With history on the line, Orb will win the 2013 Preakness Stakes on Saturday and keep the hopes of winning the first Triple Crown in 35 years alive.
In the final push of the Kentucky Derby, Orb was well behind the pack. In the snap of a finger, however, the bay colt darted by each and every one of his opponents en route to winning the race in thrilling fashion.
“I was so far behind,” jockey Joel Rosario said, courtesy of ESPN.com. “He was very relaxed. It’s exactly what I wanted.”
But that race is behind Rosario. Now, his eyes are set on winning the Preakness.
As with every sport, training and preparation are vital for success. On Monday, Orb displayed a workout that trainer Shug McGaughey called “breathtaking,” as the horse sped around the track like a lightning bolt, running a half-mile in 0:47.18 at Belmont Park.
His first quarter-mile was clocked at 0:24.47.
McGaughey said (via ESPN.com):
For him to go off nice and relaxed in 24 and change and come home on his own the way he did, and gallop out the way he did, and drop his head and walk home, it sent chills up my back.
Orb is the kind of horse capable of going down in history, possessing all the tools to win it all. He is fast, sturdy and displays strong stamina.
Let’s face it, we’ve waited far too long for a Triple Crown winner. We’ve agonized over the near misses of War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in '03, Smarty Jones in '04, Big Brown in '08 and I’ll Have Another last year.
Rosario isn’t overly concerned about the odds and adversity he and his horse are facing.
“I’m on cloud nine,” he said, according to ESPN.com. “The way he was striding [Monday], the way he held his leads through the lane, I thought was just … I thought it was spectacular.”
What’s more, Orb has won five straight races heading into the Preakness, so confidence isn’t a question.
The three-year-old horse also has an experienced trainer in McGaughey, who knows and understands everything about working and improving every racing aspect and technique. Moreover, Rosario has had a heck of year, making it more than difficult to bet against him this weekend.
Orb is a proven winner—a horse more than capable of upsetting the rest of the pack in the final stages of any given race. With sizzling speed, a superb veteran jockey and a trainer who will do whatever it takes to get his horse in top condition for a race, Orb will sprint home at the Preakness.