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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (4.21.09)


CHOCOLATE CANDY – The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy tuned up for his engagement in Kentucky Derby 135 by working a mile over a track rated as “fast” in 1:42 with jockey Mike Smith up.

Churchill Downs clockers caught the Candy Ride colt in fractions of :12.60, :24.80, :37.20, :49.80, 1:02.20, seven-eighths in 1:28.60 and galloping out the mile and one-eighth in 1:57.


Both Smith and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer expressed satisfaction with the work.

“I liked it, it was a nice maintenance work,” Smith said. “He did everything I asked of him. He didn’t turn a hair. If he had gone a mile in 1:42 and was gasping and not coming back as well as I liked, I’d be a little worried. I am as happy as I can be. He handled the turns, which is an important part of it.”

Hollendorfer, who also had two other workers here Tuesday morning, said, “It was a nice work. I wanted to see how he handled the turns and he handled them well. The track was a little off, but I was very happy with the work.”

Hollendorfer was headed back to California after the works but planned to return Saturday.

“He will work again either Monday or Tuesday,” Hollendorfer said. He’ll have a blowout of a half-mile or five-eighths.”

Rene Douglas worked Hollendorfer’s other two horses: Rendezvous (five furlongs in 1:00.60, which was second fastest of 19 at the distance, in preparation for Saturday’s Derby Trial) and Sugar Mint (IRE) (a best of 36 half-mile in :47.60 for the Louisville Distaff or Humana Distaff).


DESERT PARTY/REGAL RANSOM – With regular exercise rider Bob Chapman up, Regal Ransom and then Desert Party galloped a mile and a quarter before the morning renovation break.


FLAT OUT – Oxbow Racing’s Flat Out breezed five furlongs in 1:03.20 under exercise rider Walter Aguilar before the renovation break.

The Florida-bred son of Flatter covered the distance in fractions of :13, :25.40 and :37.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.30 and seven-eights in 1:28.80.

“I was satisfied with the work, just what I wanted,” trainer Charles “Scooter” Dickey said.

But, Scooter, don’t all trainers say that?

“Yes, but this one really turned out the way I wanted,” Dickey said.

Flat Out would need a couple of defections of probable starters in the next week to gain a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

“I see the list is down to 22,” Dickey said. “We’ll see how he comes out of this work and then work him back. Whoever we decide on being the rider, we’ll have him work him.”

Flat Out has two career wins to his credit, including a victory in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park.


FLYING PRIVATE – Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack’s Flying Private had a get-acquainted session with jockey Robby Albarado on Tuesday morning, working five furlongs in company in 1:01.20 after the renovation break.

Churchill Downs clockers recorded fractions of the work in :12, :24, :36.20 and out six furlongs in 1:16.

Flying Private worked in company with stablemate Lord and T.

“It was a very good work and I liked the way he handled the turns,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “He came off the turn very well and finished strong. Robby did a good job with the test drive.”

Albarado also was happy with the work.

“I had watched him run numerous times,” Albarado said. “This was my first time on him and I thought it went well. Wayne just wanted a nice maintenance work and he had some company. He gets a little lax when he works by himself. Overall, I think we accomplished what we wanted this morning.”


GENERAL QUARTERS – Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner General Quarters galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break with exercise rider Julie Sheets up.

Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy is looking at Thursday or Friday as the final pre-Derby work for General Quarters.

“It depends on the weather and how he gallops tomorrow,” McCarthy said. “If it warms up and the track dries out well, I’d probably go Thursday and that would give him an extra day before the Derby.”

Julien Leparoux has the Derby riding assignment.


I WANT REVENGE – David Lanzman, IEAH Stables and Puglisi Racing’s I Want Revenge, winner of the Wood Memorial (GI), turned in his second work since his arrival at Churchill Downs as he breezed five furlongs in company with stablemate Gato Go Win after the break for track maintenance.

The son of Stephen Got Even covered the distance in 1:01.60 under Joe Talamo, the 19-year-old Louisiana native who is scheduled for his first Kentucky Derby ride aboard trainer Jeff Mullins’ colt in the big race on Saturday, May 2.

I Want Revenge broke off about two lengths behind his workmate and was clocked in fractions of :12.40, :25, and :37.20. The Kentucky Derby contender had narrowed Gato Go Win’s advantage to a length after three-eighths of a mile and was a neck in front of his stablemate when the pair passed the finish line. I Want Revenge galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.20.

“I thought it was a great work,” Talamo said. “I think it was exactly what we wanted. We had another horse in front of him to give him something to look at the last part. We sat right off of him and finished the last part, just like we wanted and galloped out good and strong. I give him an A-plus.”

I Want Revenge worked over a muddy track in his first serious training move at Churchill Downs. Talamo was also aboard for that move and said the track was not much different on Tuesday, although it was officially listed as fast.

“I didn’t think it was too fast today – it was still kind of ‘mushy’ on top,” he said. “Last week it rained a lot the day before and it wasn’t sloppy, but it was a little bit cuppy. And today it was the same thing – like about three or four inches on top were kind of ‘mushy.’ So it was kind of the same track, but I felt like he got over it great. I put him right behind that other horse and he got a lot of dirt in his face, and he took it like nothing.”

Mullins said I Want Revenge would have one more piece of serious training over the Churchill Downs strip before the Derby.

