Saturday, April 26, 2014
KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE – Friday, April 25
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – Steven Coburn and Perry Martin’s California Chrome is scheduled to work Saturday morning at 7:30 (Pacific Time) at Los Alamitos.
Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome is scheduled to ship to Louisville on Monday and be ridden in Kentucky Derby 140 by Victor Espinoza.
J. Armando Rodriguez’s General a Rod, who worked Wednesday, returned to the track Friday to jog under Barrientos.
Vicar’s in Trouble, who won the Louisiana Derby (GII) and LeComte (GIII), and Harry’s Holiday, the Spiral (GIII) runner-up, will work Saturday at distances to be decided, trainer Mike Maker said.
“Undecided” is still the jockey for Harry’s Holiday, said Maker, who laughed at the suggestion that Undecided is a good rider. “He’s always riding the card,” Maker said.
Harry’s Holiday, who has run on synthetic surfaces in his past four races, is handling the Churchill track well, Maker said. “He broke his maiden over this track,” he said. “He ran second in an allowance race on this track. So we don’t have any worries about that.”
DANCE WITH FATE (No. 3) – Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing’s Dance With Fate is scheduled to work Saturday morning on the turf at Santa Anita for trainer Peter Eurton.
Winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, Dance With Fate is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on Monday. Corey Nakatani has the Derby mount.
WICKED STRONG (No. 4) - Centennial Farms’ Wicked Strong worked seven furlongs under exercise rider Kelvin Pahal in 1:27.11 Friday morning on the training track at Belmont Park.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens wanted the colt to go around two turns on the the one-mile oval, so Pahal started the work at the work at the half-mile pole, finished up at the five-eighths pole and galloped another furlong to get a mile.
“I said between between 1:27 and 1:28, gallop out an extra eighth and that’s it, just pull him up,” Jerkens said. “I thought he went perfect.” Jerkens said that Wicked Strong, winner of the Wood Memorial (G1) turned in a consistent effort in his final work before the Kentucky Derby.
“It was nice. It was good,” Jerkens said. “He went the first eighth in :13 and every one after that was almost exactly the same. He went good. He went real good.”
Jerkens said he timed the colt getting the half-mile in :49.80 and galloped out the mile in 1:40.40. “He had plenty of energy. I thought he looked great,” Jerkens said. “He worked good and cooled out quick. We’re very happy.”
Jerkens has finalized his shipping plans. The colt will ride on a van from New York to Louisville with Jerkens and Pahal following in a car. Jerkens said they plan to begin what he expects to be a 14-hour trip at 2 p.m. Saturday and will arrive Sunday morning.
SAMRAAT (No. 5) – Trainer Rick Violette followed form Friday and had Samraat breeze a mile in his final pre-Derby work. Under veteran exercise rider Rodney Taime, the My Meadowview Farm colt covered the distance in 1:45.91 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“The target was 1:45 and let him finish a little bit after a bunch of :13s (eighths of a mile),” Violette said. “I was more concerned today about going too fast. He’s fit. He’s danced at all the dances and he’s run well off this type of mile. We wanted to do that without squeezing too much. They got him in 1:45 4/5 and I got him in 1:46. It was terrific. He actually galloped out another eighth in :12 and change.
“It was exactly what we asked for. He finished well, cooled out well and scoped well. He’s eating his lunch. All systems are great.”
Samraat won the first five starts of his career, including the Withers (GIII) and the Gotham (GIII) and finished second in the Wood Memorial (GI). The one-mile prerace work has been part of the program for the son of Noble Causeway and Violette stayed with that routine prior to the Kentucky Derby.
“It has worked for him since before his first start going two turns, the Damon Runyon (Dec. 18 at Aqueduct),” Violette said. “We kind of backed into it and he seemed to thrive off it and we’ve done that before all of his last races, including the Wood.”
Taime, who has worked for Violette four about 11 years, was able to give the veteran trainer the time that he requested.
“It’s easy to make mistakes going that far,” Violette said. “If you go off in :12 and change and you think you’ve gone off in :14, a mile in 1:45 can easily turn into a mile in 1:39 or 1:40 and that would have been too much. It’s quite important that you nail the early fractions.”
He will be flown to Louisville from New York Monday afternoon.
