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Lukas happy with Oxbow work

Oxbow 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

OXBOW/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Calumet Farm’s Oxbow (No. 17), with three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens up for four-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas, worked five furlongs on his own in 1:01 after the morning renovation break.


Fractions for the work were :12, :24.20, :36.20 and :48.80 with a gallop out of 1:14.40 for six furlongs and 1:28.40 for seven.


“He’s a happy horse,” said Stevens, who teamed with Lukas to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988 with Winning Colors and in 1995 with Thunder Gulch. “Wayne wanted him to finish strong and he did it on his own. I didn’t have to ask him.”


“This horse is a good fit for Gary,” Lukas said. “He has a high cruising speed and he will put himself in the race. I just wanted Gary to get acquainted with him some more. When I let him go, he got right into it, but that’s OK because he is so aggressive. I like the way Gary got him to relax.”


It was Oxbow’s first work since finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby (GI).

“These works are like a barometer as a gauge to see where we are at,” Lukas said. “We have almost two weeks to tweak what we have to.”


Lukas reported that Will Take Charge (No. 9), owned by Willis Horton, came out of his mile work of 1:41.60 on Sunday in good order and would return to the track Tuesday. 


BLACK ONYX – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx (No. 12) jogged after the morning renovation break during the time reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders. Aurelio Gomez was aboard Black Onyx, who comes into Derby 139 off a victory in the Spiral (Grade III) in his stakes debut.


CHARMING KITTEN / OVERANALYZE / PALACE MALICE / REVOLUTIONARY/ VERRAZANO / WINNING CAUSE – Wood Memorial (GI) winner Verrazano (No. 2) and Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Revolutionary (No. 6) both walked the shedrow of Todd Pletcher’s barn at Churchill Downs on Monday morning following their Sunday breezes beneath the Twin Spires. 


Pletcher said both colts exited their workouts in good order.


Lexington (GIII) winner Winning Cause (No. 22) also walked the shedrow of Barn 34 for Pletcher on Monday. Plans have not been made for his next start.


Pletcher’s other Kentucky Derby contenders galloped around the fast Churchill Downs track following the morning renovation break at 8:30.


Arkansas Derby (GI) winner Overanalyze (No. 5) galloped under Obed Perez, Blue Grass (GI) runner-up Palace Malice (No. 13) was guided by Jake Nelson and Blue Grass third Charming Kitten (No. 21) was under Nick Bush.


CODE WEST/GOVENOR CHARLIE/POWER BROKER – Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie (No. 11) jogged before the morning renovation break under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez for trainer Bob Baffert.


Code West (No. 23) and Power Broker (No. 26), both owned by Gary and Mary West, worked after the break.


With Dana Barnes up, Code West worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 over the fast track. Working in company with Fed Biz, a 4-year-old nominated to the $400,000 Churchill Downs (GII) on May 4, posted fractions of :13.20, :25.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40. The move was the ninth fastest of 43 at the distance. 


Barnes also was aboard Power Broker, who worked with Kentucky Oaks contender Midnight Lucky. Power Broker was clocked in 1:12.80 with fractions of :23.60, :35.20 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.20.


FALLING SKY – Newtown Anner StudJames Covello and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky (No. 19) galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Cassie Garcea before the morning renovation break.

Reynaldo Abreu, assistant to trainer John Terranova, said that Falling Sky would go out Tuesday morning after the renovation break when the track is reserved for Derby and Oaks horses.


FRAC DADDY/JAVA’S WAR – Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy (No. 15) visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 ½ miles under jockey Victor Lebron after the morning renovation break for trainer Ken McPeek.


Charles Fipke’s Java’s War (No. 4) jogged after the renovation break under exercise rider Marvin Abrego.


NORMANDY INVASION – Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion (No. 14) walked the shedrow at Barn 42 a day after working a half-mile in :48.20.


Trainer Chad Brown said the Tapit colt came out of the work fine and would return to the track Tuesday.


ORB – Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable’s Orb (No. 1) arrived at Barn 43 at 7:30 Monday morning from his winter base at Payson Park in South Florida.


Trained by Shug McGaughey, the winner of the Fountain of Youth (GII) and Florida Derby (GI) worked five furlongs Sunday at Payson in 1:02.10 before heading to Kentucky.


VYJACK – Pick Six Racing’s Vyjack (No. 8) was one of the first horses on the track Monday morning, jogging a mile under trainer Rudy Rodriguez before 6 o’clock.


“He was good this morning and seemed to handle the track well,” Rodriguez said Vyjack, who arrived here Sunday morning from Fair Hill, Md. “He will go out tomorrow with all the other Derby horses (at 8:30 after the renovation break) and hopefully he will behave himself like he did today.”


Rodriguez was not sure when Vyjack would work next. The Gotham (GIII) winner worked a half-mile at Fair Hill in :51.60 last Friday.

“I will gallop him the next three or four days and figure out what to do,” Rodriguez said.




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