BLACK ONYX (No. 12) – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx had an uneventful morning on the track, galloping 1 ½ miles after the Friday morning renovation break under exercise rider Aurelio Gomez.
Gomez said trainer Kelly Breen was traveling to Louisville on Friday and is scheduled to supervise a breeze planned for Saturday morning.
Black Onyx has won both of his starts -- including the Spiral (GIII) -- since being moved into Breen’s care this year.
CHARMING KITTEN (No. 19) / OVERANALYZE (No. 5) / PALACE MALICE (No. 13) / REVOLUTIONARY (No. 6) / VERRAZANO (No. 2) / WINNING CAUSE (No. 20) – With the potential for rain in
Louisville this weekend, trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday that the workouts for Kentucky Derby contenders Verrazano, Overanalyze, Revolutionary, Palace Malice and Charming Kitten would be rescheduled from Sunday to
“The forecast looks to me
like it’s going to start raining tomorrow afternoon and probably rain
through Sunday, so if that forecast holds true for the rest of the day,
then we’re going to go with everybody tomorrow
(Saturday),” Pletcher said.
Pletcher also plans to work Kentucky Oaks contenders Unlimited Budget, Dreaming of Julia, Princess of Sylmar and Silsita on Saturday.
“The Oaks fillies are all
going to go in the first set at 6 o’clock,” Pletcher said. “The Derby
horses are going to go in the 8:30 set, except for Winning Cause, who will not work until Sunday or Monday.
“Right now, the plan is to
work Palace Malice and Overanalyze together and Revolutionary and
Charming Kitten will go together. Verrazano will go with (La Troienne
contender) Authenticity again. That’s all subject
to change, but that’s the tentative plan.”
While the plans for the weekend changed, training plans for Friday went according to plan.
All six of
Pletcher’s Kentucky Derby contenders galloped, with Charming Kitten and
Winning Cause going out before the break and Verrazano, Overanalyze,
Revolutionary and Palace Malice going out following
the renovation break during the 15-minute period when the track was
reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders.
Verrazano, Revolutionary and Winning Cause also visited the gate Friday morning.
Pletcher will be available to meet with media Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Media Briefing Room of The Parlay Media Center.
CODE WEST (No. 21)/GOVENOR CHARLIE (No. 11)/POWER BROKER (No. 24) – Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie galloped 1 ½ miles with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez aboard for trainer Bob Baffert.
Gary and Mary West’s tandem of Code West and Power Broker also went out for their morning exercise with Code West galloping 1 ½ miles under Alvarez and Power Broker jogging with Peter Hutton up.
Assistant trainer Jim Barnes
said Baffert is scheduled to travel to Louisville from California on
Saturday evening. Barnes said the colts likely will work Sunday or
Monday with the decision based
on weather and track condition.
FALLING SKY (No. 18) – Newtown Anner Stud, James Covello and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky breezed five furlongs in :59.60 Friday morning at Churchill Downs. The John Terranova-trained 3-year-old
colt worked in company with stablemates Balance of Power and Swift Warrior after the renovation break while turning in the fastest clocking of 32 recorded at the distance.
Ridden by exercise rider Cassie Garcea,
Falling Sky was rated to the outside of his stablemates through splits
of :12.40, :23.80, :35.40 and :47.20 on his way to earning a “bullet.”
He galloped out six
furlongs in 1:13.
“He worked the way
we wanted him to. We’re just trying to keep him happy. We just wanted
him to settle a bit and he showed he can. He settled and did his thing
at the eighth-pole,” assistant trainer Reynaldo
Abreu said. “We weren’t looking for him to open up and crush those
other horses. We wanted them to finish together and for him to settle.”
Abreu, who reported that
Terranova was scheduled to arrive in Louisville Friday afternoon, is
encouraged by Falling Sky’s preparation at Churchill Downs.
“He’s going over this track better than the other tracks where I’ve seen him,” Abreu said. “He skips right over the track.”
