Trainer Jeff Bonde wasted little time in getting a serious training move at Churchill Downs into Edward Brown Jr., Victor Flores and Henry Hernandez’s Kentucky Derby 137 (Grade I) contender and Sunland Park Derby (GIII) winner Twice the Appeal.
The 3-year-old son of Successful Appeal arrived at Churchill Downs on a flight from California on Tuesday, but made a quick turnaround to beat heavy rain forecast for the region over the weekend and breezed six furlongs over a fast track in 1:17.20 on Friday morning. Fractional times for Twice the Appeal were :13.40 for the opening furlong, :51 for the half-mile and five furlongs in 1:03.60. He covered his final quarter mile in :26.20.
Twice the Appeal is stabled in Barn 42.
SPECIAL TRAINING PERIOD FOR KENTUCKY DERBY AND OAKS HORSES BEGINS SATURDAY – A special training period devoted exclusively to contenders for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) is scheduled to start Saturday, April 23.
Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge’s Shackleford, a narrow loser in the $1 million Florida Derby (GI) to likely Kentucky Derby favorite Dialed In, is scheduled to work for trainer Dale Romans during the first Derby/Oaks training session during which the track will be reserved exclusively for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders. That session is set approximately 8:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) and follows the break for track maintenance.
The 15-minute daily Derby/Oaks training sessions will continue through Thursday, May 5.
Risen Star (GII) winner Mucho Macho Man is scheduled to work at Churchill Downs either Saturday or Sunday, according to trainer Kathy Ritvo. Ritvo said the decision on whether the Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable colt works on Saturday would likely hinge on the amount of rain falling on Saturday.
Mucho Macho Man spent some time in the Churchill Downs starting gate on Friday before a routine gallop.
Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, winner of the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (GIII) over the synthetic Polytrack course at Turfway Park, had been scheduled to work over the Churchill Downs strip on Saturday, but Team Valor’s Barry Irwin and trainer Graham Motion elected to remain at Keeneland and work over the Polytrack course as the Lexington track.
The National Weather Service office in Louisville has advised that one to four inches of rain could fall on the already soaked Louisville-Southern Indiana region by Saturday night.
DERBY 137 NOTES – Trainer Todd Pletcher plans to work Repole Stable’s Gotham (GIII) winner Stay Thirsty on Sunday and reigning juvenile champion Uncle Mo on Tuesday. Three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel is scheduled to be in the saddle for the work by Stay Thirsty. He will work both horses at approximately 8:30 a.m. during the 15-minute work session for Derby and Oaks contenders. … Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Pants On Fire and trainer Kelly Breen are scheduled for a Tuesday arrival at Churchill Downs