“He’ll have an easy half (mile) next Tuesday,” he said. “We just want to keep him on the ground. We won’t ask him for much. We’ll just let him open his lungs up and stretch his legs. We won’t ask him to do a whole lot.”


MINE THAT BIRD – Double Eagle Ranch and Bueno Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird was scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday night after completing a two-day van trip from Sunland Park near El Paso.

Trained by Bennie Woolley Jr., Mine That Bird will be housed in Barn 42, Stall 22 and be ridden in Derby 135 by Calvin Borel, who won the roses in 2007 aboard Street Sense.


MUSKET MAN – Eric Fein and Vic Carlson’s Musket Man was one of the first horses on the track Tuesday morning, galloping 1 ¾ miles under exercise rider Salvador Dominguez.

Trainer Derek Ryan said that Musket Man would probably have his final work on Saturday and may visit the starting gate prior to the Derby.

Eibar Coa has the mount.


PAPA CLEM – Bo Hirsch’s Papa Clem walked the shedrow at Barn 10A for a second consecutive day after a five-furlong work on Sunday.

“He will go back to the track in the morning,” trainer Gary Stute said. “He will probably work again Saturday and I’ll probably have Larry Sterling handle the work. He worked him for me in Arkansas.”

Rafael Bejarano will ride Papa Clem in the Kentucky Derby.


PIONEEEROF THE NILE – Zayat Stables LLC’s Pioneerof the Nile brought a smile to the face of three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert with a sharp five-furlong work over a “fast” track just after the break for track maintenance.

Joe Steiner was in the saddle as the son of 2003 Kentucky Derby runner-up and Belmont Stakes (GI) winner Empire Maker covered the distance in 1:00.80. The time was the fourth-fastest of 19 at the distance over a surface that seemed to be playing slower as the morning wore on.

Pioneerof the Nile, who made the recent Santa Anita Derby (GI) his fourth consecutive stakes victory, covered the distance in fractional times of :12.20, :24.20, and :36.40. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40.

Baffert said the work was actually longer than the five furlongs credited to the colt by Churchill Downs clockers.

“He looked good – he skipped right over it,” said Baffert. “I ended up working him seven-eighths and let him gallop out strong. I got him in :26-and three, and he galloped out all the way down the backside. So it was a good little work and it was not really hard on him.”

Baffert is pleased with the way Pioneerof the Nile is getting over the sandy loam surface at Churchill Downs. He has raced exclusively on turf and synthetic surfaces in his eight career starts.

“It was nice and relaxed – I didn’t want to do too much,” Baffert said. “It looked like he skipped over it, because I know the track, with the rain, was a little bit deep. I had some other horses work and some horses struggled over it. But he has taken to it great, so far. I like what I see.”

Baffert said Pioneerof the Nile would work one more time before the May 2 Derby, most likely on Monday or Tuesday of next week. Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez will ride the colt in the “Run for the Roses.”

Pioneerof the Nile has a record of 5-0-1 in eight races and has earned $1,234,200.


SQUARE EDDIE – J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie arrived at Churchill Downs around mid-afternoon on Tuesday following a van ride from Lexington’s Keeneland, where he had been stabled since running third in last Saturday’s Grade III Coolmore Lexington Stakes.

Trainer Doug O’Neill, who was back at his Southern California base, said he would come to Louisville on Sunday.

O’Neill said that no riding assignment has been finalized for Square Eddie.


WEST SIDE BERNIE – George and Lori Hall’s West Side Bernie galloped a mile and five-eighths with trainer Kelly Breen in the saddle before the renovation break.

Stewart Elliott has the riding assignment on West Side Bernie.


KENTUCKY OAKS 135 NOTES

BE FAIR -- Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday morning that Rafael Bejarano will ride Be Fair in the 135th Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 1.

Owned by Thomas Van Meter and Charles Kidder, Be Fair walked the shedrow at Barn 44 a day after a five-eighths of a mile breeze.


FITZ JUST RIGHT/JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE – The West Point Thoroughbreds’ Oaks hopeful duo of Fitz Just Right and Justwhistledixie are scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Wednesday afternoon after training at Keeneland.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the two fillies will be stabled in Barn 42, Stalls 8-9 upon arrival.

Ramon Dominguez is slated to ride Fitz Just Right and Julien Leparoux has the mount on Justwhistledixie, whom he rode to victory in the Grade II Bonnie Miss in her most recent start on March 29.


GABBY’S GOLDEN GIRL – Patti and Hal Earnhardt’s Gabby’s Golden Girl walked the shedrow at Barn 33 a day after working five furlongs in 1:02 for trainer Bob Baffert.

“She’s good,” said Baffert. “She’s tough, but man, that Rachel Alexandra is something.”

Baffert said Gabby’s Golden Girl would likely work Sunday or Monday to complete her preparation for the Kentucky Oaks.

Victor Espinoza has the Oaks riding assignment.


NAN – J. Paul Reddam’s Nan galloped a mile after the renovation break with exercise rider Jose Castanon up.

Trainer Craig Dollase said that Corey Nakatani will ride Nan in the Oaks. The High Yield filly is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday.


RACHEL ALEXANDRA – L and M Partners’ Rachel Alexandra galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break under regular exercise rider Rudy Gallegos.

Calvin Borel, who has ridden Rachel Alexandra to four consecutive victories, has the Oaks riding assignment.


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