DANZA (No. 6)/INTENSE HOLIDAY (No. 8)/WE MISS ARTIE (No. 10)/VICEREMOS (NO. 19) – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Kentucky Derby probables galloped after the morning renovation break as they continued to train toward Derby 140. Pletcher plans to work all four colts on Sunday, weather permitting.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Danza was partnered by Ezequiel Perez, Nick Bush was on Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie, Isabelle Bourez was on Starlight Racing’s Intense Holiday and Ovel Merida was on WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Vinceremos.
HOPPERUNITY (No. 7)/CHITU (No. 12)/BAYERN (No. 23) – Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Hoppertunity jogged early Friday morning under exercise rider Dana Barnes for trainer Bob Baffert.
It was the first day back on the track for Hoppertunity who worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on Wednesday. Mike Smith will ride Hoppertunity in Derby 140.
Tanma Corporation’s Chitu galloped after the morning renovation break with Barnes up while Alvarez was aboard Kaleem Shah’s Bayern.
A victory by Bayern in Saturday night’s Derby Trial (GIII) would shake up the Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com leaderboard. Bayern has 20 points, but would move from 23rd to 19th with a victory that would be worth at least $93,000 and push his non-restricted stakes earnings past those of Vinceremos (No. 19) and Harry’s Holiday (No. 20).
However, it appears unlikely that Baffert would wheel Bayern back in one week.
WILDCAT RED (No. 9) – Honors Stable Corp.’s Wildcat Red galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break with exercise rider Juan Belmonte up.
Wildcat Red, who arrived here from Florida on Tuesday, had galloped 1 1/8 miles the previous two mornings.
Trainer Jose Garoffalo was en route to Louisville from the sales in Ocala and plans to be at the barn Saturday morning. Garoffalo said Wildcat Red would work Sunday with jockey Luis Saez aboard.
RIDE ON CURLIN (No. 11) – Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin galloped a mile and a quarter Friday under exercise rider Bryan Beccia.
“I think we’re getting good,” trainer Billy Gowan said. “I sure like the way he went today.”
Groom Bridget Lambert, who led Ride On Curlin off the track, also is optimistic. “They’ve got to outrun him,” Lambert said. “He’s peaking at the right time.”
Gowan, who worked Ride On Curlin six days before he finished second in the Arkansas Derby (GI), is sticking with the same spacing and will work the colt Sunday.
“There’s no reason to change anything now,” Gowan said.
RING WEEKEND (No. 14) – St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Ring Weekend worked six furlongs on dirt in 1:12.80 at Fair Hill (Md.) Training Center.
Trainer Graham Motion said Ring Weekend worked on his own under Robbie Walsh and would ship to Churchill Downs on Monday.
Alan Garcia has the Derby mount on Ring Weekend.
MEDAL COUNT (No. 16) – Spendthrift Farms’ Medal Count galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Faustino Aguilar for trainer Dale Romans.
Runner-up in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, Medal Count is scheduled to work after the break in the morning.
Robby Albarado has the Derby mount.
CANDY BOY (No. 17) – Trainer John Sadler had C R K Stable’s Candy Boy on the track shortly after 6 o’clock Friday for a 1 ½-mile gallop under exercise rider Jelani Grant.
“I thought the track was excellent early because it was harrowed and not sealed,” Sadler said of the conditions following light showers overnight. “He galloped a little stronger today leading up to his work tomorrow.”
Jockey Gary Stevens is scheduled to work Candy Boy after the break Saturday.
UNCLE SIGH (No. 18) – Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson’s Uncle Sigh worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 over the Belmont Park Training Track with Nick Santagata aboard for trainer Gary Contessa.
“I had him galloping out in 1:13 and the mile in 1:43. It was perfect; Nick hit it right on the head,” Contessa said.
Uncle Sigh is scheduled to van to Churchill Downs on Saturday with a scheduled departure of 4 a.m. from Belmont.
“He will jog Sunday,” said Contessa, who plans to be here that day. “I may do something with him Wednesday, but it will be a gut feeling.”
COMMANDING CURVE (No. 21) – West Point Thoroughbreds’ third-place finisher in the Louisiana Derby (GII) Commanding Curve galloped a mile and a half Friday under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.
Trainer Dallas Stewart said Commanding Curve will work Saturday.
