- Road to the Kentucky Derby
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Top three from Arkansas Derby bound for Kentucky
From Sunday's Oaklawn notes:
The respective top three finishers from Saturday's Arkansas Derby (G1) -- LINE OF DAVID (Lion Heart), SUPER SAVER (Maria's Mon) and DUBLIN (Afleet Alex) -- were all doing well Sunday morning.
"He's feeling good, just like he never ran," Pedro Salazar, Line of David's groom, said while the chestnut colt munched on his feed. "He walked about 45 minutes this morning. He is in great shape."
Line of David is trained by John Sadler, who won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) last week with Sidney's Candy (Candy Ride [Arg]).
"He is on the other side of the barn from David (at Santa Anita)," Salazar said when asked about Sidney's Candy. "They're both speed horses, wire to wire, and now they will run against each other (in the May 1 Kentucky Derby [G1]."
"I thought he was going to get tired yesterday," Salazar said. "But he just never got tired. He has a lot of heart.
"This will be my first (Kentucky) Derby," said Salazar, who has been with Sadler for about seven years. "We are leaving tomorrow for Keeneland, then on to Churchill Downs.
"Oh, and Crisp (El Corredor) will be going to the Kentucky Oaks ([G1] on April 30), too," he added. "She will be going to Churchill on Tuesday."
It was mentioned that Salazar had the possibility of winning both the Oaks and the Derby.
"Oh, like Calvin Borel last year, huh?" Salazar quipped.
Super Saver, beaten all of a neck, will be leaving Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Monday morning.
"He ate up his dinner and is headed for Kentucky at 8:30 tomorrow morning," said Michael Dilger, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "We'll be flying out of here.
"The race was pretty much what we expected, except we were second," he said. "It would have been nice if (jockey) Calvin (Borel) had been able to stay on the rail. But he came out of the race fine and is the picture of health."
Dublin, beaten two necks in the Arkansas Derby, and last-place finisher NORTHERN GIANT (Giant's Causeway), both trained by D. Wayne Lukas, were reported in good shape this morning at the barn.
"Both came out of the race really well," assistant trainer Will Van Meter said. "They both ate well and walked with good energy this morning. Both are going on to Churchill Downs. We have horses leaving Monday and Tuesday.
"Northern Giant may have fooled us a bit. His tank may not have been as full as we thought. How he was eating and training, we thought he would have had more energy. But he handled everything well and may well be on the undercard at the Preakness ([G1] at Pimlico on May 15)."
UH OH BANGO (Top Hit), fourth in the Arkansas Derby, made a rally late on the far turn and closed, nearly two lengths off the top trio. Trainer Kory Owens was waiting to get him out for a walk Sunday morning after the excitement died down in the Davona Dale barn.
"He's fine this morning, but we're waiting for the calm," Owens said. "Zenyatta (Street Cry [Ire]) just left for the airport. I can't believe how many people were here to say goodbye to her."
"The (John) Shirreffs crew was just unbelievable, how nice they were and how accessible they made her to everybody," he said. "They actually were helping us yesterday. Here we were, with a horse in a big race and people were coming in the barn to see her. Her people were leading them around and getting them out of our way, so we could get our business done.
"I don't think it affected Bango, any," Owens said. "EZ Dreamer (In Excess [Ire]) may have been a little riled up, but Bango was fine."
Recent maiden scorer NEW MADRID (Rock Hard Ten), sixth in the Arkansas Derby in his first try versus winners, will ship to Belmont Park.
"Everybody's great here, everybody's happy," said Casey Clark, assistant to trainer Tim Ice. "He's already been around the shedrow and he's good.
"He (New Madrid) was running a little green, maybe a little wild," Clark said. "We'll have a little change of equipment on him (blinkers) and try to get him more focused. He has a lot of talent -- he's just very young.
"Tim's taking him to Belmont Wednesday," said Clark, who will oversee the Ice horses at Louisiana Downs. "Tim is undefeated in New York."
Last year, Ice saddled champion Summer Bird (Birdstone) to win the Belmont S. (G1), Travers S. (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).
Clark commented on the stable's year, in which a major owner, as well as an Eclipse Award winner left the barn. Ice then rebounded with John Ed Anthony's New Madrid running in the Arkansas Derby.
"This is a roller coaster ride, with its ups and downs," he said. "It's not a game for little boys in short pants."
PULSION (Include), who never got to running in the Arkansas Derby and finished eighth, exited the race with a throat infection.
"It's not that he ran badly, but he did not run at all," trainer Patrick Biancone said at the barn Sunday morning while Pulsion was being prepared for his van ride back to Florida.
"He's sound, but he scoped badly," he said. "There was no blood, but there was infection in the throat. I suppose it was the change of weather, the pollen, something. The good news is that he has another day to fight."