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Rydilluc blows out for Blue Grass
Palm Beach winner Rydilluc completed his major preparations for Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes by breezing through the stretch Thursday morning at Keeneland.
Keeneland clockers began timing the colt at the three-eighths pole. With exercise rider Ricardo Orantes up, Rydilluc turned in fractions of :13 and :24 3/5 en route to completing three Polytrack furlongs in :37 2/5. The Medaglia d'Oro colt galloped out a half-mile in :51 3/5.
"That was just a walk in the park for him," trainer Gary Contessa said. "He will have an easy jog tomorrow (Friday) morning and that will be it."
A winner of his past three races on grass, Rydilluc never has raced on Polytrack. Thursday's blowout was his second work here following a seven-furlong move in 1:28 3/5 last Saturday.
"He gets over it well and I like what I have seen," Contessa said. "But confident? I feel the same about whether it is first-time dirt, first-time turf or first-time Polytrack. When he has six or eight horses behind him and another three or four in front, it puts a horse under a lot of stress when he steps up into races that separate the men from the boys."
Godolphin Racing's Footbridge, who arrived at Keeneland from his home base in Southern California on Wednesday afternoon, had his first taste of Keeneland's Polytrack surface Thursday morning as he galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Tim Neal.
"This is the first time I have seen him and he is pretty impressive," said Brian Ange, assistant to trainer Eoin Harty. "He has a nice way of going and he looks like the kind of horse you can do anything with."
Footbridge broke his maiden in his most recent start on March 17 at Santa Anita after being defeated in his previous start by a neck by Govenor Charlie. Govenor Charlie went on to win the Sunland Derby in his next start in track-record time to punch his ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
In other Blue Grass activity at Keeneland on Thursday morning, West Hills Giant had his first gallop over the track after having jogged on the surface the morning before.
"It looks like he is getting over it good," trainer John Terranova said after the colt's 1 1/2-mile exercise under Leo Garcia. "This is the first time he has been on the synthetic since we got him, but we started him on grass. The Giant's Causeways (grandsire of West Hills Giant) love this stuff."
Morning-line favorite Uncaptured and stablemate Dynamic Sky galloped 1 1/2 miles after the break for trainer Mark Casse. Wayne Brown was aboard Uncaptured and Juan Bernardini was on Dynamic Sky.
Java's War galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Danny Ramsey for trainer Ken McPeek.
With exercise rider Miguel Perez aboard for trainer Wesley Ward, Undrafted galloped 1 1/2 miles.
My Name Is Michael galloped 1 1/4 miles with Marnie Pacheco aboard for Rodolphe Brisset, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. At Keeneland to watch the colt was Jan Butzer, who with her husband, Barry, owns Sun Valley Farm in nearby Versailles, Kentucky. Sun Valley bred the Macho Uno colt and co-owns him with Adam Wachtel's Wachtel Stable.
The Chad Brown-trained Balance the Books galloped 1 3/4 miles under exercise rider Kriss Bon.
Ruth Schmidt, assistant to trainer Josie Carroll, was aboard Tesseron, who jogged a mile and galloped a mile.