The Kentucky Derby victory by ‘Orb’ represents yet another feather in the Commonwealth’s horse breeding hat. The central Kentucky Thoroughbred, which ran down several horses in the stretch at Churchill Downs, is expected to compete in the Preakness on May 18th. Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director David Switzer says Bluegrass bred horses are on quite a run. “The past 22 triple crown races have been won by a Kentucky bred. It was 21 going into Saturday and Orb being a Kentucky bred made it 22. We are hoping for 23 and 24 with this horse coming up yet,” said Switzer.
Switzer says Kentucky thoroughbred officials often detail their breeding strategies to representatives in foreign countries. Switzer says he was asked by an Alabama agriculture official a few years back about such a frank discussion.
“And we talk to them about how we raise horses, and this commissioner said something to me, he said ‘aren’t you concerned that they’ll be competing with you if you give them all your kind of trade secrets. And I said, ‘not at all’ because it took us 150 years to develop it. They’re not gonna do it overnight either,” added Switzer.
The week after the Kentucky Derby almost invariably includes talk of a potential Triple Crown winner. Claiborne Farm’s ‘Orb’, trained by bluegrass native Shug McGaughey , is expected to run in the Preakness. Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director David Switzer says the Pimlico track could offer the toughest test for Orb.
“The Preakness is a 16th of a mile shorter, so he’s gonna have to show a little more tactical speed probably. And then, if he’s successful in the Preakness, I think you’ll see a similar horse going a mile and a half and you saw in the Derby going a mile and a quarter,” said Switzer.
The Preakness in Baltimore is schedule on May 18th.
The third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont, will run June eighth.