ANIMAL KINGDOM – Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom galloped a mile and a half at 7:15 Friday morning, a little more than an hour earlier than the time reserved for Derby and Oaks horses.
Trainer Graham Motion said he couldn’t get Animal Kingdom and Team Valor International’s Kentucky Oaks candidate Summer Soiree out at the same time during the Derby-Oaks break so the Leroidesanimaux colt went out during the busier period.
“She’s quite strong and it was more important for her to have the quiet track,” Motion said. “Actually, I thought it would be better for him to have plenty of activity out there for him to look at.”
Motion said that jockey Robby Albarado, who will ride Animal Kingdom in the Derby, will be up for a scheduled breeze Saturday morning, probably after the renovation break. The work will either be five-eighths or three-quarters of a mile. It is the first breeze since the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (GIII) winner covered five furlongs in 1:02.80 on April 23. Motion noted that the Keeneland breeze didn’t go as planned because the workmate didn’t move along as quickly as expected.
"I would rather that he had done a little more in his work last week, but it’s not the end of the world. He’ll get a decent work here (on Saturday).” Motion said.
Motion will fly back to Maryland Saturday afternoon so he can oversee a work by his other Derby horse, Toby’s Corner, Sunday morning at the Fair Hill training center in Elkton, Md. Toby’s Corner, winner of the Wood Memorial (GI), is scheduled to be shipped by van from Fair Hill to Churchill Downs on Monday.
Eddie Castro will ride Toby’s Corner in the Derby.
ARCHARCHARCH – Robert Yagos’ Archarcharch indicated his readiness for Kentucky Derby 137 by working a bullet five furlongs in :59.40 under jockey Jon Court after the renovation break Friday morning.
Working in company with Supreme Ruler, Archarcharch broke off a length behind his workmate, quickly drew on even terms and finished seven lengths clear.
Fractions for the work were :11.60, :23, :35, :47.60 and out six furlongs in 1:12.80. The time was the fastest of 58 at the distance, sharing the bullet for the morning with Arienza.
“I thought the work went very well,” trainer Jinks Fires said. “Jon asked him to go and he went. He’s just a fast horse, Han awesome kind of horse and a horse like that makes you excited to get up in the morning.”
Fires said that the Friday work would be the last for Archarcharch before the Derby.
“He will gallop up to the race,” Fires said. “I was waiting all week to work and just waiting on Mother Nature.”
Archarcharch comes into the Runs for the Roses off a win in the Arkansas Derby (GI) on April 16.
"I feel that he has gotten better since the Arkansas Derby and Jon feels that way, too,” Fires said. “I’ve felt good about him all along since the first time we worked him. We are just hoping for a good trip for him and hope that happens.”
BRILLIANT SPEED – Live Oak Plantation’s Brilliant Speed arrived at Churchill Downs Friday following a van ride from Keeneland. Brilliant Speed, who arrived at 2:15 p.m. (EDT), is stabled in Barn 42.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Brilliant Speed earned his ticket to Kentucky Derby 137 with a nose victory in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) on April 16. Albertrani said the colt would work Monday.
DECISIVE MOMENT – Trainer Juan Arias sent Just For Fun Stable’s Decisive Moment to the Churchill Downs track Friday for a five-furlong work, completed in 1:01.40 under jockey Jesus Castanon.
"He did excellent. That’s what I wanted him to do. I told Jesus, ‘Last time we worked we worked a bullet, so you don’t need to go that fast this time,’ ’’ said Arias, whose colt turned in splits of :12.60, :25.20, :37, :49.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15. “We aimed for between 1:01 and 1:02, so it was right on the money.”
Decisive Moment, whose second-place finishes in the Delta Jackpot (GIII) in late November and Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (GIII) at Turfway Park in his most recent start gave him the graded earnings to make the Derby field, was the first Kentucky Derby contender to arrive at Churchill Downs on March 28.
“He loves this atmosphere. He got here early enough that he got acclimated to the weather. By being here early I think it helps a lot,” said Arias, a Calder Race Course-based trainer. “He just loves Churchill Downs. He feels ready to party; he’s ready to dance to any kind of music. He can dance.”
The stretch of rainy weather during his extended stay at Churchill has not dampened Arias’ enthusiasm over his Derby experience. In fact, the less-than-ideal conditions have bolstered his confidence in his Florida-bred colt.
“I came early enough that I’ve been able to train him over different type of conditions on this track,” he said. “He’s adjusted to every one of them excellent.
Arias never has saddled a Derby starter and is intent on enjoying the experience to the fullest.
“This is what you get up for every day. You get up; do your job; do the best you can with the stock that you have; rotate horses until you get the chance to run into a horse like Decisive Moment,” the native Panamanian said. “This is very exciting. This is a world class race.”
MASTER OF HOUNDS – Tony Matos, agent for jockey Garrett Gomez, said Friday morning that Gomez has been confirmed to ride Mrs. John Magnier’s Master of Hounds in Kentucky Derby 137.
Sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GII) here last fall under John Murtagh and runner-up in the UAE Derby (GII) in his lone 2011 start under Ryan Moore, Master of Hounds is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE – Arnold Zetcher’s Midnight Interlude, galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break under exercise rider Dana Barnes.
The Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert will work again, possibly on Monday, but Baffert said the decision on when to train will be based on the weather.
