- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
On Fire Baby, Sacristy Turn in Seven Furlong Works at Churchill; Hard Not to Like Works at Woodbine
Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield’s Amie’s Dini galloped 1 ½ miles around the Churchill Downs oval prior to the renovation break Friday. Trainer Ron Moquett said the dark bay daughter of Bandini, who was most recently second behind Mamma Kimbo in the Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park, is scheduled to work Saturday under Jon Court, who will have the mount in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI).
AND WHY NOT – Helen K. Groves’ And Why Not galloped 1½ miles Friday morning at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Peter Brette.
Weather permitting, the Pocahantas (G2) runner-up is scheduled to breeze Saturday morning for trainer Michael Matz.
BELIEVE YOU CAN – Brereton Jones’ Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Believe You Can galloped 1 ½ miles after the morning renovation break under trainer Larry Jones.
Believe You Can, who will be ridden in the Kentucky Oaks by Rosie Napravnik is scheduled to work Sunday.
“We are at the stage now where we are starting to check the weather,” Larry Jones said. “Believe You Can can work as early as Saturday.”
BROADWAY’S ALIBI/IN LINGERIE – E. Paul Robsham LLC’s Broadway’s Alibi will have to prove to trainer Todd Pletcher during her Saturday workout that she deserves to make the starting gate for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI). While saying the half-mile work at Palm Meadows could be a determining factor in whether the dark bay filly runs in the Oaks, the trainer added Friday morning, “She has been doing very well here.”
The filly will join her stablemate, In Lingerie, for the ship to Louisville on Tuesday.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber’s In Lingerie is already committed to run in the Kentucky Oaks. She will put in her final workout Saturday at Palm Meadows in Florida. The filly will work a half-mile, Pletcher said Friday morning.
COLONIAL EMPRESS – Bluegrass Hall’s Colonial Empress jogged in the mile chute under exercise rider Rudy Colon after the morning renovation break.
EDEN’S MOON / JEMIMA’S PEARL – Kaleem Shah’s Eden’s Moon galloped Friday morning at Churchill Downs. The Las Virgenes (G1) winner is scheduled to work Saturday morning.
Gillian Campbell, R Group Management. Ltd. and Greenwood Lodge Farm’s Jemima’s Pearl galloped Friday morning at Churchill Downs. She worked Tuesday with stablemate Bodemeister, a top contender for the Kentucky Derby. Joe Talamo will ride Jemima’s Pearl in the Kentucky Oaks.
Peachtree Stable’s Mamma Kimbo is fine, trainer Bob Baffert said, but will pass the Kentucky Oaks and make her next start in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on May 18 at Pimlico.
The Discreet Cat filly broke her maiden at Santa Anita on Feb. 18 and led from gate to wire to capture the Fantasy (G2) on April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
“We’re going to give her an extra two weeks,” Baffert said. “She ran really hard in that race and it was only her second start. It’s taken her a little bit longer to bounce out. She’s doing well.”
GRACE HALL – Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and the Elkstone Group’s Grace Hall jogged Friday morning at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.
Trainer Tony Dutrow said that his Spinaway (GI) and Gulfstream Oaks (GII) winner will work five furlongs Saturday morning. Grace Hall’s regular exercise rider, Carol Fisher, will be aboard for the breeze.
Grace Hall is scheduled to ship from Florida to Louisville on Tuesday.
HARD NOT TO LIKE – The aptly named filly Hard Not to Like put in her final work toward the $1 million Kentucky Oaks by breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01.60 and earned a “very, very good” report from her trainer Gail Cox.
The workout, the second fastest of 13 at the distance, came over Woodbine’s Polytrack under jockey Luis Contreras, while the trainer was at Keeneland, where she will run a horse on Friday’s closing-day card.
“The work was just what I wanted,” Cox said. “She’s doing very well. She’s really, really special.”
The Oaks will be the second race at Churchill Downs for Hard Not to Like. The filly was fifth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf last November at the Louisville oval.
Hard Not to Like will van to Louisville from Woodbine on Tuesday. Robby Albarado has the call for the Oaks.
KARLOVY VARY – Alex Campbell Jr.’s Karlovy Vary galloped a mile under exercise rider Marty Metcalf shortly after 6 a.m. Friday.
“She is going to work five-eighths tomorrow morning at 6:15,” said Jack Bohannan, assistant to trainer Rusty Arnold. “She will be going out in the second set every day.”
