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May 03, 2013

Orb gallops two days before Kentucky Derby


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby favorite Orb took a gallop Thursday morning at Churchill Downs two days prior to the 139th Run for the Roses.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb galloped 1 1/4 miles with exercise rider Jennifer Patterson. The 3-year-old colt is the 7-2 morning-line favorite in the 20-horse field.

"I think there's going to be horses that show a little more speed than maybe it shows on paper. I'm just going to tell Joel (jockey Joel Rosario) to play the break and see what happens and try to hold some kind of position so when the time comes we got a chance to make that run," McGaughey said. "Hopefully, he'll get a clean trip around the first turn, which I think is very important. That's where all the jamming up comes. Going down the backside, hopefully, he can ease in and save a little ground, but not be down in there and not be able to make a run when the time comes."

The Florida Derby winner will break from post 16 with 4-1 second pick Verrazano and jockey John Velazquez in post 14.

Verrazano, trained by Todd Pletcher, galloped 1 3/8 miles Thursday at Churchill with exercise rider Humberto Zamora. Pletcher will also saddle Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary (post 3), Arkansas Derby champ Overanalyze (9), Blue Grass Stakes runner-up Palace Malice (10) and Charming Kitten (15) third in the Blue Grass.

"The possibility of rain doesn't change anything we'll do with them getting ready for the race," Pletcher said. "That will all be exactly the same. As to how they might do, well, none of them have any experience on an 'off' track. I've never breezed one of them on one; just never had the opportunity to. But of all of them, I get the impression that Revolutionary might be the one to relish an 'off' track."

Doug O'Neill, trainer of 5-1 third choice Goldencents, is also not overly concerned if the track comes up wet on Saturday.

"Well, he's never raced on an 'off' track, so you can't be sure about that," said the trainer of 2012 Derby winner I'll Have Another. "But we breezed him on a wet track that had been sealed one time this spring at Santa Anita and he skipped right over it. He's a sure-footed horse and nothing seems to bother him.

"And from what I know about this track, it handles water real well. As long as we don't have any gushers just before or during the race, I think we'll all be all right."

Putting in a final workout Thursday was Vyjack for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The gelding, 15-1 in the program, worked three furlongs in 37 seconds.

"We're happy. We've accomplished what we came to do," Rodriguez said. "We did the three-eighths and galloped. I think we went very, very good, very comfortable.

"I wasn't worried about the time. It was a little maintenance thing that we were scheduled to do. I'm happy that we were able to do it. If it had rained, I may not have done it. Luckily, the track was in very good shape and we took advantage of it.

"I didn't want to go to fast. I didn't want to go and blow everything out of him. I wanted to sharpen him up a little bit. I think we accomplished that."

Vyjack, third in the Wood Memorial, will be ridden by Garrett Gomez for the first time and break from post 20.

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