G M B Racing’s TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (Grade II) runner-up Lone Sailor fired a bullet five-furlong move in :57.60 Thursday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) on Saturday, May 5.
With jockey James Graham aboard, Lone Sailor started nine lengths behind workmates Pearl’s Opinion (:59.80) and Blaze a Trail (1:01) and clipped through eighth-mile splits of :11.80, :22.60, :34 and :45.60, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.60 and finishing two lengths in front, according to veteran Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
“The work was very fast,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “However, the track was also really fast. So, you have to take that into consideration more than the time.”
Lone Sailor’s breeze may have been the fastest five-furlong workout recorded at Churchill Downs in the last decade, according to Nichols.
“The last horse I can recall going that fast was Hard Spun on April 30, 2007 when he went :57.60 with opening splits of :22 and :33.40 before running second in the Derby,” Nichols said.
Lone Sailor, a son of Majestic Warrior, finished a neck behind Noble Indy in the March 24 Louisiana Derby and a half-length in front of third-place finisher My Boy Jack, who returned to win last weekend’s Lexington (GIII) at Keeneland.
“I think the Kentucky Derby has had some significant preps,” Amoss said. “The Santa Anita Derby and the Florida Derby were both significant races. Lone Sailor is a horse that rightfully belongs in the Derby. He earned his way in there, but to win this race he has to improve.”
Including Lone Sailor (Barn 29), there are five horses within the Kentucky Derby field stabled on the Churchill Downs backstretch: Bravazo (trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Barn 44); Flameaway (Mark Casse, Barn 36); Free Drop Billy (Dale Romans, Barn 4); and Promises Fulfilled (Romans, Barn 4).
Flameaway, Free Drop Billy, and Promises Fulfilled are on target to breeze Saturday, according to their respective trainers, while Bravazo could breeze Friday or Saturday, according to assistant trainer Sebastian “Bas” Nicholl.
Training hours at Churchill Downs are 5:30-10 a.m. with two renovation breaks at 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Derby and Oaks horses will have an exclusive training window beginning Saturday from 7:30-7:45 a.m.