08/10/2013 3:07PM

Saratoga: McGaughey raves about Orb’s work

Tom Keyser
Orb has been training steadily in Fair Hill, Md.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – While horsemen in Saratoga adjusted their training schedules Saturday morning over a wet main track or a drying-out training track, trainer Shug McGaughey had no such concerns while in Fair Hill, Md., to oversee Kentucky Derby winner Orb’s last major workout before the $1 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 24.

“It’s beautiful here,” McGaughey said by phone.

McGaughey liked the scenery on the track as well, as Orb worked five furlongs in 59.20 seconds over the dirt surface at Fair Hill. According to McGaughey, Orb broke off “on the hip” of stablemate Imagining, and went his first eighth in 13.20 seconds. Orb drew alongside Imagining at the quarter pole and they came through the lane together, according to McGaughey. Imagining was timed in 59.40 seconds for the same five furlongs.

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By McGaughey’s watch, Orb galloped out six furlongs in 1:11, seven-eighths in 1:26, and pulled up a mile in 1:41.

“I couldn’t be any happier with what I saw,” McGaughey said. “I had no idea he was going like that until I looked at my watch. He got a little blow out of it – what you’d want.”

The move was the sixth for Orb since he arrived at Fair Hill shortly after his third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

Orb was scheduled to van from Fair Hill to Saratoga on Sunday.

“Win, lose, or draw, I think this experiment has worked,” McGaughey said of Orb’s two-month stint at Fair Hill. “How he looks, how he seems to be, everything couldn’t be any better.”

Orb’s competition in the Travers is expected to include Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy winner Palace Malice, Haskell winner Verrazano, Jim Dandy runner-up Will Take Charge, Dwyer winner Moreno, Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul, and the Darley Stable entry of Transparent and Romansh. Blue Grass winner Java’s War is possible, though he was entered for Wednesday’s $100,000 Stroll Stakes on the turf.

Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
these fools talk about verrazano like hes some bum of a horse he has won all but 1 race by about a combined 50 lenths hes def a threat to win any race i dont care whos in it
DonnaMa00270657 More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People that visit this site make money lots of it by playing horses not by scaming people like you do.
Old timer More than 1 year ago
it will be interesting to see if Verrazano wants any part of a mile and one quarter. I think Palace Malice is the horse.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Shug was raving about his works before he tanked in the Belmont too....I've got a feeling Orb is going to end up being another one hit Triple Crown wonder like so many other 3 year old colts in recent years.
Thomas Nicholson More than 1 year ago
Looks like it is going to be a terrific TRAVERS this year. I would love to see ORB with his classy connections winning the Travers . 150 years of Saratoga with Orb winning for the Phipps, Janney clan would be storybook for the 2013 meet. Plus Orb won't be the favorite, he may well be 3Rd choice behind Palace Malice and Verrazano. He may be a $12 win payoff, he will be a big win bet for me .I just hope I have enough sheckles and paso's left in the bank by August 24. It is safe to say that the Old Spa will be hopping Travers day. 50,000 people if the weather Gods are good. Can't wait. Or yes I can because that means the end of the meet is coming! PEACE
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Have to like Palace Malice. Stabled at Saratoga. Raced and won at Saratoga, and we know he can handle the distance. If he is healthy and sound, he will be the horse to beat.
Vince More than 1 year ago
Orb who had a dream dreeam trip in the Derby , for me , ranks below the once beaten brilliant Verrazano , Palace Malice , the injured Oxbow ....
Mad Vaper More than 1 year ago
Orb wouldn't surprise me plus he looked like a tired horse as the triple crown went on. I just think training him up to a 1 1/4 race is a mistake. Palace Malice won't surprise me either. But I still think Verazzano is the one with the most upside of this crop. Forego137 you're a trip and shouldn't handicap on emotions. Verazzano has lost one race...how can you even use the word tendency in that ridiculous statement '...has a tendency to fold under pace pressure...' a single race that we all know is a yearly tradition to toss out as so many good horses have thrown clunkers in,,,,not to mention he was rushed to make since he didn;t start until January. If anything his breeding is the cause for concern in getting the distance. But he;s probably the most talented of the lot and also contrary to your logic his odds will be higher than Palace Malice and Orb mainly because of the distance concern.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
New York money and his last two races...make him the betting favorite and morning-line. I don't care for him in this spot, but he will be the favorite.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Orb will hit the board in the Travers, but I doubt he's your winner.
Frank Ramirez More than 1 year ago
Orb hasn't proven to be a superior horse that can go the Traver's distance off of a lay off. Palice Malice easily just off the pace to win.