Two of the likely top contenders for the Grade I, $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve – Arkansas Derby (GI) winner Omaha Beach and Wood Memorial victor Tacitus – arrived at Churchill Downs on Tuesday to begin their preparation for the “Run for the Roses.”

          Omaha Beach, trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, arrived at 3 p.m. (all times Eastern) Tuesday and is stabled in Barn 28. Owned by Fox Hill Farms, Omaha Beach became a top Kentucky Derby contender following his narrow victory over Game Winner in the March 16 Rebel Stales (GII) and one-length score over Improbable in last Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (GI).

          Arriving 11 hours prior to Omaha Beach was Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Tacitus for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Tacitus, a son of top sire Tapit, joined the Kentucky Derby fray with a victory in the March 9 Tampa Bay Derby (GII) prior to his 1 ¼-length win in the April 6 Wood Memorial (GII).

          Tacitus was reunited with his stablemate, and fellow Derby contender, Country House in Barn 19.

          A total of seven Kentucky Derby contenders are on the grounds at Churchill Downs; the others are By My Standards (Barn 23), Improbable (Barn 33), Long Range Toddy (Barn 38) and Plus Que Parfait (Barn 9). Anothertwistoffate (Barn 31) is also at Churchill Downs but needs three defections to gain entry into the Derby field. 

 

DOWN THE STRETCH – Possible Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) competitor Serengeti Empress returned to the Churchill Downs work tab Tuesday with a half-mile breeze in :47 at 7:30 a.m. Trained by Tom Amoss, Serengeti Empress worked through opening splits of :12 and :23.60 before galloping out five furlongs in :59.60 and six furlongs in 1:13.20. Amoss stated Serengeti Empress would likely work next week before he and owner Joel Politi decide her next race plans. … Fair Grounds Oaks runner-up Liora is expected to work Wednesday at 7:30 a.m., according to trainer Wayne Catalano. … Louisiana Derby winner By My Standards is scheduled to continue his Thursday work pattern with a published breeze at 5:45 a.m., according to trainer Bret Calhoun. … Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes was tentatively scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Thursday. Baffert’s first of three Derby contenders, Arkansas Derby runner-up Improbable, arrived Monday. His other likely runners, 2-year-old Champion Game Winner and Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Roadster, are stabled in California. … Saturday will be first day of the special training period for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders. The 15-minute exclusive training window from 7:30-7:45 a.m. will be livestreamed on the Kentucky Derby social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) along with KentuckyDerby.com. The full one-hour broadcast of the works show is slated to begin Monday at 7 a.m.