Orb, Oxbow still on track for Belmont Stakes
NEW YORK (AP)
Trainer Shug McGaughey is still thinking Belmont Stakes for his Kentucky Derby winner after Orb galloped a mile Thursday morning at Belmont Park.
It was Orb's first trip to the track since finishing fourth in the Preakness on Saturday, and McGaughey said he's pleased with the way his colt got around the track under exercise rider Jennifer Patterson.
''We're taking it as it comes and not looking too far ahead,'' the Hall of Fame trainer said. ''But if everything goes well, we'd like to run in the Belmont.''
If Orb shows up for the June 8 Belmont, it would set up a rematch with Oxbow, who won the Preakness by 1 3/4 lengths and gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his record 14th win in a Triple Crown race. Lukas already has said Oxbow's a go for the Belmont, and on Thursday said he'll also send out Will Take Charge (seventh in the Preakness).
The field for the 1 1/2 -mile Belmont continues to take shape with about 12-14 possible starters, even with Thursday's news that third-place Preakness finisher Mylute will not be entered.
The list includes six 3-year-olds trained by Todd Pletcher, including the filly Unlimited Budget. In 2007, the Pletcher-trained Rags to Riches became the first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont.
Pletcher's other Belmont contenders are Revolutionary, Overanalyze and Palace Malice, third, 11th and 12th in the Derby, respectively, with Micromanage and Midnight Taboo under consideration.
Derby runner-up Golden Soul is also on the list, along with Giant Finish (10th in the Derby), Peter Pan winner Freedom Child, and Code West and possibly Power Broker, both trained by Bob Baffert.