User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Derby winner Orb looks for Travers win

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - Orb is back after a two-month escape from New York, and trainer Shug McGaughey is hoping his Kentucky Derby star returns to his winning ways in the $1 million Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

Advertisement
After the Derby extended his win streak to five, Orb ran fourth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes on June 8. The next morning, the 3-year-old colt was vanned to Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., for rest and relaxation following the Triple Crown grind.

It remains to be seen if the change of scenery was the right call. McGaughey, though, likes everything he's seen in his colt since Orb arrived at the Spa two weeks ago. Even though Orb is the third choice at 4-1 behind the Todd Pletcher duo of 2-1 favorite Verrazano and 5-2 Palace Malice, McGaughey is expecting a big effort.

``He got bigger, and probably put on some more weight, and mentally he's probably a lot sharper than he was,'' McGaughey said, referring to his strapping son of Malibu Moon. ``We'll find out Saturday whether the experiment worked or didn't work ... I'm looking forward to running Orb, and I think you'll see him run a very good race.''

Also entered in the Grade 1, 1 1/4-mile Travers are Romansh, Golden Soul, Will Take Charge, Moreno, War Dancer and Transparent.

While Orb was regrouping in Maryland, Pletcher's two colts were running themselves right into the 3-year-old championship picture. After Palace Malice's breakthrough win in the Belmont - he lost six of his first seven career starts - the Dogwood Stable-owned horse posted a 1-length victory in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 27. Verrazano, meanwhile, rebounded from the only loss of his seven-race career - 14th in the Derby after a rough trip over a sloppy track - with blowout wins in the Pegasus and the Haskell Invitational by a combined 19 lengths.

This won't be the first time Pletcher sends out more than one horse in a big race, but it's not often he's had the top two betting choices. He, like other trainers, also likes to keep his best horses from squaring off against each other. It's not an option this time.

``You always try to do what's best for each individual horse and each individual owner, and I think the Travers is the right race for both horses,'' Pletcher said. ``It's as simple as that. I'm as interested to see it as everyone else. They're two horses that are doing unbelievably well, and coming off really, really good races. It's going to be a fun race to watch. It's shaping up to be a great Travers.''

Orb, owned by the Phipps Stable and Stuart Janney III, will be ridden by Joel Rosario and leave from the No. 2 post. Verrazano, with John Velazquez in the irons, starts from the No. 3 post, and Palace Malice and Mike Smith leave from the No. 8 post.

Don't discount some of the long shots.

Will Take Charge comes into the Mid-Summer Derby after rallying for second behind Palace Malice in the Jim Dandy. The colt trained by D. Wayne Lukas ran in all the Triple Crown races, but did not hit the board. He ran a deceptive eighth in the Derby after moving up on the leaders before getting caught behind horses in the stretch.

Lukas, who has won a record 14 Triple Crown races, is looking for his third Travers win with his first starter in the race since 2002. He also made a jockey change, with Luis Saez replacing Junior Alvarado aboard 10-1 Will Take Charge.

``I love the big ones,'' the 77-year-old Hall of Fame trainer said. ``I love to get in that main arena and try to pull it off.''

Moreno, at 12-1, is expected to set the pace, and his trainer hopes he just keeps on running right into the winner's circle. The gelding went wire-to-wire in winning the Dwyer on July 6, and led the Jim Dandy before finishing third.

``My horse is going to have to run faster,'' said Eric Guillot, Moreno's trainer. ``We're here to play. We're here for fun. It's the Travers.''

Last year's Travers ended in a dead heat for first with Alpha and Golden Ticket. Both trainers will try to win it again Saturday - Alpha's trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, sends out 10-1 Transparent (first in the Curlin, but disqualified to fifth for interference) and Golden Ticket's trainer, Ken McPeek, sends out 15-1 War Dancer (winner of the Virginia Derby).

The Travers will be televised by NBC with post time at 5:46 p.m.

---

Follow Richard Rosenblatt on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/rosenblattap

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Dempsey: At the Gate - Wednesday
Bayern is favorite for Travers Stakes
I Spent It wins Saratoga Special
Moulin de Mougin wins Mabee Stakes
Seek Again wins Fourstardave
Enterprising wins La Jolla Handicap
Cassatt easily wins Monmouth Oaks
Chrome returns to work tab after break
Master the Blues wins Daisycutter
MORE HEADLINES
 
  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Mike Dempsey
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby,  winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track!

Mike’s Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card.

Join Mike each day with daily picks from Aqueduct or you can get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Jerry Sessa
Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.

Jerry's is looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

Join Jerry everyday with daily picks from Aqueduct and Santa Anita or choose a package that contains selections from Multiple Tracks for the LOW PRICE of $14.95! Or better yet, how about 30 Days of horse racing picks with his Monthly Racing Package for ONLY $99.95!
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!