The son of Lion
Heart captured the Sam Davis (GIII) at Tampa Bay Downs in his 3-year-old
debut, before checking in third in the Tampa Bay Derby (GII) and
finishing fourth in the Arkansas Derby (GI).
“The way he came
out of (his last race) was the best thing. We’d been shipping him back
and forth (from Palm Meadows) for all his races,” Abreu said. “Vanning
him back and forth and the race should have
taken something out of him. When we took him back to the track two days
later, he was happy as can be. It will be interesting to see how he runs
from his stall.”
FRAC DADDY (No. 15)/JAVA’S WAR (No. 4) – Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy and Charles Fipke’s Java’s War visited the Churchill Downs paddock Friday morning before galloping 1
The Ken McPeek-trained 3-year-olds are tentatively scheduled for workouts on Saturday morning.
“We’ll have them ready to
work tomorrow, depending on the weather,” said McPeek, noting forecasts
that call for rain. “There’s a chance we might work them Sunday.”
efforts in the Holy Bull (GIII) and Florida Derby (GI) at Gulfstream,
Frac Daddy made his way into the Kentucky Derby field with a
second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (GI) on April 13.
“His first race was a
throw-out. He literally ripped his foot off. Then, he came out of that
and his throat swelled up with a bunch of ulcers. That didn’t help his
cause,” McPeek said.
Java’s War captured the Blue Grass (GI) after trailing the 14-horse field early because of a tardy start.
“This horse is smart. He
gets it. He can overcome about anything. We do spend a lot of time
trying to get them to finish, and he’s got all that figured out,” McPeek
said. “His road here has been easier than Frac
Daddy’s but there’s not much that splits them in the morning. Frac Daddy
seems to be maturing. The other colt … the third race off a layoff is
usually the best race for us.”
GOLDENCENTS (No. 3) – Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Goldencents is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs early Saturday afternoon from Southern California according to Churchill Downs stall manager Steve
The plane carrying
Goldencents will land in Lexington and Goldencents will be vanned here
and housed in Barn 45, where he will join a string of trainer Doug O’Neill horses. O’Neill, who will be arriving
later Saturday, has 16 stalls allocated in Barn 45.
Owned by W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney and Rick Pitino’s RAP Racing, Goldencents worked six furlongs in 1:16.20 on Thursday at Santa Anita.
“He came out of the work in great shape and we are all excited about coming back,” said O’Neill, who saddled I’ll Have Another to victory in last year’s Kentucky Derby.
A victory by Goldencents would make O’Neill the first trainer to win the Run for the Roses in consecutive years since Bob Baffert did it in 1997 and 1998 with Silver Charm and Real Quiet,
GOLDEN SOUL (No. 23) – Trainer Dallas Stewart, eager to run Charles Fipke’s Golden Soul in the Kentucky Derby if a spot in the starting gate opens for him, expressed satisfaction in the colt’s five-furlong
workout Friday morning.
As of Friday, Golden Soul, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby, stood 23rd
on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com”
If the race overfills, the top 20 entrants based on points earned will
compose the body of the race. Entrants can include up to four
“We can’t predict what everyone else is going to do, but we’re hopeful,’’ Stewart said.
Working under exercise rider Emerson Chavez
during training time reserved for Kentucky Derby horses, Golden Soul
was timed in 1:00.80, the seventh fastest of 32 five-furlong workouts
Friday. The splits
were :12.20 for the first eighth of a mile, :24.40 for the quarter, :36
for three-eighths and :48.40 for the half. Golden Soul galloped out six
furlongs in 1:14.40.
maintenance,’’ Stewart said. “He had a hard work (1:12.40 for six
furlongs) last week. We didn’t want to open him up this week. Get a
breeze in him, comfortable, hopefully come back good,
and we saw most of that so far today.
“He did if very
easy. I really liked the way he galloped out. He finished the last
eighth of a mile with his ears up in the work, then looked like when he
got into the turn, he finished it off nicely.’’
