Orbolution was sent off as the betting favorite in the $100,000 P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga, and she didn’t disappoint as she romped to a 4 ¾ length victory. In doing so, the 2-year-old filly became the first stakes winner for freshman sire Orb.
After breaking well, Orbolution sat behind leaders Mentality and Oldfashioned Style in the early stages of the race. Jockey John Valezquz then urged her through a small opening along the rail, and the pair drew off in the stretch to complete the 1 1/16-mile contest in 1:43.18.
“I was really confident,” said Velazquez. “Her acceleration was incredible, she took her spot there on the rail and went away very quickly, very nice.”
Todd Pletcher trains Orbolution for StarLadies Racing. The partnership purchased the filly for $370,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale from her breeder, Hinkle Farms.
“It’s pretty impressive for a young filly,” said Pletcher. “It wasn’t a big hole that she shot through. She has a great turn-of-foot. Tactically, she’s rateable, so it was a good position to be in. She seems to be doing so well at the moment. She’s thriving, and I think she’s gained weight since her last race. She just seems to be physically developing.”
Orbolution’s stakes win was her second straight victory, after breaking her maiden at Saratoga in July. She is out of the Grade 3-placed mare My Rachel, who was also trained by Pletcher.
“I trained the mare, My Rachel, and she was nice on the turf, so we weren’t surprised that she ended up on the turf,” Pletcher said. “Orbolution was training pretty well on the dirt, and she was precocious. She was ready to go early. Once we got the opportunity to put her on the grass, it allowed her to show what she’s capable of.”
Orb, winner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby, is being represented by his first runners this year. He stands at Claiborne for a fee of $25,000.