Trainer Todd Pletcher’s horses for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) contingent are expected to arrive at Louisville International Airport at 1:30 (all times Eastern) this afternoon after leaving its winter base at Palm Beach Downs in Florida Monday morning.
Pletcher expected starters for this year’s “Run for the Roses” are: China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and Winstar Farms’ Florida Derby (GI) winner Audible, Robert and Lawana Low undefeated Arkansas Derby champion Magnum Moon, WinStar Farm and Repole Stable’s Louisiana Derby (GII) hero Noble Indy and Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Wood Memorial (GII) victor Vino Rosso.
Included in the Pletcher travelers is 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, who will join his stablemates in Barn 40 where he was housed last year. The horses are expected to arrive at Churchill Downs at approximately 2 o’clock.
BRAVAZO – Calumet Farm’s Bravazo galloped 1 ½ miles Monday morning with exercise rider Danielle Rosier aboard for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.“This is a really tough Derby,” Lukas said. “Typically there are three or four horses who look like they can win but this year there are six or seven.”
Lukas has not confirmed a jockey for Bravazo.
“There is a lot that goes into the decision, especially in the Derby,” Lukas said. “My heart would right away say go with Gary Stevens because of the success we’ve had together but there is a lot more that goes into the decision.”
Bravazo is stabled in Barn 44.
COMBATANT/ DREAM BABY DREAM/RERIDE/ SNAPPER SINCLAIR – Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton’s Arkansas Derby (GI) fourth-place finisher Combatant is now inside the Kentucky Derby field after the defection of Quip from the field.
Combatant galloped 1 ½ miles Monday morning at Churchill Downs and was followed by Bloom Racing Stable’s Snapper Sinclair, runner-up in the Risen Star, and Dream Baby Dream Racing Stables’ Dream Baby Dream, second-place finisher in the Sunland Derby. Both horses are No. 22 and No. 25, respectively, on the Leaderboard.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ UAE Derby (GI) third-place Reride (No. 24) walked the shedrow Monday morning following his half-mile maintenance-move in :51.80 Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.
Asmussen’s quartet is located in Barn 38.
FLAMEAWAY – John Oxley’s Flameaway jogged early Monday morning over a sloppy track under exercise rider Chris Garraway for trainer Mark Casse.
It was the first day back on the track for Flameaway, who had worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Saturday.
Casse assistant Nick Tomlinson said Flameaway most likely would work again Saturday.
Jose Lezcano, who has been aboard Flameaway in his past three starts, has the Derby mount.
FREE DROP BILLY/PROMISES FULFILLED – Albaugh Family Stables’ Blue Grass (GII) third, Free Drop Billy and Robert Baron’s Fountain of Youth (GII) winner Promises Fulfilled walked trainer Dale Romans’ Barn 4 shedrow Monday morning.
Both horses are expected to return to the track for light training Tuesday morning, according to Romans.
GOOD MAGIC – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables Good Magic jogged once around a sloppy Churchill Downs oval under exercise rider Walter Malasquez during the special 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.
The champion 2-year-old of 2017, Good Magic arrived at Churchill Downs on Sunday from Keeneland where he won the Blue Grass Stakes (GII) on April 7 and worked a half-mile in :48 this past Saturday.
Trainer Chad Brown, who has been in Ocala, Florida, is expected to be in Louisville Tuesday. Jose Ortiz has the Derby riding assignment.
GRONKOWSKI – Phoenix Thoroughbreds and Rob Gronkowski’s Gronkowski’s Kentucky Derby status remains in flux. Trainer Jeremy Noseda reported Monday to The Racing Post, “We’ve had a minor setback and we will know where we are in the next 24 hours.”
LONE SAILOR – G M B Racing’s Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Lone Sailor galloped 1 ½ miles at 6 o’clock under exercise rider Maurice Sanchez for trainer Tom Amoss.
Jockey James Graham has the call on Lone Sailor in the Kentucky Derby, his first Derby mount.
MY BOY JACK – Don’t Tell My Wife Stables, Monomoy Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds’ My Boy Jack arrived from Keeneland at 2:30 Sunday afternoon and walked the shedrow Monday morning.
Julie Clark, assistant to trainer Keith Desormeaux, said the winner of the Southwest (GIII) and Lexington (GIII) is scheduled to go to the track Tuesday morning.
Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider Kent Desormeaux has the mount on My Boy Jack.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Likely starters in the 144th running of the $2 million, Grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve to be run for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, May 5: Audible (jockey Javier Castellano), Bolt d’Oro (Victor Espinoza), Bravazo (TBA), Enticed (Junior Alvarado), Firenze Fire (Paco Lopez), Flameaway (Jose Lezcano), Free Drop Billy (Robby Albarado), Good Magic (Jose Ortiz), Hofburg (Irad Ortiz Jr.), Justify (Mike Smith), Lone Sailor (James Graham), Magnum Moon (Luis Saez), Mendelssohn (Ryan Moore), My Boy Jack (Kent Desormeaux), Noble Indy (TBA), Promises Fulfilled (Corey Lanerie), Solomini (Flavien Prat), Vino Rosso (John Velazquez).
Possible starters within the Top 20 on the preference list: Combatant (TBA), Gronkowski (Jamie Spencer).
Next up in order of preference: Instilled Regard (TBA), Snapper Sinclair (TBA), Blended Citizen (Kyle Frey), Reride (TBA), Dream Baby Dream (TBA), Restoring Hope (TBA), Sporting Chance (TBA), Givemeaminit (TBA) and Pony Up (TBA).
KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE
BLAMED – Cleber Massey’s Blamed jogged twice around the track before 6 o’clock with exercise rider Luis Rojero aboard for trainer Joel Marr.
"She is used to going out early at home (Sunland Park),” Marr said of going to the track when he did as opposed to using the 7:30-7:45 training period reserved for Derby and Oaks horses.
Blamed, who arrived at Churchill Downs last Tuesday, worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Saturday under jockey Ken Tohill, who has been aboard Blamed for five consecutive victories and who will have the Oaks mount.
“She came out of the work fine and she did what she was supposed to do,” Marr said. “She will work again Friday or Saturday depending on the weather and how she is doing.”
CHOCOLATE MARTINI – Double Doors Racing’s Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) hero Chocolate Martini breezed five furlongs in 1:03.40 Monday at 6 a.m. for trainer Tom Amoss.
With jockey James Graham aboard, Chocolate Martini worked outside stablemate Patriot Drive (1:03.40) through opening eighth-mile splits of :13, :25.40 and :38.20 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:16.80, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
"We’re very proud of her,” Amoss said. “We really haven’t done much with her at all since we claimed her. She’s training well and is happy doing it. That’s exactly what you like to see leading into the Oaks.”
Chocolate Martini is stabled in Barn 29.
CLASSY ACT/PATRONA MARGARITA – Carl Moore Management’s Rachel Alexandra (GII) runner-up Classy Act jogged one mile at 5:30 a.m. Monday with exercise rider Simon Camacho aboard, alongside trainer Bret Calhoun’s stable pony ridden by his wife Sara Escudero-Calhoun.
Craig Upham’s Ashland (GI) third Patrona Margarita walked the shedrow Monday morning following her half-mile breeze in :48.80 Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.
Both fillies expected to train at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and are stabled in Calhoun’s Barn 23.
COACH ROCKS – Roddy Valente, RAP Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) winner Coach Rocks jogged one mile for trainer Dale Romans with exercise rider Faustino Herrarte aboard.
"She had probably one of the best breezes of her life Saturday when she went (five furlongs) in :59,” Romans said. “She’ll be ready to go for the Oaks.”
HEAVENHASMYNIKKI – Loooch Racing Stables’ Heavenhasmynikki, No. 16 on the points list for the Kentucky Oaks that is limited to the top 14 point earners that pass the entry box next Monday, galloped 1 ½ miles during the 7:30-7:45 training window under Jake Radesovich.
Third in the Davona Dale (GII) in her most recent start, Heavenhasmynikki worked five furlongs here in 1:02.60 on Friday.
"She worked well last Friday and if she works good again this Friday, we’ll take a shot,” trainer Anthony Quartarolo said.
MONOMOY GIRL/SASSY SIENNA/KELLY’S HUMOR – Monomoy Stables and Michael Dubb’s probable Kentucky Oaks favorite Monomoy Girl jogged one mile Monday morning at Churchill Downs for trainer Brad Cox with regular exercise rider David Garcia aboard.
The Ashland (GI) winner is expected to gallop tomorrow, according to Cox.
"I still think about winning that Grade I every day,” Cox said. “After I won one, I can’t wait to go win another. She came out of her work well.”
Medallion Racing and Jerry McClanahan’s upset Fantasy Stakes (GIII) winner Sassy Sienna jogged one mile with Edvin Vargas up.
Needing three defections to get in the Oaks field at No. 17, Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Kelly’s Humor jogged one mile. All three fillies are stabled in Cox’s Barn 22 at Churchill Downs.
MY MISS LILLY – Courtlandt Farms’ My Miss Lilly arrived at Churchill Downs mid-afternoon Sunday after a flight from New York and was on the track Monday morning to gallop 1 ½ miles under Emerson Chavez during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Oaks and Derby horses.
This track is always good when its wet and I wanted to let her get a feel of it,” trainer Mark Hennig said of the Gazelle (GII) winner.
Hennig will be watching the weather in planning My Miss Lilly’s final Oaks work.
"It will be Wednesday or Thursday and in a perfect world it will be Thursday,” Hennig said.
WONDER GADOT – Gary Barber’s Wonder Gadot galloped 1 ½ miles in a light drizzle after the second morning renovation break with exercise rider Orlando Cross aboard for trainer Mark Casse.
No Oaks rider has been confirmed for Wonder Gadot, who finished second in the Fantasy (GIII) in her most recent start.
Nick Tomlinson, assistant to Casse, said Wonder Gadot would work Friday or Saturday with Casse expected to be on hand.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Likely starters in the 144th running of the $1 million, Grade I Longines Kentucky Oaks to be run for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 4: Blamed (jockey Ken Tohill), Chocolate Martini (TBA), Classy Act (TBA), Coach Rocks (Saez), Eskimo Kisses (TBA), Midnight Bisou (TBA), Monomoy Girl (Florent Geroux), My Miss Lilly (Joe Bravo), Patrona Margarita (TBA), Rayya (Drayden Van Dyke), Sassy Sienna (Gary Stevens), Take Charge Paula (TBA), Wonder Gadot (TBA).
Possible Starters within the Top 14 on the preference list: Red Ruby (TBA).
Next up in order of preference: Exuberance (TBA), Heavenhasmynikki (TBA), Kelly’s Humor (TBA).
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