ITSMYLUCKYDAY (No. 10) – Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday was scheduled to leave Calder Race Course at 4 p.m. Friday for a van ride that is scheduled to conclude at Churchill Downs
at approximately 7 a.m. Saturday.
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.,
who is slated to arrive at Churchill on Monday, reported that his
Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (GIII) winner has blossomed since
his second-place finish behind Orb
in the Florida Derby (G1) on March 30.
“He’s been doing
fantastic. I couldn’t ask him to be doing any better. You check off
certain things in your mind: What could I have done differently? What
maybe could I have done better? What maybe could
he have done better? And in all honesty, when I go through the checklist
in my mind, there’s not anything I would change,” the veteran South
Florida horseman said.
Plesa said he
expects Itsmyluckyday to improve on his second-place finish in the
Florida Derby in which he 2 ¾ lengths behind Orb.
“He’s stronger now
than he was going into that race. He’s a little bit fitter now than he
was going into that race. He got that race underneath his belt. He’s got
a good mile work underneath his belt. So,
I’m anticipating him running his best race,” Plesa said.
MYLUTE (No. 16) – Shortly after the Churchill Downs track opened for training early Friday morning, Mylute galloped a mile and a half with exercise rider Maurice Sanchez aboard.
finished second in the Louisiana Derby (GII) in his final Kentucky Derby
prep, is scheduled to work Saturday morning.
Based at Churchill Downs under trainer Tom Amoss, Mylute will be working for the fourth time since shipping to the track from the Fair Grounds.
“It’ll be an easy
half-mile work,’’ Amoss said. “He’ll be by himself. I don’t think it’s
going to wow anybody. That’s not our purpose.’’
Rosie Napravnik, who will be riding Mylute in the Kentucky Derby, will be aboard for the workout.
In the Louisiana
Derby, Mylute was making his ninth start but his first without blinkers.
He settled farther off the early pace than he had in any of his
previous races. A strong stretch run left him a neck
behind winner Revolutionary.
“We had a planned
strategy for the Louisiana Derby,’’ Amoss said. “We took the blinkers
off of him. The idea was to make one run at the group. It worked out
well. That will be the same strategy we use in
NORMANDY INVASION (No. 14) – Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion galloped a mile and three-eighths under exercise rider Javier Herrera during the post renovation break period when the track is reserved for Derby
and Oaks prospects.
Trainer Chad Brown
said the Tapit colt will breeze this weekend. However, with rain in the
forecast, Brown said the day and the time for the work will be a
game-time decision based on conditions.
While Normandy Invasion,
was grazing quietly behind Barn 42, Brown agreed with a visitor’s
comment that the colt ran well in the 1 1/8 miles Wood Memorial (GI),
when he closed to finish second three-quarters of a
length behind Verrazano.
“He’s a bit of a grinder, but a mile and a quarter should suit him,” Brown said.
ORB (No. 1) – Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb galloped 1½ miles under exercise rider Jennifer Patterson and visited the starting gate after the renovation break at Churchill Downs
“He’s getting over the track great. He’s feeling good. I couldn’t be more satisfied,” trainer Shug McGaughey said.
The Fountain of
Youth (GII) and Florida Derby (GI) winner is likely to breeze a half
mile on Monday in preparation for a start in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Orb, along with stablemates Point of Entry, Hungry Island, Tokyo Time and two others, is stabled in Barn 43 on the Churchill backstretch.
“I was in this
barn when I was a kid training, so I’m comfortable here. I like
Churchill. I like being here and I like being here in the situation
we’re in,” McGaughey said. “When I took the Phipps job,
this is the barn I was in.”
Easy Goer, who finished second behind Sunday Silence
in the 1989 Kentucky Derby, was stabled in Barn 41, but it’s not
certain that Orb is bedded down in the same stall as the Belmont Stakes
“It’s the same barn, but I can’t remember what stall he was in,” McGaughey said.
OXBOW (No. 17)/WILL TAKE CHARGE (No. 9) – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has four Kentucky Derby victories among his 13 wins in Triple Crown races, might have three shots at this Derby.
