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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two weeks remain until the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) and it was a quiet Saturday morning at Churchill Downs where only four Kentucky Derby contenders trained during the special 15-minute period reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders from 7:30-7:45 a.m. (all times Eastern). Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Disarm and Holy Bull (GIII) winner Rocket Can galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. while Arkansas Derby (GI) winner Angel of Empire and Wood Memorial (GII) runner-up Hit Show jogged about one mile.

The quiet Saturday morning was the opposite of last year on this day when eight Derby and Oaks contenders recorded published workouts. However, five Kentucky Derby contenders recorded published workouts Friday: Angel of Empire(six furlongs, 1:13.40); Forte (five furlongs, 1:02); Hit Show(five furlongs, 1:01); Tapit Trice (four furlongs, :48.60) and Verifying (five furlongs, 1:01).

Rocket Can, trained by Bill Mott, is scheduled to breeze Sunday while the next workouts for Rebel (GII) winner Confidence Game and Blue Grass (GI) fourth-place finisher Sun Thunder are still to be determined, according to their respective connections.

Sunland Park Derby winner Wild On Ice had an easy day in Barn 43 for trainer Joel Marr following his two-mile gallop Friday. Marr said Wild On Ice could work again Thursday or Friday.

UAE Derby (GII) winner Derma Sotogake (JPN) and third-place finisher Continuar (JPN) had a regular training day Saturday. Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby representative Kate Hunter stated Friday on “Inside Churchill Downs” that the duo could record published workouts early next week.

Monday will begin the first of 11 days for the Kentucky Derby Morning Works Show presented by featuring expert handicappers Joe KristufekScott Shapiro and Kaitlin Free along with an array of popular industry figures such as former leading rider Rosie Napravnik and Churchill Downs Track Announcer Travis Stone.

The one-hour program will be streamed live on from 7-8 a.m. starting Monday and will feature the 15-minute exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders from 7:30-7:45 a.m. Fans can also watch the broadcast across several of the Kentucky Derby social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Here are the horses (with jockeys and trainers) that are qualified for the Kentucky Derby and those on the also-eligible list (in alphabetical order with AEs listed last in preference order):

          Angel of Empire (jockey Flavien Prat, trainer Brad Cox); Blazing Sevens (TBA, Chad Brown); Confidence Game (James Graham, Keith Desormeaux); Continuar (JPN) (Ryusel Sakai, Yoshito Yahagi); Derma Sotogake (JPN) (Christophe Lemaire, Hidetaka Otonashi); Disarm (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Forte (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Hit Show (Manny Franco, Brad Cox); Kingsbarns (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Lord Miles (Paco Lopez, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Mage (TBA, Gustavo Delgado); Practical Move (Ramon Vazquez, Tim Yakteen); Raise Cain (Javier Castellano, Ben Colebrook); Reincarnate (John Velazquez, Tim Yakteen); Rocket Can (Junior Alvarado, Bill Mott); Sun Thunder (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Tapit Trice (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Two Phil’s (Jareth Loveberry, Larry Rivelli); Verifying (Tyler Gaffalione, Brad Cox); and Wild On Ice (Ken Tohill, Joel Marr).

          Also-Eligible: Jace’s Road (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Skinner (Victor Espinioza, John Shirreffs); Cyclone Mischief (TBA, Dale Romans); Major Dude (TBA, Todd Pletcher); and Mandarin Hero (JPN) (TBA, Terunobu Fujita).

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Here are the horses (with trainers) that are qualified for the Longines Kentucky Oaks and those on the also-eligible list (in alphabetical order with AEs listed last in preference order):

          Affirmative Lady (John Velazquez, Graham Motion); And Tell Me Nolies (Ramon Vazquez, Peter Miller); Botanical (Chris Landeros, Brad Cox); Defining Purpose (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Dorth Vader (TBA, Mike Yates); Flying Connection (TBA, Todd Fincher); Gambling Girl (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Mimi Kakushi (TBA, Salem bin Ghadayer); Pretty Mischievous (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh); Promisher America (TBA, Ray Handal); Shidabhuti (TBA, Chad Brown); Southlawn (Rey Gutierrez, Norm Casse); The Alys Look (Luis Saez, Brad Cox); and Wet Paint (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox).

          Also-Eligible: Wonder Wheel (Mark Casse); Taxed (Randy Morse); Julia Shining (Todd Pletcher); Hoosier Philly (Tom Amoss); and Punchbowl (Brad Cox).

KENTUCKY DERBY WEEK STAKES PROBABLES – Here are the early known probable entries (with trainers) for the 20 stakes events on Kentucky Derby Week outside of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), according to Churchill Downs Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork:

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