Updated on 05/10/2013 9:36AM

Preakness Stakes: Orb braves rain in return to track at Belmont Park


ELMONT, N.Y. – After a few days to celebrate with family and friends at home in Delaware, Jennifer Patterson was back at work Wednesday morning, taking her seat atop Kentucky Derby winner Orb as he began preparations for the May 18 Preakness Stakes with an easy jog at rainy Belmont Park.

With Belmont’s main track sealed and with two sets of orange traffic cones, commonly referred to as “dogs,” keeping horses well beyond the center of the track, Orb jogged a mile alongside a stable pony over a muddy surface that later turned sloppy.

“I was going to gallop him, but when the track came up the way it was, I got a day [to play with], so I might as well jog him and try not to beat him up over that track,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “I thought he jogged really well. I was pleased with what I saw. Seemed to be good and settled in; wasn’t all frazzled. It seems to me that all systems are go.”

Orb went out shortly after 6 a.m., when the track was basically empty, save for other horses sent out in that set by McGaughey. With a steady rain falling, Orb appeared to be happy to be out of his stall and back on the track.

“He was full of life out there, jumping around,” Patterson said. “Every time a horse would come galloping by us, he’d try to buck and play. He’s happy. Moving good, too.”

[2013 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more]

Patterson, who has been Orb’s regular exercise rider since January, drove from Kentucky to Delaware on Sunday and spent some time with family and friends before returning to New York on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t wait to see him and see how he really came out of it,” Patterson said. “Shug had been telling me he’s been finishing his dinner and lunch, and he seemed good. I knew I was coming back to something good. I maybe could have used one [more] day, but it’s good to be back. I just wish it was sunny.”

Dry track conditions are not likely in New York until Friday, at the earliest. McGaughey said that regardless, Orb was scheduled to gallop Thursday and would continue to gallop through the weekend. He is scheduled to have a timed workout Monday at Belmont and ship to Baltimore either later that day or Tuesday.

About two hours after Orb came off the main track – and with the rain having briefly subsided – Normandy Invasion stepped onto the Belmont training track, where he jogged once around without company. Assistant trainer Cherie DeVaux couldn’t have timed it any better, as the rain started to fall again the moment Normandy Invasion arrived back at the barn.

Trainer Chad Brown said he wants to evaluate how Normandy Invasion trains for the next several days before deciding whether to commit to the Preakness.

At Aqueduct, Vyjack just walked the shed row as trainer Rudy Rodriguez elected not to send the Gotham Stakes winner out to train over a wet surface.

John Pisiona More than 1 year ago
Sorry for changing the subject. Why do race tracks charge such inflated prices for programs, PPS, even seats in the grandstand when the sport is in decline. When I was a fan the complete grandstand was free. Who is the commissioner, does he or she not realize the way our economy works? Try what airlines do lowr your prices and gain market share.
Perl More than 1 year ago
There are two markets here. Yes, racing as a whole is in decline and has been in decline for years. However, the triple crown is very healthy. The other thing is that there is no commissioner. That's a big reason why the sport is struggling. So many competing factions.
fuggedabodit More than 1 year ago
The Preakness will be the tough race for Orb...should he win it, he'll win the Belmont going away!
Perl More than 1 year ago
You must not be a student of recent history.
fuggedabodit More than 1 year ago
What's recent history got to do with this...it's a horse race, and Orb will have a tougher race in the Preakness than he will in the Belmont.
grayposse More than 1 year ago
Instead Rudy was in the science lab making a special potion!!!!
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
vyjack will be running with a little.......extra power
Jeff Maher More than 1 year ago
More Jenn patterson please.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
The first 3 finishers in The Derby ran their last races at Gulfstream and Fairgrounds. NOT on poly, NOT on turf. It proves out the point that the biggest prep races are the top money dirt races... And as I've stated year after year Churcill is a deep, tiring track that favors closers at the Deby distance. I hit the $1 tri by putting ORB on top and wheeling Revlutionary 2nd & 3rd with the field! The two best closers came in firsst & third for a huge tri payoff...
Mindy Burrington More than 1 year ago
How much was that bet?
Mad Vaper More than 1 year ago
$34 is all it took...and I'm kicking myself and all friends and brother are as well. I was so damn cocked sure of ORB/Rev exacta with Rev being my top pik that I never went with ALL in the middle...I think it paid $6k...for the love of god. Nice job Geral!
Frank More than 1 year ago
Orb in 3!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
If Phipps-Janney don't offer Jenn Patterson the job of her choice, they are missing out on a helluva chance... Somebody's gonna!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
She has a dream job. She works for a tremendous system. She always seems happy. In scattered contacts over years. Where would she go? Shugs attempt works. She is talented. Many have strayed from top barns and stumbled. Jenn is capable. But she seems loyal and very smart.
Sam More than 1 year ago
As soon as I saw early in the Derby that my horse wasn't going to win, I started jumping up and down pulling for Orb down the stretch. What a pleasure to see this happen to the horse, Shug, and the Phipps & company. I haven't been for any of the other possible TC winners since SS until now. Go get it, Orb.
Daniel More than 1 year ago
Like I"ve said before ,2 class acts ,Orb and Shug..........Go all the way and then the TRAVERS.......The mid summer derby....
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
I was on the fence about whether or not ORB peaked in the Fla Derby. Because he was the likely fav in the Ky derby I did not have him on top. Not only did he not peak in the Fla Derby but i don't think he peaked in the Ky Derby either. As far as the next 2 TC races, let's take those one at a time. I have to see the PPs on all contenders before making a decision. The Preakness is usually won by a horse that ran in the Derby. But i am keeping an open mind.
Sam More than 1 year ago
Yes. but it's more true that a Derby colt that by-passes the Preakness and comes back in the Belmont does better. Remember Birdstone.