“He works solid,” Stewart said. “He’ll probably work a 1:01 five-eighths, that’s kind of a plan.”
Although, as of Friday, Commanding Curve remained out of the top 20 in points among possible Kentucky Derby entrants, Stewart said he’s not thinking about how the status of other horses might change.
Last year, Stewart finished second in the Derby with Golden Soul, who had moved into the top 20 days before race.
“Just have to wait and see,” Stewart said. “I just concentrate on training my horse and making sure I’m all in on everything I’m doing with him. I can’t control any of them.”
PABLO DEL MONTE (No. 22) -- Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and trainer Wesley Ward’s Pablo Del Monte worked six furlongs in 1:11.20 in company Saturday morning at Keeneland.
John Velazquez rode Pablo Del Monte, who worked in company with High Wire Kitten.
“We broke him off about 15 lengths behind (High Wire Kitten) today, and he kinda creeped up on her and got her at the wire,” Ward told the Keeneland publicity office. “The time was maybe a little quicker than I wanted, but he had a nice breeze.”
Clockers caught Pablo Del Monte in fractions of :47.60, 1:11.20 and out in 1:25.
Ward said Pablo Del Monte likely would ship to Churchill Downs Tuesday evening. If the connections of horses with more points opt not to enter Wednesday, Pablo Del Monte could find a place in the starting gate and become Ward’s first starter in the race.
“It looks like we are waiting for the Preakness (G1), still,” he said, “but you gotta be there and be ready. It would be an honor to be in the race, especially with a horse like him. He just ran a valiant race (in the Blue Grass). (Churchill is) sort of a speed-favoring track, so you gotta be ready. With him being a front-runner, he probably would be on the lead in the race. If you could win or run second or third in the Kentucky Derby, it would just be the thrill of a lifetime.”
SOCIAL INCLUSION (No. 24) – Rontos Racing Stable’s Social Inclusion, who worked Thursday at Gulfstream Park, likely will not make the trip to Churchill Downs according to owner Ronald Sanchez.
“At this moment, I don’t think we’ll ship to Kentucky. It doesn’t make sense to pay a $25,000 entry fee, plus all the other expenses, when you’re 24th and also-eligible,” Sanchez told the Gulfstream Park publicity office. “He’s going to train here and then we hope to get a prep for the Preakness. We’ll make a final decision on Monday.”
BIG BAZINGA (No. 25) – Derby Dreamers Racing Stable’s Big Bazinga galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break with Loren Diego aboard.
Trainer Katerina Vassilieva was on hand to watch the morning activities of Big Bazinga who finished fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his previous start.
With a shot at the Derby looking increasingly unlikely, Vassilieva is contemplating a possible run in next Saturday’s $250,000-added American Turf (GII) for which the gelding would have to be supplemented.
“If we know we are not going to get in the Derby, we won’t train for it. That (the American Turf) would be a good backup plan,” Vassilieva said for Big Bazinga, who finished second in his lone try on the turf. “He will work tomorrow and we will consider our options and see where we are about the Derby.”
KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE – Friday, April 25, 2014
UNTAPABLE (No. 1) – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Angel Garcia before the Friday morning renovation break for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Rosie Napravnik will have the mount on Untapable in the 140th running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
SUGAR SHOCK (No. 2) – On Cloud Nine’s Sugar Shock came out of her Thursday half-mile work in :48.40 “100 percent,” trainer Doug Anderson said.
Anderson said Sugar Shock would jog two miles Saturday morning.
Calvin Borel, who was aboard for the work, has the Oaks mount.
FASHION PLATE (No. 3) – Arnold Zetcher and Michael Tabor’s Fashion Plate, winner of the Las Virgenes (GI) and Santa Anita Oaks (GI) in her two most recent starts, is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Santa Anita according to trainer Simon Callaghan.
IN TUNE/MY MISS SOPHIA (No. 4)/GOT LUCKY (No. 6) – Trainer Todd Pletcher ruled Wertheimer and Frere’s undefeated In Tune out of the 140th Kentucky Oaks because of sore shins.
Pletcher said the filly would go to the farm for six weeks of rest.
Pletcher’s remaining Oaks hopefuls, Mathis Stable’s My Miss Sophia and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Philip Steinberg’s Got Lucky, galloped after the morning renovation break with Humberto Zamora on My Miss Sophia and Amy Mulen on Got Lucky.
