BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kentucky Derby hero Orb boarded a van bound for New York at 7 o’clock Sunday morning, showing no ill effects from Saturday’s disappointing fourth-place finish in the Preakness.
“He came out of it fine. He’s sound. Physically, everything is fine,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “We’ll get him up the road and evaluate the situation to see where we’ll go.”
McGaughey didn’t have a concrete explanation for Orb’s surprisingly dull performance as the 3-5 favorite that followed a sharp, dominating 2 ½-length victory two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs.
“The racetrack was probably deep down the inside there. There was a lot of throwback. We couldn’t get to the outside. I thought he was in good position and he took him to the right position, and all of a sudden he had no horse. Why that was, I don’t know,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “I think it wasn’t our day and it was Oxbow’s day.”
Saturday’s disappointment in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown only made McGaughey appreciate the Derby victory even more.
“Winning the Derby was my lifelong dream. We won it. I would have loved to win (Saturday) to take it to the next level, so I do appreciate how tough it is,” McGaughey said. “If I have the opportunity again (to compete in the Derby), I may cherish it even more, because I’ve seen how tough it is to get it done. Maybe, I do appreciate how tough it is to win more. As brilliant as we were two weeks ago, we weren’t as brilliant yesterday.”
McGaughey will monitor Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s homebred colt’s training at Belmont Park before deciding his status for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 8.
“I want to see him bounce back and see his soundness level and his energy level,” he said. “I think there are a lot of good wins down the road for him.”