08/19/2013 9:46AM

Saratoga: Orb completes Travers preparations with sharp half-mile work

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Barbara D. Livingston
With Jennifer Patterson aboard, Orb works a half-mile in 47.66 over the Oklahoma training track on Monday.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Kentucky Derby winner Orb completed his preparations for Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes by working a half-mile in 47.66 seconds Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track in Saratoga.

Coming out after the 7:30 a.m. renovation break, Orb, under exercise rider Jennifer Patterson, went in equal quarters of 23.83 seconds and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.14, according to Daily Racing Form.

“I thought it went really well,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “I thought he worked a sharp half-mile, came back, dropped his head, and walked home. Walked around the ring with his head picked up and I think everything is going the right way.”

The move was the first for Orb since he arrived in Saratoga on Aug. 11. Prior to that, Orb spent two months at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland, where he breezed six times, including a five-furlong move in 59.20 seconds in company on Aug. 10.

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“His work at Fair Hill last Saturday was great,” McGaughey said. “He shipped up here in good order and hasn’t missed a beat, and he had a very good work this morning.”

Patterson, the regular exercise rider for Orb, said she believes the horse is training as well as he did during the winter and spring.

“His stride when he’s right is so big and he does things so easily he always fools me with his times,” Patterson said. "When he’s right I just feel like we’re galloping around there, and I had that feeling again this morning, which is really nice.”

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Also working for the Travers was Will Take Charge, runner-up in the Jim Dandy, who went five furlongs in 1:01.88 at 5:30 a.m. when the training track was enveloped in fog.