By Dick Downey
Orb will breeze four furlongs Monday morning before being shipped to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes. And maybe the weather will be better.
“He’ll break off at the half-mile pole by himself, breeze a half and hope he finishes up good and gallops out somewhat – not strong – he’s fit enough,” said the Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Shug McGaughey. “I just sort of want to put him in the ball game.”
The past several days have produced less than desirable conditions for training at Belmont Park. On Wednesday, Orb's first day back on the track, he jogged on a sloppy surface. Thursday, he galloped a mile with the track sloppy again.
The main track was listed as muddy on Friday morning and sloppy on Saturday. On Sunday morning, main track was sloppy, and recorded workouts were sparse. But if the weather forecast holds true, Orb should see a fast track by Monday morning.
Regular exercise rider Jenn Patterson has been aboard Orb at Belmont.
“It’s been a little bit difficult this week with the track that way,” McGaughey said. “This morning, with those dogs up, he was looking at those dogs and jumping here and there, but she keeps telling me not to worry. So, I’m not going to worry. I’m a bit more uptight than I was last time. Not because of anything, but just you’ve got one under your belt so you’re hoping maybe something good can happen to make it a fun three weeks. What will be, will be.”