Orb gallops during his Preakness Stakes preparations (Photo courtesy NYRA)
A week after his first Kentucky Derby victory, Shug McGaughey didn't see his excitement over the race dying down anytime soon.
“I’m still excited; I’m still thrilled. I’ll be thrilled for the rest of my life,” McGaughey said. “The main thing is just to see how excited and how thrilled Mr. [Ogden Mills “Dinny”] Phipps and Mr. [Stuart] Janney have been since the race. Also, the morale of our barn is just through the roof. Everybody is so excited.”
Orb had a light morning exercise a week before running in the next jewel of the Triple Crown. The colt jogged three-eighths of a mile and galloped 1 ½ miles on Belmont Park's sealed muddy track on Saturday morning.
McGaughey is preparing for the Preakness but keeps replaying Orb's Derby win in his head.
“I picture that move in my mind time and time again,” he said. “He ran such a professional race and he ran so well, it was so much fun to watch.”
In other Preakness news:
Kentucky Derby fifth-place finisher Mylute has been confirmed for the Preakness Stakes. Mylute will again have Rosie Napravnik aboard, the same jockey he had for the Kentucky Derby.
Goldencents exercised with jockey Kevin Krigger on Saturday morning. Doug O'Neill's assistant trainer, Jack Sisterson, is overseeing the colt's training at the track with O'Neill scheduled to arrive in Baltimore on Sunday. Goldencents is scheduled to work on Monday.
“We jogged to the seven-eighths [pole] and kind of broke off from there into a steady gallop from the three-quarter pole and galloped around to the wire,” Sisterson said. “Kevin kind of relaxed him and pulled him up down the backside. He looked fantastic and Kevin was very happy with him. His energy level was high. He was striding out. Everything we want to see in him.”
Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill on a track that had been upgraded to “good” after the morning renovation break.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is planning on working the colt on the Churchill track on Monday.
Itsmyluckyday was scheduled to work on Saturday but a wet track at Monmouth Park delayed the drill. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said that the colt could breeze tomorrow or Monday, depending on weather. However, he said that the colt will be okay if he doesn’t get a prerace workout.
“I don’t know that he needs to work, to be honest with you, but he’s feeling so darn good. I feel it would help him. Sometimes, they can have too much energy,” said Plesa, whose colt finished a disappointing 15th in the Kentucky Derby.
Normandy Invasion’s Preakness Stakes status is still unknown but the colt galloped at Belmont on Saturday for trainer Chad Brown.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas galloped all three of his Preakness Stakes contenders on Saturday at Churchill. Oxbow was the first of the three on the track for the trainer with Will Take Charge and Titletown Five both galloping in the second set. Oxbow is scheduled to work on Monday with jockey Gary Stevens.
“I may let the other two go through the stretch,” Lukas said.
All three will van to Baltimore on Tuesday morning.
Street Spice is out of Preakness consideration despite a good workout at Arlington Park.
“He worked good this morning, but we’re going to stay here and look for something else,” said Greg Geier, Street Spice’s trainer. “He worked in 1:01 and came back very good. He’s still like a big kid and still learning. I walked with [owner] Mr. Tafel and he said until the colt gets a little smarter, we’ll just play it by ear and go from there.”
Vyjack’s entry status for the Preakness will not be known until possibly the day that entries are taken. The gelding will not work before the race.
“We’re going to wait until the last minute,” trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. “It may be as late as Wednesday before they take entries. We’ll take a look, see what’s going on and then make a final decision.”