The victory over Belmont Stakes hero Palace Malice, two-time defending champion Flat Out and Kentucky Derby winner Orb, among others, earned Ron the Greek an all-fees paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park as part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge series.
“There wouldn’t have been many horses who would have beaten [Ron the Greek] yesterday,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said the next day. “He might have fired his best shot right there. I’m not [going to be] disappointed if he doesn’t fire that one back.”
“I put him in position, and when I asked him he took off and was gone,” said jockey Jose Lezcano. “He never stopped. It was unbelievable.”
Buzz Tenney, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, reported Sunday morning that Orb appeared well following his last-place finish.
Orb, who bobbled at the start of the race, was placed three wide in fifth place for the first six furlongs and then faded.
“Orb seemed to come back fine,” Tenney said. “He cooled out fine, and we put him on the van and sent him back to Fair Hill [Md.] last night. Really no excuses we could see.”
Runner-up Palace Malice finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of 5-2 favorite Flat Out
“He showed his 3-year-old form was legit,” said trainer Todd Pletcher “He ran well against older horses.”