ELMONT, N.Y., May 13 (UPI) -- Kentucky Derby winner Orb appears locked and loaded for the second leg of the Triple Crown, Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico n Baltimore.
The colt worked 1/2 mile at Belmont Park Monday morning in 45.18 seconds -- a move so quick and smooth trainer Shug McGaughey said it "sent cold chills up my back." After cooling down, Orb walked onto a van and headed for Baltimore, where he could face as many as eight rivals in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
There have been only 11 Triple Crown winners and none since back-to-back winners Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978.
"I thought it was breathtaking," McGaughey said of Orb's Monday morning work as a rooster crowed behind him on the Belmont Park backstretch. "For him to go off nice and relaxed ... 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 cold chills up my back.
"The way he was striding today, the way he held his leads through the lane, I thought was just ... I thought it was spectacular."
The trainer admitted the Preakness field, including some "new shooters" who passed up the Kentucky Derby, is "formidable."
But, he said, "My main concern is just trying to get Orb over there the best way we possibly can and, if he runs his race, I think they'll know he's in there."