Pletcher also confirmed riding assignments for the Oaks. Javier Castellano will be on My Miss Sophia and John Velazquez will be on Got Lucky. Both fillies are scheduled to work Saturday.
ROSALIND (No. 5) – Landaluce Educe Stables’ Rosalind, dead-heat winner of the Ashland Stakes (GI), galloped after the renovation break with exercise rider Danny Ramsey on board.
Conditioned by Kenny McPeek, Rosalind is scheduled to breeze Saturday morning, weather permitting. Joel Rosario has the mount in the Oaks.
ROOM SERVICE/AURELIA’S BELLE (No. 7) – James Miller’s Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) winner Aurelia’s Belle walked the morning after working seven furlongs in company with Room Service in 1:28.60.
Wayne Catalano, who trains both fillies, confirmed that Mary and Gary West’s Room Service has been withdrawn from consideration for the Kentucky Oaks.
“Well, we decided not to run Room Service,” Catalano said. “She’s worked OK on the dirt, but not as good as she is on the grass. We made a decision to wait for a grass race.”
The Edgewood on Friday is a possibility for Room Service, Catalano said.
Aurelia’s Belle finished in the money at Gulfstream Park in all three of her dirt starts – third in the Old Hat (GIII), second in the Forward Gal (GII) and third in the Davona Dale (GII2)
“She’s been over the dirt a few times at Gulfstream, and she handled it very well,” Catalano said. “We’re happy with the way she’s done on the dirt. She worked very well on it. She’s run well on it. We’re going to take a shot.”
RIA ANTONIA (No. 8) – Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia jogged once around before the morning renovation break with Jorge Alvarez up for trainer Bob Baffert.
KISS MOON (No. 9) – Carl Pollard’s Kiss Moon galloped 1 ½ miles after the morning renovation break under Otto Thorwarth.
Trainer David Vance said Victor Espinoza has picked up the mount on Kiss Moon in the Oaks and that the filly would work Sunday.
“She’ll breeze Sunday rain or shine,” Vance said. “Actually, I would not mind seeing it a little wet.”
FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD (No. 10) – The Estate of Clarence Scharbauer Jr.’s Fiftyshadesofgold worked a half-mile in :48.40 on her own before 6:30 over a fast track with exercise rider Sara Escudero aboard.
It was the third work here for the Bret Calhoun trainee since she finished second in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) on March 29. Escudero has been aboard for all three works.
Calhoun, who has been at the Ocala sales, is expected to be here Saturday. Fiftyshadesofgold is under consideration for the Eight Belles (GIII) as well as the Oaks.
UNBRIDLED FOREVER (No. 11) – Charles Fipke’s third-place finisher in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) Unbridled Forever walked the morning after working five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.80.
Unbridled Forever came out of her work well and will return to the track Saturday, trainer Dallas Stewart said. “She’ll jog; she’ll jog early.”
THANK YOU MARYLOU (No. 12) – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s third-place finisher in the Ashland (GI) Thank You Marylou galloped Friday under exercise Joel Barrientos for trainer Mike Maker.
Maker said Thank You Marylou will work Saturday morning.
Maker said that Connie Apostelos’ Shanon Nicole is not under consideration for the Oaks even though she has accumulated enough points to be among the top 14.
EMPRESS OF MIDWAY (No. 13) – Daniel Kramer’s Empress of Midway worked a half-mile in :49.80 under exercise rider Humberto Gomez for trainer Doug O’Neill.
Working on her own after the break, Empress of Midway posted fractions of :12.60, :25.20, :37.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.80, six furlongs in 1:15.80 and seven-eighths in 1:30.
“That was super,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to O’Neill. “We were not looking for a fast work. We just wanted her to be comfortable and gallop out well.”
One interested onlooker was University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, who stopped by Churchill Downs before heading out on a recruiting trip.
“He just bought in on her,” Sisterson said. “He’s a part owner.”
No rider has been confirmed on Empress of Midway.
JOINT RETURN – Main Line Racing Stable’s Joint Return, winner of the Calder Oaks in her most recent start, is not under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks according to trainer John Servis. Joint Return had accumulated enough points to be among the Top 14.
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