Spiral Stakes winner Black Onyx
arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday
and became this year's first major Kentucky Derby contender to be
stabled at the historic Louisville racetrack.
Black Onyx, ranked No. 4 on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by
TwinSpires.com" Leaderboard, passed through the Churchill Downs stable
gate at 9:30 a.m. EDT after vanning from Turfway Park, where he won the
Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral (GIII) by 1 ½ lengths at odds
of more than 15-1. The Kelly Breen-trained colt earned 50 points, which
likely assures him a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate based on
Churchill Downs' new point-based eligibility system.
The dark bay
or brown son of Rock Hard Ten arrived in good order and was bedded down
in Stall 12 of Barn 41. Breen's assistant Phil Threewitt, nephew of the
late legendary trainer Noble Threewitt, traveled with the colt along
with groom Jose Orantes and an exercise rider.
"He shipped well
and he's doing well," Threewitt said. "We love him. He's a neat horse.
We've only had him for his last two starts and he's won both times."
Onyx, who originally was trained by Carl Domino, was transferred to
Breen's barn following his third start. Breen, who was not in attendance
Wednesday, said via text that he was unsure when he would join Black
Onyx in Louisville.
Serious training plans have not been
finalized, but Threewitt said he expects Black Onyx to visit the
Churchill Downs oval for the first time Thursday morning for light
The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands will be
staged for the 139th consecutive year in 38 days on Saturday, May 4 -
the First Saturday in May.