Albaugh Family Stable’s J Boys Echo breezed a half-mile in :49.20 Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 6.
J Boys Echo, with regular exercise rider Tammy Fox aboard, was clocked in splits of :12, :24.40 and :37 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.20 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:16 over a “fast” surface.
“It was a really solid work,” trainer Dale Romans said. “We’ll come back next Saturday and go a little faster. Only one hurdle left until the first Saturday in May.
The colt’s owner, Albaugh Family Stable, is based in Des Moines, Iowa with state’s richest man, Dennis Albaugh, at the helm. Albaugh’s net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion after he started a fertilizer company in 1979. Today, Albaugh, LLC is recognized as the largest, American-based, manufacturer and formulator of agricultural crop protection products.
The Albaugh Family Stable is no stranger to success in the racing industry. They won the 2016 Blue Grass with Brody’s Cause, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby.
J Boys Echo is stabled in Barn 4.
KENTUCKY DERBY ROUND-UP – With inclement weather on Saturday, Sunday morning was busier for Kentucky Derby contenders during Churchill Downs’ exclusive training session from 8:30-8:45 a.m. A video replay of the action can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40LNE7itWks:
- Blue Grass (Grade II) third-place finisher McCraken galloped 1 ¾ miles with regular exercise rider Yoni Orantes up. The Ghostzapper colt is scheduled to breeze Monday at 8:30 a.m. for trainer Ian Wilkes.
- Two of trainer Steve Asmussen’s Derby contenders came to the track after the renovation break – Sunland Derby winner Hence and Arkansas Derby third-place finisher Lookin At Lee. Hence is scheduled to breeze Monday morning between 6-6:30 a.m.
- Gotham winner J Boys Echo breezed a half-mile in :49.20 with regular exercise rider Tammy Fox aboard.
- Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire trained at 6:30 a.m. with exercise rider Martin Rivera aboard. The colt will continue to train in the first two sets, according to assistant trainer Norm Casse.
- Other Kentucky Derby contenders on the grounds include Rebel Stakes (GII) third-place finisher Untrapped, Florida Derby (GI) runner-up State of Honor and Florida Derby third-place finisher Gunnevera, who arrived at Barn 41 late Saturday night after a van ride from Florida.
Trackside Louisville, Churchill Downs’ satellite training facility located
five miles from the main track, Spiral Stakes (GIII) winner Fast and Accurate breezed five
furlongs in 1:00.20. Part ownership in the colt was recently acquired by
Olympic gold medal skier Bode
EVER SO CLEVER BREEZES FOR KENTUCKY OAKS – Sunday marked the return of Fantasy (Grade III) winner Ever So Clever to the Churchill Downs’ work tab after she breezing five furlongs in 1:02 for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen in preparation for the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I).
Ever So Clever recorded splits of :25.80 and :37.60 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.40 and seven furlongs in 1:29.80.
Ever So Clever began her Road to the Kentucky Oaks journey at Churchill Downs with a runner-up finish in the Pocahontas Stakes (GII) and a third-place finish in the Golden Rod (GII) as a juvenile.
Other Kentucky Oaks contenders who trained Sunday at Churchill Downs included Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Farrell, who is expected to breeze Wednesday or Thursday; Gazelle (GII) winner Miss Sky Warrior for trainer Kelly Breen; and Gazelle (GII) runner-up Lockdown for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) winner Salty had the day off and will return to the track Monday for trainer Mark Casse.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Likely starters in the 143rd running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) to be run for 3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles on Saturday, May 6: Always Dreaming (John Velazquez), Battalion Runner (TBA), Battle of Midway (Flavien Prat), Classic Empire (Julien Leparoux), Fast and Accurate (TBA), Girvin (Mike Smith), Gormley (Victor Espinoza), Gunnevera (Javier Castellano), Hence (TBA), Irap (Mario Gutierrez), Irish War Cry (Rajiv Maragh), J Boys Echo (Robby Albarado), McCraken (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Patch (TBA), Practical Joke (Joel Rosario), State of Honor (Jose Lezcano), Tapwrit (Jose Ortiz) and Thunder Snow (Ire) (Christophe Soumillon) and Untrapped (TBA).
Possible starters within the Top 20 on the preference list: Malagacy (TBA).\Next up in order of preference: Lookin At Lee (TBA), Sonneteer (Kent Desormeaux), Royal Mo (Gary Stevens), Local Hero (TBA) and Iliad (TBA).
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Likely starters in the 143rd running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) to be run for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 5: Abel Tasman (Mike Smith), Daddys Lil Darling (Robby Albarado), Ever So Clever (Luis Contreras), Farrell (Channing Hill), It Tiz Well (Corey Nakatani), Miss Sky Warrior (Paco Lopez), Paradise Woods (Flavien Prat), Sailor’s Valentine (Corey Lanerie), Salty (Joel Rosario), Tequilita (Luis Saez), Wicked Lick (Brian Hernandez Jr.) and Yorkiepoo Princess (Irad Ortiz Jr.).
Possible starters within the Top 14 on the preference list: Chanel’s Legacy (Alex Birzer) and Lockdown (TBA).
Next up in order of preference: Vexatious (Kent Desormeaux), Jordan’s Henny (TBA), Benner Island (TBA), Someday Soon (TBA), Mopotism (TBA) and Shane’s Girlfriend (TBA).
DOWN THE STRETCH – Trainer Chad Brown’s Blue Grass (GII) runner-up Practical Joke is scheduled to van to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Monday and will be stabled in Barn 42. … Wood Memorial (GII) winner Irish War Cry is expected to arrive at Churchill Downs from Maryland on April 30 or May 1, according to Director of Stalls Steve Hargrave. … Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Gormley breezed six furlongs in 1:15.80 Saturday at Santa Anita for trainer John Shirreffs. The Malibu Moon colt is expected to ship from California to Churchill Downs on May 1. … Arkansas Derby (GI) fourth-place finisher Sonneteer is expected to arrive at Churchill Downs on April 29. The colt will need two defections to make the field for the “Run for the Roses.” … The exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders at Churchill Downs continues through Thursday, May 4 from 8:30-8:45 a.m. The live stream presented by TwinSpires.com will be available at multiple sources including on Twitter via @KentuckyDerby and kentuckyderby.twitter.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentuckyderby; and www.kentuckyderby.com/workouts/live. The Twitter stream, available globally to logged-in and logged-out users, will also feature a timeline of Kentucky Derby related tweets alongside the live video itself.