05/18/2013 7:47PM

Preakness Stakes: McGaughey disappointed after Orb struggles home fourth

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Michael Amoruso
Shug McGaughey (center, facing away) answers questions from reporters after his Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, finishes fourth in the Preakness as the 3-5 favorite.

BALTIMORE – Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey admitted to allowing himself to dream about the possibility of going for a Triple Crown with Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the June 8 Belmont Stakes.

“I tried to focus on today the whole time, but I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I didn’t think down the line a little bit,” McGaughey said. “I thought if we could get it done today, that going back to Belmont, we would really be comfortable there, and we would really have a big chance.”

But after Orb finished a disappointing fourth, nine lengths behind the front-running winner Oxbow in Saturday’s 138th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, there is no chance for racing’s first Triple Crown since 1978.

Orb, under Joel Rosario, was really never in contention and wasn’t able to get off the rail, trudging home a non-threatening fourth.

“I’m disappointed,” McGaughey said. “It was a great opportunity. We were 3-to-5 in the race and finished fourth. I would be disappointed anytime you had this kind of opportunity and didn’t get it done, but this was quite a run for a couple of weeks.”

The run ended early in the Preakness as Orb was down on the inside and in sixth position early behind a relatively modest pace of 23.94 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 48.60 for the half-mile, and 1:13.26 fox six furlongs.

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Race replays and reactions from Pimlico]

“I thought it would be quicker than that,” McGaughey said of the pace. “I thought they might speed it up a little bit, but they didn’t. When they went 48-and-some-change, I still thought we’d close into it. It just wasn’t his day.”

Rosario said he felt his colt was in good position but added that Orb never accelerated.

“He had a hard time to really keep going,” said Rosario, who noted that he felt the track was deep. “I thought he put me in a good spot and that he would be available to do it from there, but it was hard for him to do it today.”

McGaughey still held out hope at the three-eighths pole that Orb could make a run, but by the quarter pole, McGaughey knew “the race was over for him.”

“He had too much to do, with not enough time to do it and not enough stuff happening in front of him,” McGaughey said.

In hindsight, McGaughey felt the rail post did hurt Orb’s chances. Since 1961, there has been only one horse – the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Tabasco Cat in 1994 – to win from the rail.

“When I look at it now, it probably did hurt us because we couldn’t get him out,” McGaughey said. “I think he probably would have had a little more clear shot than he had today.”

McGaughey basked in his first Kentucky Derby win and was more than accommodating with his time over the two weeks leading up to the Preakness.

“There was more pressure, not because he was 3-to-5, [but] because there were so many people hoping,” McGaughey said. “I felt like there were a lot of people behind us, so I’m disappointed in that respect. I did feel the pressure a little bit more today just because of that.”

Orb was scheduled to van back to Belmont Park on Sunday morning, and McGaughey said he would like to run back in the Belmont Stakes if owners Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps and Stuart Janney III wanted to run.

“I would want to talk to them, see how he comes out of it, but I would like to run,” McGaughey said.

Kyle Davis More than 1 year ago
Oxbow was the better horse. He has had bad posts he's whole career. This time he had a good post ran with it and won. I just wish I had more than $4 WP on him.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Oxbow ran well while blazing through early fractions in derby and leading up to derby I think they were trying to figure this horses best running style out. How do u show the way in one major prep then trail the field in the next? This horse has had some legitimate excuses In his past performances. And I think that if he can get 113 and change for 6f in the Belmont that he could be right back in winners circle... And I bet the price would still be right..Prob 6-1 or more..
Richard Doin More than 1 year ago
when you think of it they did this in nascar along time ago to running two horses or making deals boxing you up or racking you way a sure way to win may be trainers should only be a aloud one entrée ????
Richard Doin More than 1 year ago
They did it that way because they knew the only way they could beat Orb was to keep him tied up on the rail running it slow and he couldn't get off just wait till Belmont , well see him up here too at Saratoga he'll get'em next time
michael stapler More than 1 year ago
It was a 2 horse race and Orb ran a bad one.
Abbas Masri More than 1 year ago
Slowest Preakness ever they're all a week bunch,fillies are much better this year . Orb is a nice horse but not enough to make him 3-5 that was a joke and he looked like A tired an drawn horse in post parade most people thought otherwise.
Pol Liscano More than 1 year ago
Orb was playing with departing he chased departing when he is behind D. When he is ahead he'll wait for D to pass him, then he'll chase D again his playmate that was what I've observed on Orb running.. All Orb's focus was not in the race his agenda was to play with departing that why its hard for Joel to urge Orb for a serious race any jockey cannot do anything if the horse is playing his on game. Orb is not concerned on front horses his goal of the day chase and wait for D may be that's their game when they were kids,
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
as stupid as what you stated sounds...you might have a valid point.......and talking of STUPID...how stupid I look after touting ORB as a potential triple crown winner.....big reality slap up side the head for me...wheres that sign that says "bang head here"...I need it ...humble pie and crow......mmmmm mmmm good.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
and there was only 1 brief chance for ORB to come outside ...going into the first turn....and as quick as it came it was gone.........
Tim Brandy More than 1 year ago
Where's my buddy Michael. Just wanted to say I told you so.
matt More than 1 year ago
It appears, after reading these postings, most of you haven't a clue on how to handicap. Case in point; Orb breaking from the one hole, with a red and white bullseye on his back, not to mention he is 3/5. Unlike in the FOY, when he was 9/2, off a 12-1 ML. He is guaranteed to ALWAYS have a horse to his outside, pining him in. Lucas entered 3. He said all week that TTF was not going to the lead. His job was to pin down Orb, and he did it perfectly. To say Orb if a fraud, or the race was fixed, go somewhere else. Orb won five races in a row. Two of those G1. If you are so sharp and clever, name me five horses, in the last 10 years, to match that. I'll be waiting.
fuggedabodit More than 1 year ago
I agree with your post..TTF did exactly what you said. TTF wasn't in it the race to win the Preakness, he was in it to play spoiler!
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
excellent point ..and for a little proof watch the replay...especially at the point where ORB leaves TTF....and TTF comes right back....no concern at all for what was left in the tank....and that's the way it goes...no cheating or being unfair.. no rabbit but a "blocker" to make ORB uncomfortable.........it worked.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Ghostzapper, Bernardini, Lava Man, Barbaro, Smarty Jones, Curlin, Big Brown, Zenyatta, Rachel, Wise Dan, Invasor, Point of Entry, Stardom Bound, Acclamation all achieved winning streaks of at least 5 races with at least two of those wins being grade 1s. I'm sure I'm missing some.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Hey genious....... I have a question for you. How in the world did TTF pin Orb down? Watch the replay before you pop off. TTF came up on the inside of Orb. Kinda hard to pin him down whey you are INSIDE OF HIM GOING DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH!!! Find another excuse.
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
watch for the -ghost -down the road-lolk-ds