Kentucky Derby hopeful Golden Soul, ranked No. 23 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” Leaderboard, continued his preparations for a potential start in the “Run for the Roses” with a six-furlong breeze Thursday morning at Churchill Downs in 1:12.40.
Working under exercise rider Emerson Chavez, Golden Soul worked to the seven-eighths pole and recorded fractions of :12, :23.40, :35, :46.80, :59 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.40.
“He worked great and he’s a very good work horse,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “He came back great and had good energy while he cooled out. He did it very well.”
It was the first published workout for Golden Soul since he finished fourth in the Louisiana Derby (Grade II). His 3-year-old campaign also has included a sixth in the Risen Star (GII) and a runner-up effort in the Lecomte (GIII). With 14 points, Golden Soul is currently on the outside looking in, but Stewart is hopeful he will still make it in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
“He got beat four lengths to Revolutionary (in the Louisiana Derby), who is a very good horse,” Stewart said. “We were wide, but we were still running at him a little at the end. I think we’re very credible.
“You’ve got to roll with the punches, but we’re hoping it shakes down our way.”
Stewart added that if Golden Soul doesn’t get the opportunity to run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), he would consider running him in the Peter Pan (GII) at Belmont on May 11 or the Preakness (GI) on May 18.
In other Kentucky Derby news, Arkansas Derby (GI) runner-up Frac Daddy (No. 15) galloped 1 ¼ miles under Victor Lebron on his first day back at the track since arriving in Louisville from Oaklawn Park on Wednesday morning.
“He galloped well and we took it light on him today on his first day at the track since shipping,” assistant trainer Phil Bauer said. “We’re happy with how he shipped and how he’s doing. Hopefully he’ll improve a little bit in the next couple weeks and we’ll be set to go.”
Frac Daddy, who is stabled in Barn 6 for trainer Ken McPeek, was joined Thursday at Churchill Downs by Toyota Blue Grass (GI) winner Java’s War (No. 4), who passed through the stable gate at 1:40 p.m. (all times Eastern).
In Kentucky Derby news outside the Churchill Downs gates, Itsmyluckyday (No. 10) worked a mile in 1:43.20 at Calder for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. Runner-up to Orb (No. 1) in the Florida Derby (GI), Itsmyluckyday is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on April 26.
In Kentucky Oaks news, trainer John Terranova confirmed via text Thursday morning that Fantasy (GIII) runner-up Manuka Honey is no longer under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks (GI). He added that a firm decision on whether to run Falling Sky (No. 19) in the Kentucky Derby will come by Sunday.
In other Kentucky Oaks news, trainer Todd Pletcher said Unlimited Budget (No. 3), Dreaming of Julia (No. 4), Princess of Sylmar (No. 7) and Silsita (No. 10) are scheduled to breeze Saturday at Churchill Downs. The four fillies will breeze during the 15-minute period from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. when the track is reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders. Due to the special training window that begins Saturday and runs through May 2, the track will be open for training at 5:45 a.m.
KENTUCKY DERBY POSSIBLE FIELD AS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 18 (listed in order preference): Orb (trained by Shug McGaughey, ridden by Joel Rosario, 150 points, $840,000 in non-restricted stakes earnings), Verrazano (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 150, $810,000), Goldencents (Doug O’Neill, Kevin Krigger, 129, $1,208,000), Java’s War (Ken McPeek, Julien Leparoux, 122, $651,772), Overanalyze (Pletcher, Rafael Bejarano, 110, $908,381), Revolutionary (Pletcher, Calvin Borel, 110, $720,000), Lines of Battle (Aidan O’Brien, TBA, 100, $1,261,089 ), Vyjack (Rudy Rodriguez, Garrett Gomez, 70, $505,000), Will Take Charge (D. Wayne Lukas, Jon Court, 60, $512,971), Itsmyluckyday (Eddie Plesa Jr., Elvis Trujillo, 50, $593,600), Govenor Charlie (Bob Baffert, Martin Garcia, 50, $400,000), Black Onyx (Kelly Breen, Joe Bravo, 50, $317,130), Palace Malice (Pletcher, Mike Smith, 50, $200,000), Normandy Invasion (Chad Brown, Javier Castellano, 44, $258,000), Frac Daddy (McPeek, TBA, 44, $240,596), Mylute (Tom Amoss, Rosie Napravnik, 42, $363,365), Oxbow (Lukas, Gary Stevens, 36, $346,000), Super Ninety Nine (Baffert, TBA, 30, $308,000), Falling Sky (John Terranova, Luis Saez, 30, $207,500) and Charming Kitten (Pletcher, TBA, 20, $206,000).
KENTUCKY OAKS POSSIBLE FIELD AS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 18 (listed in order of preference): Beholder (trained by Richard Mandella, ridden by Garrett Gomez, 164, $1,500,000), Rose to Gold (Sal Santoro, Calvin Borel, 164, $717,889), Unlimited Budget (Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano, 160, $570,000), Dreaming of Julia (Pletcher, John Velazquez, 132, $719,000), Close Hatches (Bill Mott, Joel Rosario, 100, $150,000), Flashy Gray (Mott, TBA, 60, $130,000), Princess of Sylmar (Pletcher, TBA, 50, $170,000), Fiftyshadesofhay (Baffert, TBA, 50, $146,250), Midnight Lucky (Baffert, TBA, 50, $120,000), Silsita (Pletcher, TBA, 50, $57,660), Seaneen Girl (Bernie Flint, TBA, 34, $193,621), Pure Fun (Ken McPeek, TBA, 20, $269,800) and Broken Spell (D. Wayne Lukas, TBA, 11, $119,226).
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