Orb, ridden by John Velazquez, swept past the leaders down the stretch to capture Saturday's $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile stakes begins the "Championship Series" part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby."
Orb, trained by Shug McGaughey, was sent off as the 5-1 second choice in the nine-horse field behind 3-5 favorite Violence. The field was reduced by two with the early scratches of Sky Captain and Falling Sky.
Setting the pace was Majestic Hussar followed by Violence, Cerro and Sr. Quisqueyano. Orb was racing off the pace in seventh as the field went up the backstretch.
Entering the far turn Majestic Hussar still was on the lead with Violence along side in second and Cerro in third. Around the final turn it was Violence with a short lead over Majestic Hussar as Orb ranged up from the outside into third.
Violence, winner of the CashCall Futurity, had the lead at the top of the stretch as Orb moved into second over Majestic Hussar. Inside the furlong pole Violence was caught by Orb, who quickly moved to the lead and posted a half- length win over the favorite.
Finishing third was Speak Logistics followed by Majestic Hussar, He's Had Enough, Cerro, Sr. Quisqueyano, Joshua's Comprise and Elmutahid.
The time for the Fountain of Youth on a fast track was 1:42.24.
The win was worth 50 points to Orb in his effort to start in the Run for the Roses.
Owned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, Orb recorded his third win in six starts. The victory, his third straight, was worth $240,000 to bring the 3-year-old colt's earnings to $321,050.
Orb was making his second start of the year after winning an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream on Jan. 26. The colt broke his maiden in his fourth start on Nov. 24 at Aqueduct.
Orb returned $12.80, $4.00 and $3.00. Violence paid $2.40 and $2.10, and Speak Logistics paid $4.00 to show.
The Fountain of Youth is a prep for the Florida Derby coming up on Saturday, March 30.