Also working for the Kentucky Oaks on Saturday was Fair Grounds Oaks
runner-up Champagne d’Oro, who breezed six furlongs in 1:14 under
jockey Miguel Mena … New York shippers Awesome Act and
Eightyfiveinafifty jogged over the Churchill Downs track on the morning
after their Friday arrivals at the track.
The $200,000 Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII), the final prep race
for the Kentucky Derby and the last chance for Derby hopefuls to
collect graded stakes earnings to qualify them for the 20-horse Derby
field, picked up two new potential starters on Friday in Ken and Sarah
Ramsey’s Florida Derby (GI) runner-up Pleasant Prince and WinStar
Farm’s Drosselmeyer, a troubled fourth in the Louisiana Derby (GII) at
The one-mile race set for Saturday, April 24 at Churchill Downs has
been revitalized by a record purse of $200,000 in the first year of a
Derby Trial sponsorship by owner-breeder Robert LaPenta, who owned
Grade I stakes winner and current stallion The Cliff’s Edge, who ran
fifth to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby. Ken Ramsey told
Blood-Horse that the Wesley Ward-trained Pleasant Prince would run in
the Kentucky Derby if Pleasant Prince picks up sufficient graded stakes
earnings in the Trial, which has a first-place prize of $120,000.
Pleasant Prince finished seventh in last week’s Toyota Blue Grass
Stakes over synthetic Polytrack at Keeneland following his near-miss on
traditional dirt at Gulfstream Park in the Florida Derby.
Drosselmeyer, who is trained by Mott, tuned up for the Trial with a
five-furlong work over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface in 1:02.40 on
Saturday. He covered the distance in splits of :13.40, :25.80,:37:40
and :49.50 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.40.
Other horses considered likely for The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial
include Bay Shore (GII) winner Eightyfiveinafifty; Bay Shore runner-up
Hurricane Ike; Aikenite, third in the Fountain of Youth (GII), Miner’s
Reserve; Soaring Empire; Tiz Chrome, Wow Wow Wow; Crider; Game On Dude,
Hear Ye Hear Ye and Silver Craft. Trainer Dale Romans has said First
Dude, third in the Toyota Blue Grass, was possible for the race.
LaPenta’s Miner’s Reserve turned in a blistering half-move on
Saturday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Derby Trial as he
covered the distance for trainer Nick Zito in :46 – the swiftest
clocking of 54 at the distance.
WORK TAB: (GOOD prior to the break, FAST afterward)
– Alysheba (GIII) hopeful Bold Start breezed four furlongs over a
“good” track in :47.60 … Flying Pegasus breezed five furlongs in
:58.60, the fastest of 18 over a “good” track … Cool Bullet prepped for
the Matt Winn with a four-furlong move over a “fast” track in :47.60.