If you're visiting Churchill Downs, please visit the Churchill Downs Store, open during the spring, September, and fall race meets from gate opening time to 30 minutes after the last race. Located off the Paddock, inside the Gate 17 entrance, the Churchill Downs Store offers a wide array of officially licensed Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs merchandise. To contact the store call (502) 636-4850 or (800) 59-DERBY. To shop online, click here.
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Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out a brigade of workers, including several major Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls, at Palm Meadows on Sunday.
Fountain of Youth S. (G2) romper ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway), with jockey John Velazquez aboard, took a half-mile spin on the fast track in :49 1/5. The well-bred chestnut is likely to line up next in the March 20 Florida Derby (G1).
"I thought he worked very well," Pletcher said. "We were looking for him to go a half in :49, and that's exactly what he did. He galloped out well and I'm very pleased. Our most likely scenario for him is to run in the Florida Derby. He still has one work to go, but I don't see any reason to change anything at this point. That would be the logical thing to do."
Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) hero SUPER SAVER (Maria's Mon) drilled five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 in advance of his three-year-old debut, which is likely to come in Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby (G3).
Multiple Grade 3 winner RULE (Roman Ruler) clocked 1:01 1/5 while working in company with Grade 3 veteran HARLEM ROCKER (Macho Uno), who turned in the exact same time.
Rule kicked off his sophomore campaign with a victory in the Sam F. Davis S. (G3), and is currently under consideration for the Florida Derby or the April 3 Wood Memorial S. (G1) at Aqueduct.
"He (Rule) went five-eighths in 1:01 and went extremely well," Pletcher said. "I'd like to keep them (Eskendereya and Rule) separated. I'll have to talk to Elliott (Walden of WinStar Farm), but the back up would be the Wood Memorial."
The five-year-old Harlem Rocker, fourth in the Hal's Hope S. (G3), is listed as probable for Saturday's Gulfstream Park H. (G2).
Risen Star S. (G2) victor DISCREETLY MINE (Mineshaft), expected to return to Fair Grounds for the March 27 Louisiana Derby (G2), negotiated four panels in :49 1/5.
Grade 3-placed MISSION IMPAZIBLE (Unbridled's Song), fourth from a wide post in the Southwest S. (G3), strolled in :51 2/5. The gray also has the Louisiana Derby on his radar screen.
Multiple Grade 3 turf star INTERACTIF (Broken Vow) finished up in :49 4/5. Upset by Bim Bam (Deputy Wild Cat) in a photo-finish in the grassy Hallandale Beach S., the Wertheimer & Frere homebred is aiming for Saturday's San Felipe S. (G2) over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, pending suitable travel arrangements.
Multiple Grade 1-placed AIKENITE (Yes It's True), third in the Fountain of Youth, breezed in :49. The Dogwood Stable colorbearer is slated to revert to synthetic for the April 10 Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland.
Multiple New York-bred stakes scorer IBBOYEE (Medallist), third in the Hutcheson S. (G2), went in :49 4/5 for the March 20 Swale S. (G2).
Two of Pletcher's Kentucky Oaks (G1) candidates also took to the track Sunday.
Frizette S. (G1) queen DEVIL MAY CARE (Malibu Moon), who faded to fifth in the Silverbulletday S. (G3), zipped a half-mile in :48 1/5. She will try to rebound next time, probably in the March 20 Bonnie Miss S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Tempted S. (G3) heroine AILALEA (Pulpit), sixth in the Forward Gal S. (G2), covered five panels in 1:02 4/5.
Pletcher also reported that El Camino Real Derby (G3) winner CONNEMARA (Giant's Causeway) remains with his satellite division at Santa Anita currently, but will ship back east to start next in the March 27 Lane's End S. (G2) at Turfway Park.