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Eskendereya drills at Palm Meadows
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out four of his Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls for works at Palm Meadows on Saturday, led by presumptive Derby favorite ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway). In his first work since his smashing victory in the April 3 Wood Memorial S. (G1), Eskendereya breezed five furlongs in 1:02 on the fast track.
Pletcher had tentatively scheduled the Zayat Stable colt to work Sunday morning before boarding a plane Tuesday for the flight to Louisville, Kentucky, but the forecast for possible heavy rain caused the trainer to call an audible and move the work up to Saturday.
With exercise rider Patty Berry in the saddle, Eskendereya worked alone through splits of :13, :25 and :37 2/5. The powerfully-built chestnut galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 2/5 and seven furlongs in 1:29 3/5.
"It rained here last night, and the track was about a second slower than usual," Pletcher said after the work. "I was very pleased with the way he and all of our other horses worked. He (Eskendereya) went just like he did before the Wood. Everything has gone as planned so far."
Louisiana Derby (G2) winner MISSION IMPAZIBLE (Unbridled's Song) and multiple Grade 3 scorer RULE (Roman Ruler) worked their five-eighths in company. Mission Impazible completed his trial in 1:02 1/5, while Rule, exiting a third in the Florida Derby (G1), strode in 1:02 3/5.
Risen Star S. (G2) victor DISCREETLY MINE (Mineshaft), a close fourth in the Louisiana Derby, drilled in 1:01 4/5.
It was Pletcher's Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender, DEVIL MAY CARE (Malibu Moon), who earned the bullet, however. The highly-regarded filly ripped her five furlongs in 1:01, turning in the fastest of 14 moves at the distance. Successful in the Frizette S. (G1) at two, Devil May Care is coming off a convincing score in the Bonnie Miss S. (G2).
For trainer Tony Dutrow, Louisiana Derby runner-up A LITTLE WARM (Stormin Fever) went in 1:02. The Edward Evans homebred sits in a joint 25th on the graded earnings list with $180,000 to his credit.