Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb breezed four furlongs in :47 4/5
under exercise rider Jennifer Patterson Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Working in company, Orb broke off just behind stablemate Overwhelming before
pulling even on the turn and drawing clear by several lengths through the
stretch. The Florida Derby winner galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 on the
fast main track.
Joel Rosario, who is slated to ride Orb in the Derby, was aboard
Overwhelming, a three-year-old maiden who was clocked in :48 3/5.
Orb posted the fifth fastest half-mile workout of 43 recorded Monday morning
after turning in fractions of :23 4/5 and :35 4/5.
“I wanted to work him a half-mile to put him in the game,” trainer Shug
McGaughey said. “He left his workmate pretty easily and finished up well.
“He’s had a little bit of a tendency in his races when he’s made the lead he
thought he’d done enough. So we wanted him to finish and go by the other horse
and he did it. Jenn was happy, so that makes me happy.”
Orb pleased his Hall of Fame trainer with his professionalism during his
“Churchill is a bit different sometimes, so I was hoping this is what I’d
see,” he said. “I’ve been a little bit nervous hoping he’d work well, and I
think it did go well. He dropped his head and walked home the way you’d want him
to and he didn’t break a sweat. She (Patterson) felt he didn’t get out of a high
Since shipping in from the country setting at Payson Park in Indiantown,
Florida, the son of Malibu Moon has adapted well to his new and busier
“He went to the gate Friday; that went perfect; he went to the paddock
Saturday night and that went perfect, as well as you could expect the first time
over there, especially at night. He’ll go again on Wednesday,” McGaughey said.
“He’s fit in here as well as I could expect. As of right now, I’ve got no
qualms. We have four, five more days to go.”
If all continues to go well, Orb will be only the second Kentucky Derby
starter for McGaughey since he saddled Easy Goer for a second-place finish
behind Sunday Silence in 1989. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, McGaughey has
always dreamed of winning the Kentucky Derby.
“It’s on top of my list and it has been for a long time. Even though we
haven’t been here that many times, every year when we get a bunch of
two-year-olds, I’m hoping that one of them will be the horse that can give us
the opportunity,” said McGaughey, who saddled Saarland for a 10th-place finish
in 2002. “All we want is the opportunity. I feel what will be will be when
McGaughey isn’t trying to hide his feelings now that Orb is providing him a
“I’m excited. I have been since the Florida Derby. We came here with the idea
that we’re going to be excited and try to have fun with it.
“I know Wednesday or Thursday, the nerves are going to set in — not that
they weren’t last night anticipating this morning,” McGaughey said. “I’m having
a good time. I’m comfortable in Louisville. I’ve stabled at Churchill and was in
this barn (No. 43). I lived here for three or four years.”