Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Orb hopes for resurgence at Travers Stakes

Remember Orb?

While Tampa Bay Derby winner Verrazano and Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice were prepping impressively for today's Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, Orb took a vacation.

Following a third-place finish at the Belmont Stakes in June, the Kentucky Derby winner spent two months at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. Orb walked and grazed, received cold-water spa treatment and made several visits to a hyperbaric chamber for therapeutic purposes.

Now he is ready to go. Today, Orb can become the first Kentucky Derby winner to win the Mid-Summer Derby since Tampa Bay Derby winner Street Sense in 2007. Another Tampa Bay Downs graduate, Verrazano, is expected to be one of Orb's main rivals at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

"Verrazano has been kind of a talk horse all year since he broke his maiden this winter at Gulfstream (Park in Hallandale Beach)," Orb trainer Shug McGaughey said. "The only loss on his record was at the (Kentucky) Derby, and that could have been because of a sloppy track."

Orb, son of Malibu Moon, drew post 2 in Race 12 (5:46 p.m.) with jockey Joel Rosario. Nine 3-year-olds were entered. Orb was the favorite in all three Triple Crown races but came up short in the Preakness Stakes (fourth) and Belmont. McGaughey, a three-time winner of the Travers (he last won in 1998), said his Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth winner is rejuvenated.

"He's got a different look to him," McGaughey said. "He's mentally very strong right now, and physically he got a lot stronger. I think we've got a better horse than we had earlier in the year. Our little experiment at Fair Hill really worked to his advantage."

Verrazano (post 3) is the 2-1 morning-line choice with jockey John Velazquez. He has won his past two races, including the Haskell Invitational on July 28 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Palace Malice (post 8) also has captured his past two starts and comes off a victory in the Jim Dandy on July 27 at Saratoga. Mike Smith has the riding assignment. Todd Pletcher trains both colts.

Simulcast wagering on the 144th Travers, a Grade I $1 million test at 1¼ miles, is available at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, the Downs in Oldsmar and Tampa Greyhound Track.

Orb hopes for resurgence at Travers Stakes 08/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 8:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.