Oxbow and Will Take Charge are assured places in the field, and Titletown Five, who hasn’t earned a Derby point, would vault into 20th position on the
eligibility list if he wins the Derby Trial (GIII) on Saturday night. That one-mile race offers 20 points to the winner.
“Well, we have to
win,’’ Lukas said while grazing Will Take Charge on Friday morning. “But
I like our horse tomorrow. I think he’s a pretty damn nice horse. It’s
not an easy spot, but I like him.’’
Titletown Five has
run in one graded race, finishing ninth in the Louisiana Derby (GII).
He’s owned by a partnership including former Green Bay Packers standouts
Paul Hornung and Willie Davis.
Oxbow, with exercise rider Rudy Quevedo aboard, and Will Take Charge, under exercise rider Taylor Carty, had routine gallops Friday, Lukas said.
“We go, it
depends, some days a mile and a half, some days a mile and five-eighths,
some days, a mile and three-quarters,” Lukas said. “Like Oxbow is hard
to pull up. He puts a lot into his mornings. This
horse (Will Take Charge) is much more relaxed.
“They both galloped routinely and did very well. I’m very pleased with them.’’
Oxbow has raced
four times this year, winning the Lecomte (GIII) at the Fair Grounds,
finishing fourth in the Risen Star (GII) there, finishing second (a head
behind Will Take Charge) in the Rebel (GII)
at Oaklawn Park and finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby (GI) at
Oaklawn. Will Take Charge, who hasn’t raced since the Rebel on March 16,
has worked four times since then, two of those workouts at a mile.
“I’m just trying to put the foundation and bottom on him without stressing him,’’ Lukas said.
VYJACK (No. 8) – Owner David Wilkenfeld watched the lone member of his Pick Six Racing stable breeze five furlongs in 1:00.40 during the time reserved for Derby and Oaks horses after the renovation break.
Wilkenfeld flew in
from New York City on Thursday night and said he had about 1 ½ hours
sleep before heading to Churchill Downs to see his gelding train.
Under trainer Rudy Rodriguez,
Vyjack turned in split times of :12.20, :24.20, :36 and :48.20. His
five-furlong time was the third fastest of 32 at the distance Friday. He
galloped out six furlongs
“I was very, very
pleased the way he worked,” Rodriguez said. “He did everything I asked
for. I’m happy with the way he breezed and everything is 100 percent
Vyjack won the
first four starts of his career, a streak capped by a 2 ¼-length win the
Gotham (GIII) on March 2. The son of Into Mischief was found to have a
little mucous from a slight lung infection following
a third-place finish in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct. He recovered
from that minor issue and had a leisurely half-mile work on April 19 at
the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. Friday’s breeze was a
test that Rodriguez said the horse passed with
“I wanted a nice, decent
work, not slow and not fast,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted him to blow him
out a little bit and I think I accomplished that. It looked like he came
back good and is already cooled out. That’s
a very good sign. We scoped him and everything looks very, very good. I
could not be more happy.”
Rodriguez said the Friday
work gives him some flexibility with his training. He said he might give
a horse a short, sharp work next week a few days before the Derby.
“I want to see how he will
react in the next couple of days,” Rodriguez said. “Maybe I might come
back and do it again. We’ll let him tell me what’s going on, but I got a
very good work out of him today and I think
“This is what I was looking for and we’re happy with the way everything went.”
Wilkenfeld said he has
heard that most owners don’t arrive in Louisville until a few days
before the Derby, but he didn’t want to wait and miss a moment of being
in America’s biggest race.
“Just being here is a
wonderful experience,” he said. “Being on the backstretch in the
morning; I like that at Aqueduct. I was down at Fair Hill with the horse
with Rudy a few times.
“I wanted to get down here
early. This is, for me, probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It
could happen again, but right now I only have one horse so I’m going to
enjoy every moment of it.
“I figured I would come and be here with Rudy -- it’s his first time here, also – show some support and enjoy it.”