Racing News

Orb rallies past Violence in Fountain of Youth

  • Orb got up late to beat Violence in the Fountain of Youth and emerged as a serious Ky Derby contender (Adam Conglianese Photo)

  • Violence (pink hat) turned for home in front but Orb was closing fast on the outside (Eleanor Gustafson/Adam Conglianese)

Stuart S. Janney III & Phipps Stable's homebred Orb took advantage of a blistering pace in Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth, rallying to edge Violence by a half-length in the 1 1/16-mile test at Gulfstream Park. The Shug McGaughey trainee likely secured a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate while making his stakes debut, earning 50 points in the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" scoring system, and John Velazquez was up on the well-bred son of Malibu Moon.

"The strides he has made this winter are just absolutely incredible," said McGaughey, who added that winning the Kentucky Derby has always been a goal. "I've been worried about it since I started rubbing horses in 1971 or 2."

Orb brought a two-race winning streak into the Fountain of Youth, breaking his maiden by a two-length margin at Aqueduct on November 24 before winning his three-year-old debut over allowance/optional claiming rivals at Gulfstream on January 26, and the late-running colt dropped back to seventh during the early stages Saturday. Majestic Hussar sprinted to the fore when the gates opened and led the way into the first turn with 3-5 favorite Violence chasing him in second through a rapid opening quarter-mile in :23.

Majestic Hussar continued to quicken leaving the first turn, completing the half-mile in an eye-popping :45 2/5, and Violence was racing up close along with Cerro and Sr. Quisqueyano. Velazquez was content to allow the action to develop up front as Orb bided his time about 10 lengths behind the pacesetter.

"There was a lot of speed and I was actually able to get right where I wanted to be," Velazquez said.

Majestic Hussar still clung to a short advantage entering the far turn, passing the six-furlong mark in 1:08 4/5, but Violence made his move approaching the stretch drive, surging past his tiring foe to take a short lead. Orb was in full flight rounding the bend, circling rivals four wide, and carried his momentum impressively into the final stages.

Violence completed a mile in 1:35 1/5 with a 1 1/2-length advantage, but Orb was coming fast to his outside and caught his rival in deep stretch. Violence dug in gamely when confronted but had to settle for second as Orb stopped the teletimer in a very respectable 1:42 1/5.

"We ended up being pretty close to a hot pace and as he tends to do, when he made the lead he kind of idles a little bit," trainer Todd Pletcher said of runner-up Violence, who sustained his first setback in his fourth career start. "His last race (a victory in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on December 15) he did kind of the same thing where he waited on horses. You could see Orb coming with that long, sustained run and I think Violence was able to dig in pretty well actually in the stretch and we just came out on the short end."

"Violence kept going a bit, but I still thought we had him," McGaughey said of the close finish.

Off as 5-1 second choice among nine opponents, Orb paid $12.80, $4 and $3.

It was a 6 3/4-length gap back to third-placer Speak Logistics, who finished two lengths better than Majestic Hussar. Next came He's Had Enough, Cerro, Sr. Quisqueyano, Joshua's Comprise and Elmutahid. Falling Sky and Sky Captain were both scratched.

Bred in Kentucky, Orb is the third and most successful foal out of the unraced Unbridled mare Lady Liberty, a daughter of the Grade 2-winning mare Mesabi Maiden. This is the female family of all-time great Ruffian; multiple Grade 1 winner Coronado's Quest; Grade 1 hero Private Terms; and, more recently, multiple Grade 1 Argentine victor Suggestive Boy, who exits a convincing win in the recent Grade 2 Arcadia at Santa Anita.

Orb improved his career mark to 6-3-0-1 and has now earned $321,050.

McGaughey, who also captured the Grade 3 Canadian Turf one race earlier with Data Link, was asked what's next for Orb.

"I don't know what the next outing will be, but we'll see and talk to the Phipps and Stuart Janney and see what they want to do and go from there," he said.

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos


California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.