BLACK ONYX – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx (No. 12) galloped 1 ½ miles over a track labeled as “good” on a clear, crisp Thursday morning at Churchill Downs. Regular exercise rider Aurelio Gomez was aboard Black Onyx for the exercise that took place after the renovation break and during the time reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.
Elliott Walden, president/CEO of WinStar Farm, was on hand to see WinStar’s Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Revolutionary, who galloped under Nick Bush.
“I feel real good about him,” Walden said. “I think a big key is getting in the race and having a shot and I think he’s got as good of a shot as any of them. Calvin (Borel) is excited about riding him and really liked the way he went when he worked him last Sunday. So, we’re excited about that.”
Galloping before the renovation break for Pletcher were Charming Kitten (No. 19) and Winning Cause (No. 20).
Pletcher said he will monitor the weather, but, as of now, his six Kentucky Derby contenders are scheduled to breeze Sunday. He also added that experience helps when preparing horses for the first Saturday in May.
“It helps when you’ve been here and have a system and know what to expect,” Pletcher said.
Winner of the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver, Pletcher has a Derby record of 31-1-2-1. In 2007, he saddled five horses for America’s greatest race, none of which hit the board.
CODE WEST/GOVENOR CHARLIE/POWER BROKER –
Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie (No. 11) galloped 1 3/8 miles after the renovation break with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez up for trainer Bob Baffert.
Gary and Mary West’s Code West (No. 21) and Power Broker (No. 24) galloped the same distance prior to the break with Alvarez aboard both colts.
FALLING SKY – Newtown Anner Stud, James Covello and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky (No. 18) galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Cassie Garcea.
Fourth in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Falling Sky is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday, depending on weather, according to Reynaldo Abreu, assistant to trainer John Terranova.
FRAC DADDY/JAVA’S WAR – FRAC DADDY/JAVA’S WAR – Charles Fipke’s Java’s War (No. 4), winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break with exercise rider Marvin Abrego up for trainer Ken McPeek.
Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy (No. 15), runner-up in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, also galloped 1 ½ miles after the break with exercise rider Hugo Garcia up.
GOLDEN SOUL – Charles Fipke’s Golden Soul (No. 23) galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under exercise rider Emerson Chavez for trainer Dallas Stewart. Golden Soul is tentatively scheduled to work Friday morning.
MYLUTE – Mylute (No. 16), runner-up to Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby (GII), was one of the first horses on the Churchill Downs track Thursday morning and jogged a mile before galloping 1 ½ miles.
Following Mylute’s morning exercise, trainer Tom Amoss said the gray or roan son of Midnight Lute would have his final work in advance of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. The workout was previously scheduled for Sunday.
“Number one, I don’t care for the weather forecast and I’d rather work further out than closer out,” Amoss said. “Secondly, with night racing (at Churchill Downs) on Saturday, the jockeys aren’t going to get done until after 11 o’clock. I don’t want to work the following morning and feel like everyone is not totally focused on the task at hand.”
Amoss said Mylute will work Saturday morning when the track opens for training at 5:45 and jockey Rosie Napravnik will be aboard.
Napravnik is scheduled to ride in seven races on Opening Night of the Spring Meet on Saturday, including the 11th and final race, which has a post time of 11:10 p.m. EDT.
NORMANDY INVASION – Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion (No. 14) galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under exercise rider Javier Herrera for trainer Chad Brown.
OXBOW/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Calumet Farm’s Oxbow (No. 17) galloped 1 ½ miles shortly after the track opened at 5:45 and Willis Horton’s Will Take Charge (No. 9) did the same following the renovation break with exercise rider Rudy Quevedo aboard for both exercises.
Four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas, likes what he sees from his Derby 139 hopefuls.
“I like how my horses are doing. Whether they are good enough remains to be seen,” Lukas said. “Over the years, you get a feel about them and I am very comfortable with them now.”
Lukas said he may work both colts Monday, weather permitting.
VYJACK – Pick Six Racing’s Vyjack (No. 8) galloped 1 ½ miles after the break to the satisfaction of trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
“Everything is good so far,” Rodriguez said. “The owner (David Wilkenfeld) is coming in Friday and Vyjack will work one of the next two days depending on the weather.”
Friday morning is forecast to be clear with Saturday’s forecast calling for a 30 percent chance of a few showers.
KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE – THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
CLOSE HATCHES/FLASHY GRAY – Juddmonte Farms’ Close Hatches (No. 5) and West Point Thoroughbreds and Tom Keithley’s Flashy Gray (No. 6) visited the paddock and galloped 1 ½ miles after the break for trainer Bill Mott.
Joanna Trout was aboard the undefeated Close Hatches and Penny Gardiner was on Flashy Gray.
DREAMING OF JULIA / PRINCESS OF SYLMAR / SILSITA / UNLIMITED BUDGET – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Kentucky Oaks contenders galloped at Churchill Downs on a cool Thursday morning in Louisville.
Dreaming of Julia (No. 4), Princess of Sylmar (No. 7) and Silsita (No. 10) went out prior to the morning renovation break and Unlimited Budget (No. 3) galloped during the special Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks training window at 8:30.
“Everything went smoothly this morning,” Pletcher said.
MIDNIGHT LUCKY – Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s undefeated Midnight Lucky (No. 8) galloped 1 3/8 miles after the renovation break with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez up for trainer Bob Baffert.
PURE FUN – Magdalena Racing’s Pure Fun (No. 11) galloped 1 ½ miles after the break under exercise rider Jose Cano for trainer Ken McPeek.
ROSE TO GOLD – Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centrofanti’s Rose to Gold (No. 2) galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break with Denis Roberson up.
Trained by Sal Santoro, Rose to Gold is scheduled to work Friday morning at 8:30 with jockey Calvin Borel up.
SEANEEN GIRL – Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl (No. 10) had a walk day Thursday for trainer Bernie Flint.
Martin Garcia, who rode Seaneen Girl to a third-place finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) in her 2013 debut, has the call to ride the filly in the Kentucky Oaks.