AMERICAN LION – WinStar Farm’s American Lion galloped after the renovation break over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Paul Turner up.
American Lion, who is trained by Eoin Harty, is scheduled to work Monday.
AWESOME ACT – Mrs. Susan Roy and Vinery Stables’ Awesome Act returned to the track two days after working six furlongs in 1:12.60 for an easy gallop with assistant trainer Wayne Tanner up.
Awesome Act, trained by Jeremy Noseda, is scheduled to work Tuesday.
BACKTALK – Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk galloped over a “wet-fast” track early Friday morning with Maurice Sanchez aboard.
Trainer Tom Amoss has scheduled a Sunday work for Backtalk, but with more rain in the Louisville forecast the next two days, Amoss is toying with the idea of taking Backtalk to Keeneland to work over the all-weather Polytrack surface.
CONVEYANCE/LOOKIN AT LUCKY – Trainer Bob Baffert had his two hopefuls for Kentucky Derby 136 gallop after the renovation break over a sloppy track. Dana Barnes was aboard Lookin At Lucky, who is owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, and Peter Hutton was on Conveyance, who is owned by Zabeel Racing International Corp.
The two colts are scheduled for their final pre-Derby works on Monday.
DEAN’S KITTEN / STATELY VICTOR – With eyes on the dark sky and a weather forecast that called for additional rain and storms on Saturday, trainer Mike Maker moved the pre-race works for his Kentucky Derby duo of Thomas and Jack Conway’s Stately Victor and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Dean’s Kitten up a day and sent both horses to the sloppy track at Trackside Louisville training center in the company of workmates.
Stately Victor, a son of Ghostzapper who crashed the Kentucky Derby picture with a shocking 40-1 victory in the Toyota Blue Grass (GI) at Keeneland, worked over the six-furlong oval just after the mid-session break for track maintenance. He worked five furlongs under Marvin Jimenez in company with the 3-year-old Kera’s Kitten and completed the distance in 1:00.60. Stately Victor covered the distance in fractions of :11, :22.40, :34.60, :and :47.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.60.
Kera’s Kitten, winner of the WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park, was ridden by Derrick Scott and was timed in:1:00.80 for five furlongs.
For the second consecutive week, Lane’s End Stakes (GII) winner and Kentucky Derby hopeful Dean’s Kitten worked in company with the 3-year-old filly Age of Humor, Maker’s candidate for the Kentucky Oaks.
The pair worked as a team into the stretch and Age of Humor, wearing Ramsey Farm blinkers and ridden by Scott, edged ahead in upper stretch. But Dean’s Kitten, with Jiminez up, rallied and the two finished together in 1:01.20. The duo covered the distance in fractional times of :11.20, :22.60, :35.60 and :47.80.
The move by Stately Victor was his first serious training move since his breakthrough victory over a synthetic Polytrack surface in the Toyota Blue Grass and only significant move prior to the May 1 Kentucky Derby.
“I was looking for what we got,” Maker said. “He did it well within himself and galloped out strong as usual. So it’s status quo. He hasn’t lost an ounce of weight and to me looks to me as beautiful as he was going into the Blue Grass, so hopefully his synthetic track [form] will transfer over the to the dirt.”
Maker was just as happy with the work by Dean’s Kitten, who was pushed along by Age of Humor, an improving filly who appears unlikely to draw-in to the 14-horse Kentucky Oaks field because of insufficient earnings in graded stakes races.
“It was a similar-type work and the results were about the same as last week,” he said. “Dean’s Kitten is not an impressive work horse, so he’s status quo as well.”
Maker’s Kentucky Derby duo must ship to Churchill Downs from Trackside Louisville by Thursday of Derby Week. He would have preferred to keep the horses at Trackside until Derby morning, but the move is not a significant factor in his mind.
“I’d like to, but they’ll get a trip around the track, school in the [starting] gate and the paddock and we’ll lead ‘em over there,” he said.
DISCREETLY MINE/ESKENDEREYA/MISSION IMPAZIBLE/RULE/SUPER SAVER – Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Mission Impazible was the first of trainer Todd Pletcher’s Kentucky Derby hopefuls to go to the track Friday, galloping a mile and a quarter under Kevin Willey over a track labeled as “wet-fast.”
Following the renovation break and on a track labeled as “sloppy” after morning-long rains the quartet of WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, Zayat Stables’ Eskendereya, E. Paul Robsham Stables’ Discreetly Mine and WinStar Farm’s Rule galloped a mile and a quarter.
Willey was on Super Saver; Obed Perez on Discreetly Mine, Carlos Cano on Esekendereya and Patti Barry on Rule.
Pletcher plans to work the quintet over the next two days depending on weather. Rain is in the forecast for the next two mornings.
