Kentucky Derby winner Orb arrives at Pimlico ahead of Preakness
McGaughey has never won a Preakness. The last time he tried was in 1989, when Kentucky Derby runner-up Easy Goer lost to Sunday Silence by a nose.
“Obviously I’m here with the Derby winner so I’m a lot more at ease than when I came in that time,” he said.
A win in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness on Saturday would set up a Triple Crown try in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.
Orb, owned by the Phipps Stable and Stuart Janney III, takes a five-race winning streak in the Preakness, where he will face what look to be nine challengers. Among them are Derby runners Mylute (fifth), Oxbow (sixth), Will Take Charge (eighth), Itsmyluckyday (15th) and Goldencents. Also set for the race is Departing, winner of the Illinois Derby.
“I think it’s formidable,” McGaughey said. “I know that Oxbow made a good run in the Derby. I never really kind of sat down and watched it and pinned it down. The other horse (Will Take Charge) got in some trouble. You’ve got to respect Departing coming in there off his race in the Illinois Derby and being relatively fresh. My main concern is just trying to get Orb over there the best way we possibly can and if he runs his race I think they’ll know he’s in there.”