Niall Brennan, the Florida-based Irish born horse trainer, who first trained and taught Triple Crown contender Orb, says the horse was special from the get go.
Brennan specializes in teaching young horses the basics before they move on to racetrack trainers.
The famed Phibbs family which owns Orb sent him to Brennan to break him in.
"Success is no accident,""With a lot of yearlings doing the same thing each day in the initial breaking process, it's difficult to single out one horse," Brennan told Bloodhorse.com.
"I remember Orb was a little nervous at first. He had a tough side to him. He gained his confidence quickly, though, once he got the racetrack. When he started breezing he did everything in hand. We knew he was a nice colt and had the potential to develop. He also possessed the attitude that a lot of the good ones have.”
"He always moved forward," Brennan added. "He was one of those, taking into account his pedigree, that you figured would get better with time. When I look back at the training charts and records it's clear he was a little quicker than average. He seemed to do things easily with that efficient stride."
Brennan loves working for the Phbbs one of the great racing families.
"It's an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with them," said Brennan. "You truly feel like you are part of something special with their horses. There is so much history and tradition in the pedigrees. It makes our job a lot of fun getting to know the different families and to see the physical mix at work in the individuals.
"There is never any pressure in developing their horses," he added." We get them in the summer and they are with us for an entire year before they ship out. We don't have to hurry them to make a 2-year-olds in training sale and they never change hands. We train their horses to be handy in their own time."
"It's a special feeling when our horses win big races," Brennan said. "It's a feeling of accomplishment for the program and everyone on our staff. We take a lot of pride in what we do, and it's very gratifying to help a horse reach its potential.
"It requires a lot of work to be successful in this game," he added. "Winning is what drives you to succeed. We couldn't do it without a great staff and great riders. With the best horses, it's all about confidence. It's what sets them apart. We're fortunate to have some of the best riders in the business with us and they instill that confidence in the horses."
Why all Irish men’s beards are red