey altered Florida Derby winner Orb’s training schedule on Friday, sending him out during the Derby/Oaks training session at Churchill Downs instead of at 6 a.m. as he had the previous two days. Part of the reason for the switch was to give Orb an opportunity to visit the starting gate in the midst of his 1 1/2-mile gallop.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

“The only reason I took him is because he’s at a new place and the gate is positioned where it will be for the Derby or close to it,” said McGaughey. “He was perfect there. They put him in twice, the first time with a little encouragement, the second time they pulled him out and put him back in and he was fine. I won’t need to bring him back there again. I’ll just stick with what I’ve got. I’m just trying to get some of the little stuff behind me before it really starts getting busier next week. To tell the truth, I couldn’t be any more happy with the way things have gone here so far.”

Thomas Nicholson More than 1 year ago
When does Saratoga open???????????????????
Thomas Nicholson More than 1 year ago
Big fan of SHUG! If he's excited, then as a bettor you HAVE to use this horse, top to bottom in all your wagers! The drinks are on me Shug! Oh ya you don't drink any more! Good luck to a great horseman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People really think Itsmyluckday won't get rundown, first he'll have pace pressure from Falling Sky and Goldencents and maybe 1 or 2 others... I don't see Itsmyluckyday having enough................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1.) I don't think VyJack gets 1 1/4 miles and 2.) Verrazano may not go off as the favorite.
jeff summers More than 1 year ago
i can see orb and vyjack running to wire and shug with a smile as the photo comes down with orb a winner by a nose.
jeff summers More than 1 year ago
i can see orb and vyjack racing to the wire and shug with a big smile on his face
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
There is not a more deserving horseman than Shug. Orb is not only a serious Derby contender but with his base and stamina he could "fingers crossed " do what hasn't been done since 1978. Love the colt. Respect the trainers ways...pray for the best of luck for em both. The rest to me are just clogging up the stretch for this colt.
Terri Drennen More than 1 year ago
Shug deserves this Derby and Orb will be wearing the silks of Racings Royal Family. Of course, I may be biased, as the beloved and best ever, Ruffian, wore those silks, and it will indeed be a moment to see that cherry red and white colors go postward on that day. I like that Shug is working him a mile and a half too; will make the Derby a running piece of cake, but with that race, who knows, it will prob. be a 50-1 field longshot again! I personally would love to see the Derby made for 4 year olds, when horses are starting to get their best as opposed to burning most of the 3 year olds out by Preakness day.. Go ORB!
B More than 1 year ago
On all counts, I agree with you, especially the 4 year olds comment.
Paul G More than 1 year ago
Nope, the betting would be to obvious at 4 years old. The combination of the transition from 2 year old to 3 year old; limited racing experience; a 20 horse field; a long, mile and a quarter distance; and a huge audience means anything can happen and often does. If you want the best of the breed, watch the Breeders Cup.
John Stahl More than 1 year ago
Terri, I've been thinking the same thing for a while. At 4, the horses are more physically mature and would be more able to withstand the rigors of the Triple Crown. And it would in no way diminish the achievement of winning all three, as any horse doing so would be facing more formidable competition.
BRUCE More than 1 year ago
Sorry shug,but Itsmyluckyday will turn the tables on you in the Kentucky Derby and win easily ...
B More than 1 year ago
Well, I don't agree with you in the slightest though your pick is the type of second rate horse that so often wins this thing. Super Saver, Mine That Bird, Giacomo, etc. Hope not, but you just might be right.
JOHN More than 1 year ago
LOL, this race isn't a mile... gonna see your cash go up in flames when he stops running at the top of the stretch
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
Good to hear, now just hopeful for a clean trip and will be rooting for Shug to get his Derby