Preakness Notes: Orb Energetic At PimlicoPosted on May 14, 2013
By Bill Ordine
The certain favorite for the Preakness Stakes on May 18, Kentucky Derby winner Orb, was feeling frisky at Pimlico Race Course May 14, according to reports from the track. Orb traveled from New York to Baltimore by van May 13, arriving ahead of most of his challengers.
"He had a lot of energy," Orb's trainer, Shug McGaughey, said about his colt's upbeat attitude May 14. "I walked him a few turns and had to give him up. So far, so good. I worried a little bit yesterday coming down here: 'Am I going too early?'
"But I'm glad we got in here while it's still good and quiet and got settled in. He had a good night and a nice morning. Everything is good."
Orb had a workout at Belmont Park May 13 before making the trip to Pimlico, going a half mile in a brisk 47.18 seconds under exercise rider Jenn Patterson.
"She was so worried [May 13] that she had gone too fast," McGaughey said of Patterson. "I had to assure her that the way he did it he didn't [go too fast]. I asked her this morning, 'Still think he went too fast?' She just laughed."
Although Orb arrived at Pimlico ahead of most of the Preakness field, one colt already in Baltimore was Goldencents.
Riding Goldencents will be Kevin Krigger, who hails from St. Croix in the American Virgin Islands and will be the first African-American jockey in the Preakness in more than 25 years.
In 1985, Wayne Barnett finished eighth aboard Sparrow. The last African-American rider to claim the Preakness did it during the 19th century, when Willie Simms won in 1898. The only other African-American jockey to win the Preakness was George "Spider" Anderson in 1889.
Not surprisingly, Krigger's attention is on the immediate future.
"Basically that's just part of the history," Krigger said. "The media actually is paying more attention to it than I am because I really don't have time to worry about that. I'm focused here on getting Goldencents in the Preakness winner's circle."
Krigger rode Goldencents during the Kentucky Derby as the colt finished 17th on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. He eased up on Goldencents when it was clear the horse was out of the running, so perhaps that 17th-place finish shouldn't be taken at face value.
Goldencents' trainer, Doug O'Neill, praised Krigger for saving the colt some strain at the end of the Derby and also for passing up the opportunity to ride other horses in California. Instead, he chose to stay with Goldencents through the Preakness. Goldencents won the Santa Anita Derby in early April with Krigger in the irons.
"I have a lot of faith in him," Krigger said of Goldencents. "I've been on this horse every time, and these guys stuck with me. They kept me on this horse this far, and I would have felt bad if I was in California after they asked me to stay here and I refused."
Other Likely Preakness Starters
ItsmyluckyDay, who finished 15th during the Derby, but won the Gulfstream Park Derby and the Holy Bull, jogged at Monmouth Park May 14.
Mylute, the fifth-place finisher at the Kentucky Derby, walked the shed row at Churchill May 14. He worked out a half mile May 13 in 49 3/5 seconds.
Oxbow, Titletown Five and Will Take Charge, all trained by D. Wayne Lukas, left the Churchill Downs barn area early May 14 by van for Baltimore.
Departing, the winner of the Illinois Derby who sat out the Derby, returned to the track early May 14 at Churchill Downs after a half-mile workout May 12 in 50 2/5 seconds.
Govenor Charlie, trained by Bob Baffert, is still on schedule to run in the Preakness. The colt won the Sunland Derby, but did not run during the Derby because of a minor foot bruise. His workouts at Churchill indicate he has recovered.
All quotes provided by the Maryland Jockey Club.
Posted May 14, 2013