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Jun 07, 2013

Belmont Stakes horses gallop over track


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby winner and Belmont Stakes favorite Orb led a contingent of 3-year-olds to the track Thursday morning for gallops ahead of Saturday's 145th Test of the Champion.

Orb, trained by Shug McGaughey, galloped 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park. The colt is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the 14-horse field and will start from post 5 with Joel Rosario.

"He's traveling really well over the track," McGaughey said of Orb. "I haven't lost confidence in him at all."

All five of the Belmont Stakes horses that Todd Pletcher trains galloped Thursday. Overanalyze and Revolutionary galloped a mile, Palace Malice and filly Unlimited Budget went 1 1/4 miles and Midnight Taboo galloped 1 1/2 miles.

"It's just a feel for what they need," said Pletcher of how he selects the gallop distances. "It's one of the things we do every morning; we decide based on how much they put into it, how much weight they carry and how much they are eating."

Pletcher, who won the 2007 Belmont with the filly Rags to Riches, has a good idea of how his horses will be running early.

"Palace Malice will be laying close, Revolutionary will be laying back, and we have three who will be laying somewhere in the middle," said Pletcher. "From that standpoint, they all complement each others' running styles. You always worry when you have more than one horse in the race that you have two front- running, headstrong horses, but in this case I think everyone works well together."

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had Incognito gallop 1 1/2 miles two days before the Belmont Stakes.

"He trained great," said McLaughlin, who won the 2006 Belmont with Jazil. "He went real happy and smooth. He looked great. We're very happy with him."

Incognito is 20-1 for owner Godolphin Racing and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 6.

"The track might be wet, we don't know," McLaughlin said, "but we just have to work it out. He handles it wet; he just doesn't like it in his face. At a mile and a half, Irad can work a spot out to get a clean face at some point in the race. It won't be a big deal."

Galloping 1 1/4 miles was Freedom Child, trained by Tom Albertrani.

"Everyone's been talking about this horse quite a bit all week," Albertrani said. "Hopefully, it gives you a little more confidence. I like what I'm seeing. I'm getting all the good signs. He couldn't be doing any better."

Freedom Child, co-owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, drew post 2 with Luis Saez riding and is 8-1 in the morning-line.

"This is the first time we've ever had a buzz horse like this in a real big race," West Point Thoroughbreds' president Terry Finley said. "I'm very confident. I've kind of learned over the years, why not be confident, even if you're 15 or 20-1? People get to fretting, but it's just great what's happening. What if we're not disappointed? It'd be a pretty cool day."

Also going 1 1/4 miles Thursday was Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul. The colt drew the far outside post with Robby Albarado riding.

"He was fresh, strong, into it," trainer Dallas Stewart said. "His energy was good. He came back good, and grazed really good for about an hour. He's all set."

Owned by Charles Fipke, Golden Soul is 10-1 in the program.

"He'll handle it fine," Stewart said about the 1 1/2 miles. "He handles everything that's thrown at him; traffic, weather. He's on his game."

Vyjack, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, jogged Thursday the day after a five- furlong workout.

"The horse jogged very good this morning," Rodriguez said. "He was happy; he was bouncing around. It looks like he bounced good out of the work."

Owned by Pick Six Racing, Vyjack is 20-1 and will start from post 11 with Julien Leparoux in the saddle.

"So far, so good,' Rodriguez said. "He's been eating very good, he's very strong, and he's healthy. He's walking like he's very proud of himself."

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