ANIMAL KINGDOM – Barry Irwin, chief executive officer of Team Valor International, notified Churchill Downs officials that Animal Kingdom, the 2 ¾-length winner of the Vinery Racing Spiral (GIII) at Turfway Park on March 26, would train at Keeneland on Thursday morning and then van to Churchill Downs that afternoon.
Trained by Graham Motion and to be ridden by Robby Albarado, Animal Kingdom is scheduled to breeze six furlongs on Saturday in company with Meistersinger according to Irwin.
ARCHARCHARCH – Robert Yagos’ Archarcharch had some company Wednesday morning when he went to the track with jockey Jon Court aboard.
Trainer Jinks Fires sent another 3-year-old named Supreme Ruler with his Arkansas Derby (GI) winner and the duo galloped once around at a two-minute lick.
“It is a training technique to get them in the bridle,” Fires said. “It gets them competitive training together.”
Fires plans to run Supreme Ruler in a Derby Week allowance race.
"He is a pretty good horse,” Fires said. “I sent him to New Mexico (for the Sunland Derby that was won by Twice the Appeal). He makes his big run at the end and that day in the races I saw, there were no closers closing that day. Where they were at the head of the stretch is where they finished.”
Fires plans to work Archarcharch work five furlongs prior to the Derby.
“I will work him when the track is suitable,” Fires said. “I probably should have worked him yesterday. I thought the track was a little hard early in the morning, but better after the break. But he just ran a mile and an eighth last Saturday and he is where he needs to be.”
DECISIVE MOMENT – Just for Fun Stable’s Decisive Moment walked the shedrow at Barn 41 as trainer Juan Arias elected not to take the homebred son of With Distinction out of the barn.
“His work is pushed back to Friday,” Arias said. “He will go to the track in the morning, but just to gallop.”
MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE – Arnold Zetcher’s homebred Midnight Interlude, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (GI), walked under the shedrow for three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert on Wednesday.
Midnight Interlude worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 on Tuesday in company with older stablemate Mythical Power in 1:13.80. Assistant trainer Jim Barnes said the War Chant colt came out of the work well.
MUCHO MACHO MAN – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Mucho Macho Man galloped two miles before the renovation break under exercise rider Mike Herra.
“I didn’t want to wait and take a chance of it being worse later,” trainer Kathy Ritvo said after Mucho Macho Man returned to the barn and 90 minutes before the rain subsided for the morning.
Mucho Macho Man is scheduled to work most likely on Sunday.
NEHRO – Zayat Stables’ Nehro, runner-up in the Arkansas Derby (GI) and Louisiana Derby (GII) for trainer Steve Asmussen, galloped a mile under exercise rider Carlos Rosas on Wednesday.
It was the first trip to the track for the son of Mineshaft since a five-furlong work in 1:02.80 over a sloppy track on Monday. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said Nehro came out of the work well.
The final pre-Derby work for Nehro is expected on Monday.
PANTS ON FIRE – George and Lori Hall’s Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Pants On Fire galloped a little more than a mile and a half.
Trainer Kelly Breen, whose first Kentucky Derby experience came in 2009 when he saddled West Side Bernie and Atomic Rain for the Halls, plans to work Pants On Fire on Saturday or Sunday.
Rosie Napravnik, seeking to become the first woman rider to win the Kentucky Derby, has the mount on Pants On Fire.
SANTIVA – Tom Walters’ Santiva walked the shedrow at Barn 31 a day after working a half-mile in :49.20 for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
Santiva will return to the track Thursday and have his final work for the Derby early next week.
SHACKLEFORD – Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge’s Shackleford galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break under Faustino Ramos.
Shackleford, trained by Dale Romans, is scheduled to work Saturday.
STAY THIRSTY/UNCLE MO – Trainer Todd Pletcher reported all was well with the Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo a day after the colt worked five furlongs in 1:01.80.
“So far, everything is good,” Pletcher said of the 2-year-old champion of 2010 who walked the shedrow Wednesday morning.
Uncle Mo is scheduled to return to the track Thursday morning.
His stablemate, Stay Thirsty, galloped a mile and three-eighths after the renovation break under exercise rider Fernando Espinoza.
Stay Thirsty is scheduled to work Sunday with Uncle Mo scheduled for Sunday or Monday.
TWICE THE APPEAL/SWAY AWAY – Jerry Hissam, agent for three-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider Calvin Borel, said Wednesday afternoon that Borel has picked up the Kentucky Derby mount on Sunland Derby (GIII) winner Twice the Appeal.
Borel, who has won the past two runnings of the Kentucky Derby on Mine That Bird and Super Saver, is one of five riders to win the Derby in consecutive years. No rider has won three consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
In accepting the ride on Twice the Appeal, Borel will again seek success in the Kentucky Derby aboard a horse whose road to Churchill Downs wound through New Mexico and Sunland Park. Mine That Bird finished fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Derby to his 2009 Kentucky Derby triumph under Borel at odds of 50-1, the second-largest upset in Kentucky Derby history.
Owned by Edward Brown Jr., Victor Flores and Henry Hernandez, and trained by Jeff Bonde, Twice the Appeal jogged two miles before the renovation break in a steady downpour under exercise rider Nate Quinonez.
Bonde’s other Kentucky Derby hopeful, Batman Stable, Philip Lebherz, Cindy Olsen, Janet Sharp and Glen Wallace et al’s Sway Away jogged with the pony in the mile chute under Quinonez.
TWINSPIRED – Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Twinspired galloped a mile and a half under Derrick Smith at Trackside Training Center for trainer Mike Maker.
Runner-up in the Toyota Blue Grass (GI) in his most recent start, Twinspired will be ridden in Derby 137 by Mike Smith, who won the 2005 Derby on Giacomo.
Maker also said that Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Derby Kitten, winner of last Saturday’s Coolmore Lexington (GIII) at Keeneland, would train up to the Derby should he get in. With $120,000 in graded stakes earnings, Derby Kitten would need several defections from horses under consideration for the Derby that is limited to 20 entries with the most graded earnings.
WATCH ME GO – Gilbert Campbell’s Watch Me Go arrived at Churchill Downs early Tuesday afternoon and spent Wednesday morning in Barn 41.
“He will not go to the track until Friday,” said Lucy Pompell, groom of Watch Me Go. “He is scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday.”
Pompell said that trainer Kathleen O’Connell is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Friday night.
Luis Garcia has the Derby mount on Watch Me Go.