Trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) hopefuls arrived at Churchill Downs at 2:30 Monday afternoon with the trainer following a few hours later. On Tuesday morning, it was back to work.
At 7:30, during the special training window set aside for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses, the Pletcher quartet exited Barn 40 and made their way to the track through a light rain with all galloping 1 3/8 miles over a sealed, sloppy track.
Robert and Lawana Low’s undefeated Magnum Moon was partnered by Nick Bush, China Horse Club International, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm’s Florida Derby (GI) winner Audible was partnered by Amelia Green, WinStar Farm and Repole Stable’s Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Noble Indy had Carlos Cano aboard and Repole Stables and St. Elias Stable’s Wood Memorial (GII) winner Vino Rosso had Adele Bellinger aboard.
“They all handled the ship well (from Palm Beach Downs) and I thought they performed well this morning and the sloppy conditions were no issue,” said Pletcher, who won his second Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming.
Pletcher has riders confirmed for three of his hopefuls: two-time Derby winner John Velazquez on Vino Rosso, Luis Saez on Magnum Moon and Javier Castellano on Audible. Noble Indy’s rider is to be determined.
All four colts come into Derby 144 off victories and Pletcher plans to give them a work here this week.
" am leaning toward Friday (rather than Saturday),” Pletcher said. “It will depend on the weather and it looks like there may be some rain Friday afternoon.”
Pletcher plans to have his charges do some paddock schooling beginning Wednesday of Derby Week with gate schooling sessions to be determined.
BRAVAZO – Calumet Farm’s Bravazo galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning at 7:30 with exercise rider Danielle Rosier aboard for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
“I think he’s training really well,” Lukas said. “I think we’ll keep the race honest. That’s the best way to put it. I don’t think he has any limitations at 1 ¼ miles.”
Lukas has not confirmed a jockey for Bravazo.
COMBATANT/ DREAM BABY DREAM/RERIDE/ SNAPPER SINCLAIR – Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s quartet of Arkansas Derby (GI) fourth-place finisher Combatant (No. 19), Risen Star (GII) runner-up Snapper Sinclair (No. 21), UAE Derby (GI) third-place finisher Reride (No. 23) and Sunland Derby second-place finisher Dream Baby Dream (No. 24) all trained early Tuesday morning prior to the exclusive Derby/Oaks training session at 7:30.
Their Kentucky Derby statuses remain in flux.
FLAMEAWAY – John Oxley’s Flameaway jogged a mile and galloped a mile under Chris Garraway during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks horses.
The Mark Casse trainee, who will be ridden in the Derby by Jose Lezcano, is scheduled to work Saturday.
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 jogged one mile Tuesday morning for trainer Dale Romans.
Both horses are expected to breeze this weekend, according to Romans.
GOOD MAGIC – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables’ Good Magic galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Walter Malasquez during the 7:30-7:45 training period for Derby and Oaks horses.
Trainer Chad Brown was on hand to watch the morning activity after spending the past couple of days in Ocala, Florida.
“I am pretty much here (through the Derby),” Brown said. “There may be one day when I go back up to New York.”
The champion 2-year-old of 2017 who is fresh off a victory in the Blue Grass Stakes (GII) is scheduled to have his final pre-Derby work here this week.
“It will depend on the weather but most likely Saturday,” Brown said of the work day.
Brown said Good Magic would do some paddock schooling prior to the Derby and may visit the starting gate “because the gate crew likes to see them (before the race).”
HOFBURG – Juddmonte Farms’ Hofburg, runner-up in the Florida Derby in his most recent start, was expected to arrive at Churchill Downs around noon Tuesday from Payson Park in South Florida according to trainer Bill Mott.
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the Derby mount.
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.
The colt is scheduled to breeze this week, according to Amoss.
MY BOY JACK – Don’t Tell My Wife Stables, Monomoy Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds’ My Boy Jack galloped a little more than 1 ¼ miles under exercise rider Peedy Landry for trainer Keith Desormeaux.
Julie Clark, assistant to Desormeaux, said the trainer is expected to be in Louisville sometime Thursday with a work scheduled for Saturday.
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.), Instilled Regard (TBA), 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).
Next up in order of preference: 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 Sunland Park Oaks winner Blamed jogged twice around a sealed, sloppy track at 6 o’clock under exercise rider Luis Rojero for trainer Joel Marr.
"We were going to go to the gate today, but with the rain we just jogged,” Marr said. “Maybe it will be better tomorrow. We only get about 7 ½ inches of rain a year in El Paso. In April and May it (the weather forecast) is dry and dusty.”
Ken Tohill, who has been aboard the filly in her past five starts that have resulted in victories by a combined 30 ½ lengths, will have the Oaks mount.
Blamed is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday, depending on weather.
Marr said that Massey will be here only for the day of the Oaks.
CHOCOLATE MARTINI – Double Doors Racing’s Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Chocolate Martini walked trainer Tom Amoss’ Barn 29 shedrow Tuesday morning following her five-furlong breeze in 1:03.40 Monday morning.
CLASSY ACT/PATRONA MARGARITA – Carl Moore Management’s Rachel Alexandra (GII) runner-up Classy Act galloped 1 ½ miles at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday with exercise rider Simon Camacho aboard for trainer Bret Calhoun.
In Calhoun’s next string, Camacho was aboard Craig Upham’s Ashland (GI) third Patrona Margarita as she jogged one mile.
COACH ROCKS – Roddy Valente, RAP Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) winner Coach Rocks galloped 1 ½ miles for trainer Dale Romans with exercise rider Adrian Vincencio aboard.
“She looks better and better each day,” Romans said.
he Oxbow filly is expected to have her final breeze prior to the Kentucky Oaks this weekend, according to Romans.
HEAVENHASMYNIKKI – Loooch Racing Stables’ Heavenhasmynikki galloped 1 ½ miles during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks horses with Jake Radosevich aboard for trainer Anthony Quartarolo.
Heavenhasmynikki is scheduled to work Friday.
MONOMOY GIRL/SASSY SIENNA/KELLY’S HUMOR – Monomoy Stables and Michael Dubb’s probable Kentucky Oaks favorite Monomoy Girl galloped 1 5/8 miles Tuesday morning at 7:30 for trainer Brad Cox with regular exercise rider David Garcia aboard.
Monomoy Girl’s stablemate, Medallion Racing and Jerry McClanahan’s upset Fantasy Stakes (GIII) winner Sassy Sienna also galloped 1 ½ miles at 7:30 with Edvin Vargas up.
"That was a really solid effort in the Fantasy,” Cox said. “I know how excited Gary (Stevens) is to ride her in the Oaks. It’s been a good few weeks for our barn and I hope we can keep it going.”
Needing three defections to get in the Oaks field at No. 17, Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Kelly’s Humor galloped 1 ½ miles.
All three fillies are stabled in Cox’s Barn 22 at Churchill Downs.
MY MISS LILLY – Courtlandt Farms’ Gazelle (GII) winner My Miss Lilly galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Emerson Chavez for trainer Mark Hennig.
Joe Bravo has the Oaks mount on My Miss Lilly, who is expected to work Thursday.
WONDER GADOT – Gary Barber’s Wonder Gadot galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Orlando Cross for trainer Mark Casse during the 7:30-7:45 training period for Derby and Oaks horses.
Casse confirmed via text that John Velazquez would have the mount on Wonder Gadot in the Oaks. Velasquez has ridden the filly four times including a victory in the Demoiselle (GII).
Wonder Gadot is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday.
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 (John Velazquez).
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).