The Chad Brown-trained duo of My Man Sam and Shagaf recorded their first serious preparations for the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I).
My Man Sam, a late-closing second in the April 9 Toyota Blue Grass (GI) behind Brody’s Cause, breezed a half-mile in :50.60 working outside of stablemate Majestic Affair shortly after the track opened. Churchill Downs clockers caught the son of Trappe Shot in fractions of :26 and :38.60 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.20 and six furlongs in 1:14.60.
Shagaf went a half mile in :48.40 producing fractions of :12.80, :24.60, :36.60 and a five-furlong gallop out of 1:01.20 and six furlongs in 1:14.60 during Churchill Downs’ special 8:30-8:45 a.m. training window, which is exclusive to possible starters in the Kentucky Derby and Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
“It was just a maintenance work, he worked early this morning,” Brown said of My Man Sam, who went out with the first set at 6 a.m. “I thought he worked terrific. He’s only run in one stakes race and he ran terrific from the 14 post in the Blue Grass. We were lucky enough to get up for second and have the points to get up and be in this position. [He is] a rapidly developing horse with a lot of talent that should be able to get a mile-and-a-quarter.
“We worked [Shagaf] by himself for the first time. He’s been getting a little aggressive in his works. I thought he went terrific. I was just so thrilled in his work. He’s a little bit better of a work horse. He went over the surface well and galloped out strong.”
Brown went on to discuss how different his two Derby contenders are during their morning workouts.
“They really are [different], and as they have developed, we adjust their training,” Brown said. “Shagaf is just a bigger, stronger and more willing work horse so we sent him alone today and it was the best he has ever worked in my eyes. My Man Sam is a horse who appreciates some company. He’s never been real flashy in the morning, but that’s exactly how he works when he runs well. It was just an easy maintenance work. He galloped out strong.”
Brown reflected on Shagaf’s last start in the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (GI), where he was fifth beaten four lengths behind eventual winner Outwork.
“The whole situation didn’t really work for him,” Brown said. “First of all the racetrack just wasn’t for him. It rained all day and he had only run on dry tracks. He didn’t really break well in the mud. He tried to make a run there in the final turn and ran into some horses in front of him and had to stop. As you can see here this week, he’s a huge horse with a big stride. He’s like a big locomotive going downhill. I’m not sure how much stopping you can do with a horse like that when you have his momentum going. It’s just one of those things that happen in horse racing sometimes, but the track was dry today and he worked terrific.”
In other Kentucky Derby related news, the Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Creator and Gun Runner are both scheduled to breeze Monday at 8:30 a.m.