Black Onyx, 1 ½-length winner of the Spiral (GIII), breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning in his first major training move since his victory at Turfway Park on March 23.
Working on the outside of the Eddie Kenneally-trained duo of Golden Gulch and Gombey Dancer, Black Onyx recorded fractions of :12.20, :24, :35.80, :48.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven-eighths of a mile in 1:28.20. Black Onyx, under jockey Joe Bravo, started two lengths behind the Kenneally set and finished a half-length in front at the wire.
“It looked good and he did everything right,” trainer Kelly Breen said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better workout. We were looking for company and Eddie Kenneally was happy to supply us with some horses. We didn’t want him to go too fast and he didn’t. It was just a perfect workout.”
“It takes him awhile to get going, but when he switched leads at the three-eighths pole he put a move on them pretty nicely,” Bravo said. “I think he loved the racetrack. He handled the surface nice and the gallop out was great.”
Breen added that Black Onyx, whose five-furlong time of 1:00.60 ranked third fastest of 26 at the distance, is scheduled to have two more works in advance of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 4. Black Only is ranked No. 10 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” Leaderboard with 50 points.
Scheduled to work Sunday at Churchill Downs are Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Mylute (No. 12) and Todd Pletcher’s trio of Kentucky Oaks contenders: Unlimited Budget (ranked No. 3 on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” Leaderboard), Dreaming of Julia (No. 4) and Silsita (No. 12).
Trainer Tom Amoss said Mylute is scheduled to work Sunday in company at approximately 6:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons.
Assistant trainer Whit Beckman said Unlimited Budget, Dreaming of Julia and Silsita are scheduled to work following the morning renovation break at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs from New York on Sunday are Kentucky Derby contenders Verrazano (No. 2) and Normandy Invasion (No. 11), the 1-2 finishers in the Wood Memorial (GI), and Kentucky Oaks contenders Close Hatches (No. 6) and Princess of Sylmar (No. 9), who finished 1-2 in the Gazelle (GII).
Verrazano and Princess of Sylmar will be stabled in Barn 34 for Pletcher, Normandy Invasion will go to Barn 42 for trainer Chad Brown and Close Hatches will be bedded down in Barn 19 for trainer Bill Mott. The flight is expected to land at Louisville International Airport between 3:30-4 p.m., according to Churchill Downs’ stall manager Steve Hargrave.
Expected to arrive at Churchill Downs from Oaklawn Park on Sunday is Will Take Charge (No. 7), who narrowly defeated his stablemate Oxbow (No. 13) in the Rebel (GII). Will Take Charge and Oxbow, who also is expected to arrive Sunday, will be stabled in Barn 44 for four-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Also, a morning flight from Little Rock, Ark. that lands in Lexington at approximately 10:30 a.m. could transport select horses running at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. They include Arkansas Derby (GI) contenders Overanalyze, Den’s Legacy and War Academy, as well as Oaklawn Handicap (GII) starter and Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned.
In other news, Gotham (GIII) winner and Wood Memorial third Vyjack (No. 6) is expected to van from his New York base on Sunday or Monday and will be stabled in trainer Dale Romans’ Barn 4, according to Hargrave. His trainer Rudy Rodriguez is scheduled to meet with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) License Review Committee on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at the KHRC office in Lexington to be considered for a Kentucky racing license.
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