Rodriguez Will ‘Keep The Dream Alive,’ Point Stakes Winner Eagle Orb To Withers

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said he will keep stakes winner Eagle Orb in pursuit of Kentucky Derby qualifying points and plans on pointing the New York-bred stakes winner to the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on Feb. 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Withers offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.

Owned by E. V. Racing Stable, the son of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb earned four points on the Derby trail when finishing second to Capo Kane in the Jerome on New Year’s Day at the Big A going a one-turn mile.

The Withers will be Eagle Orb’s first start going two turns as he attempts his first overall win past six furlongs. He broke his maiden going three-quarters on Aug. 21 at Saratoga and four starts later won the Notebook Stakes on Nov. 14 at Aqueduct, also going six furlongs.

Eagle Orb last breezed on Jan. 20, completing a five-furlong work in 1:03.07 over the Belmont Park training track.

“We’re going to try for the Withers,” Rodriguez said. “He’s been training very good. Right now is the time to take a chance so that’s the place to go. We just have to keep the dream alive.”

Bred by Barry Ostrager, Eagle Orb is out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Lady On Holiday and was purchased for $95,000 from the Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearling Sale in 2019.

Should Rodriguez’s Derby dreams come alive, Eagle Orb would be his second starter in the Run for the Roses. His first Derby starter was Vyjack, who won the Jerome and Gotham in 2013, and subsequently finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby.

“He was a nice horse,” Rodriguez said of Vyjack. “He was one of the best horses that we’ve ever trained.”

Rodriguez said he plans on regrouping with Backsideofthemoon, who was fourth beaten 20 lengths following a slow start under Jose Lezcano as the post time favorite for the Jazil. The 9-year-old son of Malibu Moon arrived off a career-best 106 Beyer in the Dec. 19 Queens County at the Big A.

“We’re going to regroup with him,” Rodriguez said. “It looked like he came back good, but I’ll check him out the next couple of days. Before the break he was close to the gate and he came out of the gate a step slow. Jose said he tried to break before the gate opened.”

The post Rodriguez Will ‘Keep The Dream Alive,’ Point Stakes Winner Eagle Orb To Withers appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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