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Hoppertunity, General A Rod Work at Churchill / Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands Update for Wednesday, April 23

| Churchill Downs | 04/24/2014 #
  • General a Rod turned in his first work at Churchill Downs on Wednesday (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

  • Hoppertunity worked outside of older stablemate Drill for trainer Bob Baffert (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (No. 2)/GENERAL A ROD (No. 15)/HARRY’S HOLIDAY (No. 20) – J. Armando Rodriguez’s General a Rod recorded his first official work at Churchill Downs in preparation for Kentucky Derby 140, covering five furlongs in 1:03.40 with splits of :13, :26.20, 39 and out six furlongs in 1:17.60 with exercise rider Joel Barrientos up for trainer Mike Maker.

General a Rod’s work came after the morning renovation break and was followed by Barrientos aboard Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Vicar’s In Trouble, who galloped.

“They’re all in good shape,” Maker said. “General a Rod had a routine, maintenance work, so we’ll work him back in six days and go from there.”

Skychai Racing, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner’s Harry’s Holiday was one of the first horses on the track after it opened at 5:45 to gallop under Barrientos.

DANCE WITH FATE (No. 3) – Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing’s Dance With Fate, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, is scheduled to work Saturday morning on the turf at Santa Anita according to trainer Peter Eurton.

Dance With Fate is scheduled to ship to Louisville on Monday. Corey Nakatani has the mount.

DANZA (No. 6)/INTENSE HOLIDAY (No. 8)/WE MISS ARTIE (No. 10)/VICEREMOS (No. 19) – Three of trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Kentucky Derby possible entrants galloped after the renovation break at Churchill Downs.

Making their initial appearances beneath the Twin Spires were Starlight Racing’s Intense Holiday and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie, both of whom arrived from Florida Tuesday afternoon. Isabelle Bourez was aboard Intense Holiday and Nick Bush was on We Miss Artie.

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Danza, winner of the Arkansas Derby (GI), was partnered by Ezequiel Perez.

Vinceremos, owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, was scheduled to arrive at the Pletcher barn after training hours from WinStar, where he had been since the Blue Grass Stakes (GI).

Pletcher has not confirmed a rider for Vinceremos. Joe Bravo has the mount on Danza, Javier Castellano on We Miss Artie and John Velazquez on Intense Holiday.

HOPPERTUNITY (No. 7)/CHITU (No. 12)/BAYERN (No. 23) – Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Hoppertunity worked five furlongs in company in 1:00.20 after the renovation break with Rosie Napravnik up.

Working in company with Drill, a 5-year-old multiple graded stakes winner, Hoppertunity recorded fractions of :12.40, :24.40, :36.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.20, seven-eighths in 1:26.60 and a mile in 1:41.60. The five-eighths move was the second fastest of 15 at the distance.

"I was happy with the work,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I thought it went well even though the workmate didn’t put up much of a fight and lost interest.”

Hoppertunity, who arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday, enters Derby 140 off a runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) behind probable Derby favorite California Chrome.

“I was happy with the way he ran (in the Santa Anita Derby) and he finished well,” Baffert said. “I didn’t think he was going to beat California Chrome, but he ran a good, solid race.

“He (Hoppertunity) is a laid-back horse and he is not going to wow you. He is just a steady horse and he moves well over the track. We know he can run.”

Tanma Corporation’s Chitu galloped after the break under Dana Barnes and Kaleem Shah’s Bayern jogged before the break under Jorge Alvarez.

Baffert entered both in Saturday night’s $150,000-added Derby Trial (GIII).

“Bayern likes this track, so I am going to enter him in the Trial and watch for defections (from the Derby field),” Baffert said. “I think the Trial would set him up for the Preakness well.”

As for Chitu, Baffert said, “I am going to enter him, but I am not sure if he will run. This gives me an option. He’s a lazy work horse. He needs to get one good work and I want to see how he trains.”

WILDCAT RED (No. 9) – Honors Stable Corp.’s Wildcat Red galloped 1 1/8 miles under exercise rider Juan Belmonte after the renovation break.

Trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red arrived at Churchill Downs Tuesday afternoon from his South Florida base. Garoffalo is scheduled to be here Friday and Wildcat Red will work Saturday or Sunday with jockey Luis Saez slated to be aboard.

RIDE ON CURLIN (No. 11) – Daniel Doughtery’s Arkansas Derby (GI) runner-up Ride On Curlin galloped a mile in 1:57.40 but stretched his legs down the lane and finished the final quarter in :26.20 after the renovation break under exercise rider Bryan Beccia.

Conditioned by Billy Gowan, Ride On Curlin is scheduled to breeze most likely on Saturday, depending on weather.

TAPITURE (No. 13) – Ron Winchell’s Tapiture galloped early Wednesday morning with Abel Flores aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen.

MEDAL COUNT (No. 16) –  Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count, runner-up in the Blue Grass (GI) last out, galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Faustino Aguilar for trainer Dale Romans.

Medal Count, who will be ridden in Kentucky Derby 140 by Robby Albarado, is scheduled to work Saturday, weather permitting, according  to  Romans.

CANDY BOY (No. 17) – C R K Stable’s Candy Boy jogged early Wednesday morning under exercise rider Jelani Grant for trainer John Sadler.

It was the first day at the track for Candy Boy, who arrived from Southern California on Monday and walked the shedrow Tuesday. Sadler is expected to be at the barn in the morning.

UNCLE SIGH (No. 18) – Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson’s Uncle Sigh is scheduled to work Friday morning on the Belmont Park Training Track around 9:30 according to trainer Gary Contessa.

Contessa said Uncle Sigh would leave New York by van early Saturday morning with a Saturday evening arrival at Churchill Downs anticipated. Contessa will fly to Louisville on Sunday. Irad Ortiz Jr., is scheduled to ride Uncle Sigh in the Derby.

COMMANDING CURVE (No. 21) – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Commanding Curve, third in the Louisiana Derby (GII) in his most recent start, galloped after the renovation break for trainer Dallas Stewart under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.

Commanding Curve stands 21st on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard presented by Twinspires.com.”

SOCIAL INCLUSION (No. 24) – Rontos Racing Stable’s Social Inclusion is scheduled to work Thursday morning at Gulfstream Park.

BIG BAZINGA (No. 25) – Derby Dreamers Racing Stable’s Big Bazinga galloped 1 ½ miles under Loren Diego after the renovation break. Big Bazinga, trained by Katerina Vassilieva, is scheduled to work Saturday.

Click here for a PDF copy of the Kentucky Derby Presented byYum! Brands and Longines Kentucky Oaks Update for Wednesday, April 23.

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