James Graham, who was aboard the Dynaformer filly for her victory in the Central Bank Ashland (GI) in her most recent start, has the Oaks riding assignment.
OAKS LILY – Jonathan Rey, Javier Sarmiento and Dante Zanelli Jr.’s Oaks Lily worked a half-mile in :49.40 under jockey Miguel Mena over a fast track after the morning renovation break and during the time training that is reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls.
Working on her own, Oaks Lily posted fractions of :12.80, :25, :37 and out five furlongs in 1:02.80 and six furlongs in 1:17.40.
“It was a good work,” Zanelli said of Oaks Lily, who has no graded stakes earnings and would need several defections from fillies under consideration for the Oaks to make the 14-horse field.
“She will probably be on the also-eligible list (for the Oaks),” Zanelli said. “If she does not run here, she will go to the Black Eyed Susan (GII on May 18 at Pimlico).”
ON FIRE BABY – Anita Cauley’s On Fire Baby worked seven furlongs in 1:27 over a fast track under jockey Joe Johnson shortly after 6 o’clock on a clear, crisp Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Working on her own, On Fire Baby recorded fractions of :24.80, :37.80, :50.40, 1:02.80 and 1:14.80.
“She did it nice and easy,” trainer Gary Hartlage said. “She was a little keen early when a horse broke off in front of her, but it was fine. I got her galloping out in around 1:40.”
The daughter of Smoke Glacken has won both of her starts at Churchill Downs, the Pocahonas (GII) and Golden Rod (GII) last fall. Friday’s work was her second seven-eighths drill here since arriving from Oaklawn Park on April 16. She worked last Friday in 1:26.80.
The half-sister to 2007 Kentucky Oaks third-place finisher High Heels, On Fire Baby made a quick impression on Hartlage.
“A few days after I got her,” Hartlage said when asked when he knew what kind of talent he had on his hands. “She had the whole package: confirmation, stride and the mentality.”
Friday’s work was the final major drill for On Fire Baby, who comes into the Oaks off a victory in Honeybee (GIII) at Oaklawn.
“She’s ready,” Hartlage said. “We know we have a good horse and it will take a good horse to beat her.”
SACRISTY – Peachtree Stable’s Sacristy put in her final major drill for Kentucky Oaks 138 by working seven furlongs in 1:29 over a fast track.
Working after the morning renovation break on her own under Greta Kuntzweiler, Sacristy recorded fractions of :13.60, :26.40, :38.80, :51.40, 1:03.80, 1:16.40 and out a mile in 1:45.60.
“I just wanted to get some air in her,” trainer Wayne Catalano said of the filly’s first work since finishing second in the Beaumont (GII) at Keeneland on April 15. “Greta said she tried all the way to the wire. Now we have to see if she can get the distance.”
Sacristy arrived at Churchill Downs shortly after 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon from Keeneland. Mike Smith has the Oaks riding assignment.
SUMMER APPLAUSE – Gillian Campbell, R Group Management, Ltd. And Greenwood Lodge Farm’s Summer Applause galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Jeff Lopez shortly after the track opened for training at 5:45 Friday morning.
Dennis “Peaches” Geier, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun, said the filly would gallop up to the Oaks.
“She doesn’t need to do a lot,” Geier said of Summer Applause, who turned in a bullet five-furlong work in :59.60 here last Friday. “She’s a big, strong filly.”
Garrett Gomez has the Oaks riding assignment.
YARA – Peras International’s Yara continued her preparations for the Kentucky Oaks (GI) with a half-mile breeze Friday in :51 for trainer Jose Garoffalo.
Yara galloped a mile under exercise rider Mario Diaz prior to breaking off from the half-mile pole for her work. The chestnut daughter of Put It Back came home the last quarter-mile in :25.60.
“She did pretty good today,” Garoffalo said. “It was what we were expecting her to do. She finished up very strongly.”
Bred in Florida by Brambly Lane Farm and Steve Dwoskin, Yara earned her way into the Kentucky Oaks field with a 64-1 upset victory in the Davona Dale (GII) over heavily favored Grace Hall, who returned to win the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) in her next start.
Following her workout, Yara was vanned back to her barn at the nearby Trackside Training Center. Garoffalo said he plans to bring Yara to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012, and its Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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