AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- The rematch is on.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb is all set to take on Preakness winner Oxbow in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday following a workout that had trainer Shug McGaughey declaring his colt ready for another race.
"If he has a good week, he's a go," McGaughey said Sunday morning at Belmont Park after Orb worked 4 furlongs in 48.30 seconds with exercise rider Jenn Patterson aboard. "He came off the track playing a little bit. He's been eating well all week and if he doesn't show any ill effects of anything I see no reason why (he won't run)."
Patterson guided Orb back into his barn saying she was "very happy" with the work.
"He did everything very easily," she said. "I didn't have to encourage him at all. He was very happy doing it."
Working in company with Hymn Book, Orb covered the ground as effortlessly as he had in previous works leading up to the Derby and the Preakness, galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00.48.
McGaughey said racing circumstances may have played a role in Orb's fourth-place finish in the Preakness. He said breaking from the inside post at Pimlico, a slow pace, and the fact Orb was unable to get outside and find running room made it all the more difficult.
"And I'm sure when the other riders had him down on the inside they weren't going to let him out, especially as slow as they we going," McGaughey said. "It just wasn't our day."
A large field is expected for the 1
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