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.

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“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.”