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Breeders' Cup 2017

Final Derby Work for Awesome Act

Vinery Stables and Mrs. Susan Roy’s Awesome Act received his final serious tune-up for the Kentucky Derby on Tuesday morning, breezing four furlongs in :48.20 under jockey Julien Leparoux.

The son of Awesome Again was clocked in splits of :13, :24.80 and :36.60, while galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.80 and six furlongs in 1:15.40.


“We were happy with it. We were looking for :49 and he gave us :48, but we’re not unhappy about that,” said Wayne Tanner, assistant to trainer Jeremy Noseda, who is expected to arrive in Louisville from England late Tuesday night. “He’s right where we want him to be.”


Leparoux, the 2009 Eclipse Award-winning jockey, also gave the workout his stamp of approval.


“The work was nice,” said the 26-year-old native of Senlis, France. “He did it very easy. He got over the track very good.”


Leparoux was aboard Awesome Act when the Kentucky-bred English import won the Gotham Stakes (GIII) at Aqueduct in his first start on dirt on March 6. He didn’t have a dream trip in the Wood Memorial (GI) after stumbling at the start and throwing a shoe. Although he made a menacing move on the turn into the Aqueduct homestretch, he flattened out to finish third, a result blamed on his inability to settle off a pedestrian early pace.


“You never know. In a race you never know what is going to happen when the gates open,” Leparoux said. “Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of speed, so we’ll probably sit behind them.”


Vinery Stables was represented in the 2009 Kentucky Derby by favored Friesan Fire, who finished 18th after being squeezed and bumped at the start.


“We’re not going to be the favorite. We’ve got that going for us,” Vinery stable manager Tom Ludt said. “He’s gotten better and better since he’s gotten over here so we’re excited. But one of the things we’ve learned is that we’re going to have a good time and hopefully we get a little racing luck. Last year, we had some unfortunate luck, but that’s just racing. We got taken out of the race at the gate last year. We were out of the race when they went by the first time.”


Awesome Act is scheduled to walk Wednesday morning before schooling in the paddock in the afternoon.


 

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