Belmont Stakes 2013: Orb familiar with track, galloping well

Al Bello

Orb is very familiar with the Belmont track, and has trainer Shug McGaughey pleased.

Orb trainer Shug McGaughey and exercise rider Jennifer Patterson were both pleased with how the horse trained Tuesday in preparation for the 2013 Belmont Stakes. Patterson told Alex Brown of the New York Times that "everything went right this morning."

"He started off nice and steady, which Shug wanted, and finished up strong," Patterson said. "I gave him his head at the eighth pole and he opened up his stride. He did everything very easily. I didn't have to encourage him at all. He came off the track and he was kind of spooking and playing, but in a good way. He's just happy and feeling good."

Orb was announced as an entrant in the Belmont after another impressive workout Sunday. He took the day off Monday (standard procedure after a workout) and looked energetic jogging around the track Tuesday.

Orb, along with trainer McGaughey and jockey Joel Rosario, is also very familiar with the Belmont track. According to McGaughey, that familiarity is a big help.

Via the New York Racing Association:

"I think it's got to be a lot more comfortable than shipping to Kentucky or to Maryland; from here, all he has to do is walk from here [the barn] to there [the track]," said McGaughey. "He walks through the paddock every morning and trains over the racetrack every day, which he did as a 2-year-old and 3-year-old, except when we were in Florida. He's been here for three weeks, and I think it has to be a help not only mentally but being familiar with the footing as well. He's done well here and trained well here."

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