Trainer Shug McGaughey reported Sunday that Orb exited his stretch-running victory in the Grade II Fountain of Youth in good order.
“He came back fine. He’s at Payson Park – that’s where he lives. I was with him when he got on the van last night, and he was fine. And they tell me he’s fine today,” the veteran trainer said.
Orb, who won an entry-level allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 26, rallied from seventh under John Velazquez to capture his stakes debut, beating Violence, the 3-5 favorite, by a half-length.
“It was great. We got a good pace, but for him to be able to catch up from where he was over this kind of track, twice, is saying a whole lot,” said McGaughey.
Orb earned 50 points in Churchill Downs’ new points-based qualifying system for the Kentucky Derby, virtually assuring a spot in the field.
“He’s come so far over the winter,” said McGaughey. “My people have done a great job with him. If he keeps improving, maybe he’ll be something.”
McGaughey said a decision on where and when the colt would run again would be made upon the return of co-owner Stuart Janney from New Zealand next week. The Grade I Besilu Stables Florida Derby is a strong option.
“I would never have thought when I brought him down here that he’d be where he is today,” McGaughey said. “He just kind of grew up.”
Meanwhile, Violence came out of the Fountain of Youth with a fracture to the medial sesamoid of his right foreleg. A story about it is posted at The Downey Profile.
Edited Gulfstream Park release