Victor Espinoza, who rode War Emblem to victory in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, the most recent of Baffert’s three Derby wins, will ride Midnight Interlude in the Kentucky Derby.
MUCHO MACHO MAN – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Mucho Macho Man schooled in the Churchill Downs paddock Friday after his morning gallop.
"He backed up to the wire and galloped two miles. He pulled up and went back to the paddock and schooled,” trainer Kathy Ritvo said. “He was good.”
She plans to work Mucho Macho Man either Saturday or Sunday.
"I’m not sure. I’m going to look at the weather. I want to try to work him on a dry track, so we’ll do whatever we can to work on a dry track,” said Ritvo, whose Derby candidate worked seven furlongs over a sloppy Churchill Downs track last Sunday. “I probably would like to work on Sunday. But if Saturday is the only day the track is dry, I’ll work Saturday.”
Ritvo has been pleased with her Florida-bred colt’s handling of the Churchill surface during his gallops and his workout.
“He’s been going perfect. Even in the mud, he galloped perfect and he worked good in the mud,” she said. “He galloped today good.”
The South Florida-based trainer said Mucho Macho Man was responding well to the cooler temperatures in Louisville.
“It’s good for the horse. I don’t know about Kathy though,” Ritvo quipped while clutching at the ends of her jacket collar. “I hadn’t seen the sun in days.”
Mucho Macho Man, who’ll be ridden by Rajiv Maragh, hasn’t raced since March 26 in the Louisiana Derby (GII), in which he finished a close third after losing a shoe shortly after the start.
“I think he’s done really well. He has really good consistent works, long works. He’s galloped out well after all of his works. What we’re interested in are the next three races, so we wanted him to come into this race as a fresh horse,” Ritvo said.
NEHRO – Zayat Stable’s Nehro continued his preparations for Kentucky Derby 137 with a one-mile gallop over a “fast” track on Friday at Churchill Downs.
Regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas was in the saddle aboard the Steve Asmussen-trained son of Mineshaft when he went to the track around 6:15 a.m. (EDT).
Nehro’s final pre-Derby work is set for Monday, May 2. Assistant Scott Blasi said the colt would probably work in one of Asmussen’s early sets, but that could change if weather becomes a factor.
PANTS ON FIRE – George and Lori Hall’s Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Pants On Fire galloped a little less than a mile and a half after the renovation break under exercise rider Juan Pizarro.
Trainer Kelly Breen is keeping a close eye on the weather to determine whether the Louisiana Derby (GII) winner would work Saturday or Sunday.
“I’d rather work Sunday and give the track another day to dry out,” Breen said.
Rosie Napravnik, who will have the mount in Derby 137, is scheduled to be aboard for the work.
SANTIVA – Tom Walters’ Santiva galloped a mile and a half following the renovation break.
Trainer Eddie Kenneally said the Giant’s Causeway colt is doing well and may have a light breeze on Monday or Tuesday, depending on the weather.
Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on Santiva in the Derby
SHACKLEFORD – Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge’s Shackleford galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break under exercise rider Faustino Ramos.
Trainer Dale Romans said the Florida Derby (GI) runner-up would work in the morning after the renovation break with Tammy Fox aboard for the move as she was last week when Shackleford worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.20.
Jesus Castanon has the Derby mount.
STAY THIRSTY/UNCLE MO – Repole Stable’s double-barreled Kentucky Derby entry of Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Hector Ramos was aboard Uncle Mo, and Fernando Espinoza was aboard Stay Thirsty. Mike Repole’s Derby contenders are expected to work together in their final pre-Derby training move on Sunday.
TWICE THE APPEAL/SWAY AWAY – Edward Brown Jr., Victor Flores and Henry Hernandez’s Sunland Derby (GIII) winner Twice the Appeal jogged before the renovation break under exercise rider Nate Quinonez.
Trained by Jeff Bonde, Twice the Appeal is scheduled to work Saturday morning at 6:05 under Calvin Borel.
Bonde’s other Kentucky Derby hopeful, Batman Stable, Philip Lebherz, Cindy Olsen, Janet Sharp and Glen Wallace et al’s Sway Away also jogged and is scheduled to work Saturday. Sway Away is 24th on the list of potential Kentucky Derby entrants for a field that is limited to the top 20 graded stakes earners.
TWINSPIRED/DERBY KITTEN – Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Twinspired galloped a mile and a half at the Trackside Training Center under exercise rider Derrick Smith for trainer Mike Maker.
Maker plans to work the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) runner-up around 8:30 Saturday morning at Trackside.
Also galloping at Trackside Friday morning was Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Coolmore Lexington (GIII) winner Derby Kitten, who sits 22nd on the list of graded stakes earners considering a Derby run.
WATCH ME GO – Gilbert Campbell’s Watch Me Go galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Louie Feliciano following the renovation break Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Groom Lucy Pompell reported that Campbell’s homebred colt has settled in nicely at Barn 41 since arriving on Tuesday.
"He’s nice and relaxed. I think he likes the scenery and the nice green grass,” Pompell said.
Pompell expressed excitement about her first involvement with a Derby horse.
“I’m a winner already, you know,” she said.
Trainer Kathleen O’Connell was scheduled to arrive in Louisville Friday afternoon and will supervise a workout Saturday or Sunday for Watch Me Go.
No rider has been confirmed for Watch Me Go.