May 17, 2013

Orb's owners try for Triple Crown they missed with Secretariat

By Nancy Kercheval / Bloomberg News

(Continued from page 1)

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Exercise rider Jennifer Patterson gallops Preakness Stakes favorite and Kentucky Derby winner Orb at Pimlico Race Course on Friday in Baltimore. The Preakness is scheduled for Saturday.

The Associated Press

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Orb trainer Claude McGaughey, center, is flanked by owners Ogden Phipps, left, and Stuart Janney after winning the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4 in Louisville, Ky.

The Associated Press

"What I've got to hope is that Orb doesn't show up the same horse that did for the Derby and that he may have some traffic problems, because I'm going to be flat honest with you, we're all up against it," Stevens, a two-time Preakness winner, said during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association press conference.

Orb came from near the back of the 19-horse Derby field and ran past the competition six horses wide before crossing the finish line 2½ lengths ahead of Golden Soul.

"I liked what I saw in the winner, and I think that we're seeing a colt that really has untapped resources right now," Stevens said. "I think he's still improving, and that's kind of a scary thought."

Trainer Al Stall, whose entry Departing was given 6-1 odds, said the "derby form" forecasts that Orb will become the 34th horse to win the Derby and the Preakness. Eleven of those horses went on to win the Triple Crown, with Affirmed being the most recent in 1978.

"If the horse doesn't have a hiccup between the Derby and the Preakness, the Derby winner usually comes back and runs a pretty powerful race in two weeks time," Stall said during an NTRA press conference. "It's been proven over time that that will happen."

McGaughey said the stable has plenty of prospects back in Florida who could follow Orb's success.

"This has been a dream of a lifetime for me as much as we have enjoyed him and getting to Kentucky the way we did," McGaughey said. "I always dreamed of the Derby, but I always wanted the horse to take me there."

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