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Kentucky Derby Barn Notes - April 23

Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

BLACK ONYX – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx (No. 12) galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Aurelio Gomez during the special training session after the morning renovation break for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.


CHARMING KITTEN / OVERANALYZE / PALACE MALICE / REVOLUTIONARY / VERRAZANO / WINNING CAUSE – Prior to the morning renovation break Tuesday, Wood Memorial (GI) winner Verrazano (No. 2) and Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Revolutionary (No. 6) returned to the track after walking the shedrow of trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn Monday. Verrazano jogged under Humberto Zamora and Revolutionary jogged under Nick Bush.

Also prior to the renovation break, Charming Kitten (No. 21), most recently third in the Blue Grass (GI), galloped under Patti Krotenko.  Pletcher said Tuesday that no “concrete” rider plans have been made for Charming Kitten should he make it in the Derby starting gate.

Following the renovation break during the 15-minute period reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders, Arkansas Derby (GI) winner Overanalyze (No. 5) and Blue Grass runner-up Palace Malice (No. 13) galloped around the Churchill Downs oval. Overanalyze was guided by regular exercise rider Obed Perez and Palace Malice was under Jake Nelson.  

Lexington (GIII) winner Winning Cause (No. 22) walked the shedrow of Barn 34. He is scheduled to return to the track Wednesday.

Verrazano, Revolutionary, Charming Kitten, Overanalyze and Palace Malice are scheduled to work Sunday.


CODE WEST/GOVENOR CHARLIE/POWER BROKER – Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie (No. 11) galloped 1 3/8 miles after the break under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez.

Gary and Mary West’s Code West (No. 23) and Power Broker (No. 26) walked the shedrow following Monday works. Jim Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert said both colts came out of their respective works in good order. Code West had worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 and Power Broker covered six furlongs in 1:12.80


FALLING SKY Newtown Anner Stud, James Covello and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky (No. 19) waited patiently at the gap during the morning renovation break before galloping 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Cassie Garcea.

“He likes to look at all the people,” Garcea said of the colt’s quiet disposition.

Trained by John Terranova, Falling Sky is scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday.


FRAC DADDY/JAVA’S WAR – Charles Fipke’s Java’s War (No. 4) and Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy (No. 15) galloped 1 ½ miles each after the renovation break. Marvin Abrego was aboard Java’s War and Victor Lebron was on Frac Daddy.

Trainer Ken McPeek plans to work both of his Derby hopefuls on Saturday.


GOLDEN SOUL – Charles Fipke’s Golden Soul (No. 25) galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Emerson Chavez at 6 o’clock, shortly after the track opened for training.


MYLUTE – Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Mylute visited the paddock and jogged around the Churchill Downs track Tuesday under regular exercise rider Maurice Sanchez

According to trainer Tom Amoss, Mylute is scheduled to have his final work in advance of the Derby on Sunday.


NORMANDY INVASION – Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion (No. 14) galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Javier Herrera after the renovation break.

Trainer Chad Brown, who has yet to saddle a Kentucky Derby starter, liked what he saw of Normandy Invasion’s first day back at the track after working a half-mile Sunday morning.

“Normally, after a work, I walk a day and then jog,” Brown said. “But right now, he is too strong.”


ORB Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb (No. 1) walked the shedrow at Barn 43 and is scheduled to return to the track Wednesday trainer Shug McGaughey said.

“This is familiar territory,” McGaughey said of Barn 43, which served as his regular barn when he started training more than 30 years ago. “All the horses I trained here came out of this barn.”

The roster of McGaughey horses that called Barn 43 home included 1993 Kentucky Oaks winner Dispute, 1988 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Personal Ensign and fellow Hall of Famer Easy Goer.

In addition to Orb, McGaughey has a couple other stable stars eyeing major victories on Derby Day: Phipps Stable’s Point of Entry in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) and Emory Hamilton’s Hungry Island in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII).


OXBOW/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Calumet Farm’s Oxbow (No. 17) walked the shedrow at Barn 44 a day after working five furlongs in 1:01 under jockey Gary Stevens.

“He is very sharp this morning,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said of Oxbow, who broke his maiden here last fall and took the LeComte (GIII) at Fair Grounds by 11 ½ lengths. “He will go back to the track tomorrow.”

Willis Horton’s Will Take Charge (No. 9) galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Rudy Quevedo.


VYJACK – Pick Six Racing’s Vyjack (No. 8) jogged to the finish line and then galloped 1 ½  miles under trainer Rudy Rodriguez after the renovation break .

“He looked around a little bit at first but then settled in and went about his business. He was very good this morning,” Rodriguez said.

Vyjack had jogged early Monday morning for his first training at Churchill Downs and Rodriguez said the Tuesday activity would be the norm.

“This is the same routine we have a home,” Rodriguez said. “When I worked for Bobby (Frankel), he had a routine and schedule that worked and stuck to it.”

Rodriguez, who will be saddling his first Kentucky Derby starter, said that Vyjack would have paddock and gate schooling leading up to the race.


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