“Usually we work our horses five, six or seven days out, so we are still in that window,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully we can get some of them in tomorrow morning and the rest Sunday, but we will just monitor the weather and see.”
DUBLIN – Robert Baker and William Mack’s Dublin galloped under exercise rider Arielle Witkowski following the renovation break.
EIGHTYFIVEINAFIFTY – Lerner, Moirano Team Stallion Racing Corp, Contessa, Cohen, et al’s Eightyfiveinafifty galloped after the renovation break under Nick Santagata in his final exercise prior to Saturday’s The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII).
ENDORSEMENT – WinStar Farm’s Endorsement jogged over a sloppy track under trainer Shannon Ritter after the renovation break.
Ritter is planning to work Endorsement on Sunday, but that could change with plenty of rain in the forecast.
“I may change it, but it won’t be Saturday,” Ritter said. “We are just waiting for our window of opportunity and he could work Monday or even go to Tuesday.”
HOMEBOYKRIS – Lazzinnaro, Bulger, Mandato, Diamond Pride, Tabraue Sallusto and Teel’s Homeboykris walked the shedrow at Barn 45.
ICE BOX/JACKSON BEND – Robert LaPenta’s Florida Derby (GI) winner Ice Box sizzled a half-mile in company with 3-year-old stablemate Morning Line, covering the distance in :46.40 over a sloppy track under Megan Smillie.
Fractions on the work, the fastest of 27 at the distance, were :11.60, :22.80, :34.80 and out five-eighths in :59.60.
“The work was really good and his gallop out was even more impressive,” said trainer Nick Zito, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1991 with Strike the Gold and in 1994 with Go for Gin.
Did Ice Box gallop out all the way to the kitchen by the half-mile pole?
“Yes. Yes he did, just like Strike the Gold,” Zito said beaming as he recalled the colt’s final work before his Kentucky Derby victory.
As Ice Box was finishing up his activity, the siren for a loose horse went off.
“That will make you old in a hurry,” Zito said after Ice Box was back at the barn without incident.
Zito’s other Kentucky Derby hopeful, Jackson Bend who is owned by Jacks or Better Farm and LaPenta, walked the shedrow after working a half-mile in :47.20 on Thursday.
“I hope he gets in,” Zito said of Jackson Bend, who may not have enough graded stakes earnings to make the 20-horse field. “Both horses are doing well and he (Jackson Bend) is a real consistent horse.”
LINE OF DAVID/SIDNEY’S CANDY – Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Sidney’s Candy was on the track shortly before 6 a.m. when the track was rated “wet-fast” to gallop under exercise rider Lupillo Alferez.
“I wanted to get him out there before the track got cut up,” trainer John Sadler said of the early activity that was accomplished in light showers.
Looking on was jockey Joe Talamo, who will be aboard for Sidney’s Candy’s final work that is scheduled for Saturday.
“I’m just going to check the weather and see how things are in the morning,” Sadler said. “We planned the workout a week out knowing I had a day I could play with. He worked six days before he won the Santa Anita Derby.”
Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Line of David stood in the starting gate and then galloped under Alferez. Line of David is scheduled to work again Monday.
MAKE MUSIC FOR ME – Ellen and Peter Johnson’s Make Music for Me galloped a mile and three-eighths under Andy Durnin after the renovation break.
Trainer Alexis Barba is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Saturday from her Southern California base.
NOBLE’S PROMISE – Chasing Dreams Racing 2008’s Noble’s Promise galloped after the morning renovation break under Walter Blum Jr.
Noble’s Promise is scheduled to work Monday.
PADDY O’PRADO – Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, runner-up in the Toyota Blue Grass (GI), zipped five furlongs in a rapid :58.40 – the fastest of 21 moves at the distance – in his final major work before next week’s 136th “Run for the Roses.”
Former jockey Tammy Fox was in the saddle as the Dale Romans-trained son of El Prado appeared to relish the sloppy track in a work that was moved up a day because of the threat of heavier rain and storms on Saturday. Paddy O’Prado covered the distance in fractions of :12.20, :23.60, :35 and :46.40, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:ll.40, seven furlongs in :1:25.60 and a mile in 1:41.40.
“He went perfect – I couldn’t be more pleased with how he went,” Romans said. “He went fast, but he was well in hand, finished strong and galloped out good.”
Paddy O’Prado’s major success in his young career has come on grass and synthetic surfaces, but Romans said he was not surprised by the colt’s swift move on the traditional dirt surface at Churchill Downs.
“He sure didn’t mind the mud today,” he said. “The 58-and-change is awfully fast. I didn’t know he had that in him, but I’m kind of glad to see it.
“He couldn’t be coming into the race any better. This is a race in which you need to be peaking – and it looks like he’s peaking.”