Jockey Joe Talamo was in the saddle as the 3-year-old son of Stephen Got Even breezed after the mid-morning break for track maintenance and covered the distance in :50. Churchill Downs clockers caught the winner of the Wood Memorial (GI) and Gotham (GIII) in fractions of :12.40, :24.40 and :36.80. I Want Revenge galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.60 for trainer Jeff Mullins. The easy work ranked 18th out of 25 moves at the distance.
“That’s all we wanted to do today,” said Mullins. “He just needed to do enough to keep himself safe. He’s been tearing the barn down and we had to do something with him. If they get to feeling too good, they might get themselves hurt. We had to let him do a little something today, so we just let him go an easy half and galloped out long.”
Mullins decided to bring I Want Revenge directly to Churchill Downs after his win in the Wood Memorial at New York’s Aqueduct rather than go back to his home base at Southern California’s Hollywood Park, where the I Want Revenge trains over the synthetic Cushion Track surface. He admitted to second-guessing that move when heavy rain swept through Louisville on the eve of his colt’s work.
“I was actually wishing I had taken him back home to Hollywood again,” Mullins said. “But I think he got enough out of it this morning to keep him calm for a few more days. If we can get him to next week where he can have a decent breeze, I think we’ll be all right.”
Mullins said I Want Revenge would probably work again, mostly likely at five furlongs on Tuesday, April 21. If all goes well, the colt’s final work would be scheduled on Tuesday of Kentucky Derby Week.
Talamo flew into Churchill Downs from Southern California on Monday. The work aboard I Want Revenge marked the first time that the 19-year-old Louisiana native had ridden on the historic track at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
“It was great,” he said. “I just pretty much took it all in at first. It was great to look at the Twin Spires and everything.”
His back-to-back victories in the Gotham and Wood Memorial lifted the career record for I Want Revenge to 3-1-4 in eight races with earnings of $816,000.
In other Kentucky Derby and Oaks news:
* Bo Hirsch’s Arkansas Derby (GII) winner Papa Clem is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs this afternoon. The colt is scheduled to arrive in Lexington on a flight from Arkansas at approximately 2:45 p.m. (all times EDT). He should arrive at Churchill Downs around 4 p.m.
* L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, the probable favorite for the Kentucky Oaks, is scheduled to work on Thursday, April 16. Trainer Hal Wiggins winner of the Fantasy (GII) and Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) is set to work around first light.
* A flight from California will bring Zayat Stables’ Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (GI), and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, to Kentucky on Thursday, April 16. There’s no word yet on their estimated arrival time.
* Godolphin’s pair of contenders for Derby 135 – Regal Ransom and Desert Party – are scheduled to work on Saturday.