The handlers of Kentucky Derby winner Orb say the horse has been acting sad and lethargic in recent days after hearing its next race is in Baltimore at the Preakness Stakes.
"Orb has really be down since we mentioned where we were going to him in his stall," said trainer Shug McGaughey. "I had no idea that even horse had a bad impression of Baltimore, but I guess they do. Hopefully he can snap out of it and get his energy back for the race."
Stuart Janney III, the horse's owner, says he has tried to tell Orb that Baltimore is not as bad as its reputation.
"All cities have their warts," said Janney. "I told Orb about the aquarium there and, you know, the baseball stadium and … some decent neighborhoods, probably. But apparently one of our stall hands is a big fan of 'The Wire' and talks about it all the time. So no matter what I say, Orb thinks we're basically taking him to hell."
McGaughey says he has tried to reason with Orb by reminding him the horse that it initially thought Kentucky was "all meth labs and trailer parks", but that weekend turned out pretty well.
Orb's handlers say they don't think the depression will hurt the horse's chances of winning the Preakness, "since all of the other horses are probably depressed about being in Baltimore, too," said McGaughey.
"And, hell, it doesn't get much better," he added. "Kentucky to Baltimore to Belmont, which is on Long Island next to Queens. Not exactly paradise. He needs to stop acting like he's a celebrity and run. He's just a horse."