05/01/2013 1:55PM

Kentucky Derby: Orb spooked while schooling at Churchill Downs

Barbara D. Livingston
Orb gets riled up Wednesday afternoon at Churchill Downs after the noise of a lift starting up scared him.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Orb, the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby, became spooked in the paddock while schooling before Wednesday’s first race at Churchill Downs, and though he repeatedly kicked the back of his stall, he did not dislodge any of his shoes and was walking fine minutes later.

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The incident occurred because a lift being used to hang banners on a signpost adjacent to the paddock was fired up just as the horses for the first race as well as the schooling Orb were about to settle into their stalls. The sound of the motor startled a horse who was in the first race, and he reared up and fell over near the stall where Orb was schooling.

Several onlookers repeatedly tried to get the lift operator to shut off the motor, but he did not hear them until others ran to the lift and told him to shut it down.

Orb continued to kick the back of his stall, but both exercise rider Jenn Patterson and assistant trainer Robbie Medina had a hold of lead shanks on either side of him, and he settled down after a few minutes.

When Orb was taken out to walk minutes later, he walked fine, and gradually became becalmed.