Fountain of Youth (G2) winner and likely favorite for the
Kentucky Derby (G1) Eskendereya worked Saturday morning at Palm Meadows in his
final work in Florida before shipping to Kentucky on Tuesday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher had tentatively scheduled Zayat
Stable’s Eskendereya to work Sunday morning at Palm Meadows before boarding a
plane Tuesday for the flight to Louisville,
but weather forecast for possible heavy rain caused the trainer to call an
audible and move the work up to Saturday.
With exercise rider Patty Berry in the saddle, Eskendereya
was timed five furlongs in 1:02 going alone after posting splits of 13, 25, 37
2/5, 1:02 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:15 2/5 and seven furlongs in
“It rained here last night and the track was about a second
slower than usual,” said Pletcher after the work, “I was very pleased with the
way he and all of our other horses worked. He (Eskendereya) went just like he
did before the Wood (Memorial). Every thing has gone as planned so far.”
Also working five-eighths Saturday morning for Pletcher
were E. Paul Robsham Stable’s Discreetly Mine (1:01 4/5), Twin Creek Racing
Stable’s Mission Impazible (1:02) and WinStar Farm’s Rule (1:02 3/5). Mission
Impazible and Rule worked in company. All are assured a berth in the Kentucky
Derby with sufficient graded stakes earnings and will also ship to Louisville
on the Tuesday flight.
The imposing Pletcher work team getting their final
workouts before shipping north also included Glencrest Farm’s 3-year-old filly
Devil May Care (1:01) as she prepares for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) on
Fri., Apr. 30 at Churchill, and older stakes stars Overbrook Farm’s Battle Plan
(51 1/5) and Mrs. Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Munnings (48
Another prominent 3-year-old not trained by Pletcher listed
on the work tab Saturday morning at Palm Meadows was Edward P. Evans’ A Little
Warm, timed five furlongs 1:02 for trainer Anthony Dutrow. The Virginia
homebred son of Stormin Fever finished a game second last out in the Louisiana
Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds on Mar. 27, beaten three-quarters of a length by
Pletcher-trained Mission Impazible.
A Little Warm began his 2010 campaign winning the
six-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes on Jan. 8 and finishing second in the
seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (G2) on Feb. 20 at Gulfstream before being tried
around two turns for the first time in Louisiana.
He currently ranks 25th on the graded stakes earnings list for Derby
prospects and will need help to secure a Derby