Racing News

Louisiana Derby Runner-Up Mylute Arrives at Churchill Downs to Prep for Kentucky Derby 139

| Brisnet Editorial | 04/02/2013 #
  • Mylute was bedded down in Stall 20 of Barn 29. Credit: Churchill Downs / Reed Palmer

Mylute, who finished a neck behind Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby (Grade II) after a thrilling stretch battle, passed through the Churchill Downs stable gate at 3:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) Tuesday morning after vanning from Fair Grounds and was bedded down in Stall 20 of Barn 29 for trainer Tom Amoss.

Mylute earned 40 points for his runner-up effort in the Louisiana Derby and improved his total to 42, placing him No. 11 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by” Leaderboard. His point total virtually assures him a spot in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) starting gate on the First Saturday in May. 

“If he has the points and he’s healthy, then he’ll run in the Kentucky Derby,” said Amoss, who was in route to Louisville and is scheduled to arrive Tuesday evening. “He ran a nice race in the Louisiana Derby. We changed his style from being aggressive with blinkers on to taking the blinkers off and letting him relax and letting him make one run. It worked well.”

Amoss added that GoldMark Farm LLC and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute will likely walk the shedrow Wednesday and visit the Churchill Downs track for light training on Thursday.

“He’ll get a good amount of training on the Churchill Downs surface,” Amoss said. “He’s familiar with the track and trained and raced on it as a 2-year-old. We’re happy the (Kentucky Derby) is in our backyard.”

Amoss, who tied Steve Asmussen for the training title at the recently concluded Fair Grounds meet, has started two horses in the Kentucky Derby: Lone Star Sky (15th in 2003) and Backtalk (20th in 2010).

Also arriving at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning was Sam F. Davis (GIII) winner Falling Sky, who most recently finished third behind Verrazano and Java’s War in the Tampa Bay Derby (GII). He was bedded down in Barn 36 for trainer John Terranova II. 

“He’s been fantastic and worked sensational (on March 31 at Palm Meadows),” Terranova said via telephone from his barn at Palm Meadows. “He’s real fit coming off the two good races at Tampa.

“Right now, we are leaning toward running in the Blue Grass (at Keeneland on April 13), but the Arkansas Derby (at Oaklawn Park on April 13) is not ruled out. He’ll work Sunday or Monday at Churchill Downs or Keeneland and then we’ll get together and decide on the best race for him.”

Newtown Anner Stud, James Covello and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky, who arrived at Churchill Downs at 9:45 a.m., was accompanied by his groom on the van ride from Palm Meadows and will be joined by assistant Ronaldo Abreu on Tuesday afternoon. Terranova said he expects to arrive in Louisville later this week.

The Toyota Blue Grass (GI) and Arkansas Derby (GI) are both a part of the Second Leg of the Championship Series on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and points will be awarded to the Top 4 finishers on a 100-40-20-10 scale. Currently ranked No. 20 with 20 points, Falling Sky likely will need a Top 3 or 4 finish in the Blue Grass or Arkansas Derby to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

Arriving at Churchill Downs on Monday morning for trainer Mark Casse was Dynamic Sky, runner-up to Falling Sky in the Sam F. Davis and most recently fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby. He is stabled in Stall 2 of Barn 36 and will train at Churchill Downs for a run in the Blue Grass at Keeneland.

“He vanned from Palm Meadows Monday and is doing well,” assistant trainer Norman Casse said. “He walked the shedrow today (Tuesday), he’ll gallop tomorrow and he’ll breeze on Saturday or Sunday.”

Currently No. 25 on the Leaderboard with 13 points, John Oxley’s Dynamic Sky likely will need a Top 3 finish in the Blue Grass to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby. 

Casse and Oxley’s other Kentucky Derby contender, Uncaptured, also is pointing to the Blue Grass and is stabled at Keeneland. Runner-up to Black Onyx in the Spiral (GIII) at Turfway Park, Uncaptured is currently ranked No. 13 on the Leaderboard with 30 points. A Top 4 finish in the Blue Grass could secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.