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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby Horses at The Downey Profile®

Preakness Stakes Horses


Updated May 20, 2013 @ 8:33 a.m. ET



 

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DEPARTING
GOLDENCENTS
GOVENOR CHARLIE
ITSMYLUCKYDAY
MYLUTE
ORB
OXBOW
TITLETOWN FIVE
WILL TAKE CHARGE

 

 

DEPARTING (KY)
Trainer: Al Stall, Jr.
Owner: Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider
Breeder: Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): War Front (Danzig, Starry Dreamer)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Leave (Pulpit, Tour)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-7-14-0-0 (26) 2.71
Foal Date: April 1, 2010

A gelding.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Feb. 1, Entry Level Allowance, Fair Grounds, One Mile 70 Yards. At even money, Departing drew off off under a hand ride in the final furlong for a 4 1/2-length score under Brian Hernandez, Jr. Departing stalked the early pace, took command just before the eighth pole and then quickly separated himself from the others. His trip wasn't the easiest. The time was 1:44.34, just a little slower than Sunbean went two races later. The chart call: "Departing went two to three wide on the first turn, settled off the pace, was roused while four wide on the far turn, advanced passing the quarter-pole, came in while rallying to the lead in upper stretch, kicked clear under strong hand urging and drew away under a hand ride."

Al Stall, Jr.: “I don’t think you could ask any more for a horse in his second start, stretching out two turns, so we’re very happy with everything."

The Risen Star comes up on Feb. 23, but Stall said if more time is needed between starts, the March 16 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park would be considered for Departing. Stall has stalls at Oaklawn.

Feb. 23, Grade II Risen Star Stakes, 1 1/16 Mile. Departing was scratched.

March 2, Texas Heritage Stakes, Sam Houston Park, One Mile. Departing won the race at 3-5 odds in a field of eight, timed in 1:37.94. He stalked fourth, started moving on the second turn, and drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths. The chart call: "Departing was allowed to settle in the early going, rallied on the far turn while three wide, was in a strong drive then drew off in late stretch.

March 26 NOTE: “Some people nominate all their horses to the Triple Crown right away, but we don’t do that,” said trainer Stall of Departing and Sunbean. “We waited until we thought these two horses were ready to take the next step and now we think they are ready to do that. Everything is looking good for both our horses on Saturday, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Grade II Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds, 1 1/8 Mile. Departing finished third after being fifth and seventh early while making a good middle move. He was fourth with a furlong left. Revolutionary and Mylute both came from far back to run one-two. Revolutionary took the overland route to win. Unhurried early, he was about a dozen behind a fast early pace, while Mylute was nine to 11 lengths back. Hip Four Sixtynine and Titletown Five alternated for the early lead with splits of :22.84 and :46.34. They tired to six in 1:11.84, and Revolutionary was only 2 3/4 lengths behind at that point, with Mylute four lengths back of the pace.

Revolutionary launched a bid five wide in the far turn -- it looked like eight. Mylute, at 19-1, went four and five wide and briefly got the lead at the sixteenth pole but hung a bit, and Revolutionary prevailed by a neck over Mylute, timed in 1:50.28. Finishing third, three lengths farther back, was Departing. Fourth was Golden Soul, who was beaten 4 3/4 lengths.

Brian Hernandez, Jr., aboard Departing: "We had a good trip. We lost a little momentum coming off the second turn, but overall we had a great trip. They just kind of got away from us at one point on the turn for home, and we made up the ground a little bit late, but they just got away from us in the first part."

THE NEXT DAY: Pam Fitzgerald, assistant to trainer Al Stall Jr., said Departing is fine.

April 20, Grade III Illinois Derby, Hawthorne Race Course, 1 1/8 Mile. Departing, the fan favorite at 9-5, easily won. After breaking from post 13 in the 14-horse field, Brian Hernandez, Jr. and Departing went six wide in the first turn and were in eighth place after four furlongs run in :47.71 by Taken by the Storm, who took over after Ground Transport went the first quarter-mile in :23.10.

Departing passed four horses on the backstretch and was fourth hitting the second turn, where he was four wide. Despite that adversity, Departing took the lead leaving the bend and drew off in the stretch to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths over 23-1 Fordubai, one of the local contingent that contested the race. Siete de Oros finished third at 9-1. Departing was timed in 1:50.78.  It was Departing's first race with Lasix

Al Stall, Jr.: "There's no use talking about the Preakness until we see what happens in the Kentucky Derby. There are some good horses there. If they do their thing and scare everybody off, we might do something differently."

Brian Hernandez, Jr.: "Once he got down the backside, I thought I was on the best horse. "He was just kind of cruising and going really easy today. He looks like he's getting better with distance."

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Departing finished sixth, beaten 10 lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Departing, three wide advancing to a stalking position past the five eighths pole, angled in and gave hard chase two wide inside rivals after seven furlongs, came three wide for the drive, failed to sustain his run and gave way through the late stages."

 Al Stall Jr.: “He had no excuses. It looked like he got over the track OK. He just didn’t go on with it like he usually does.”

Brian Hernandez Jr.: “I had a great trip. On the second turn, Orb was inside of me and we spurted away from him and got up to third. But he was just a little dull today. I don’t know why. It seemed like he handled the track OK. But it was a little deep.”

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Departing won a deep Dec. 22 six-furlong maiden special weight at Fair Grounds by 2 1/4 lengths at first asking.

Dec. 31 NOTE: “He’s a ‘non-two’ so that’s his game plan," said trainer Stall. "Everybody liked their horses in (the Dec. 22 race). He showed seasoning, and I’d think he got a lot out of that race the way it unfolded, with him being in the pocket and then coming through the inside; that was nice. He’ll be fine going long; I was even thinking of running him long first-time out. The family, I know, stretches, so that’s a no-brainer."

 

 

GOLDENCENTS (KY)
Trainer: Doug O'Neill
Owner: Paul Cohen, Dave Kenney, W. C. Racing & Robert Master
Breeder: Rosecrest Farm & Karyn Pirrello
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Golden Works (Banker's Gold, Body Works (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-2-4-1-0 (8) 1.67
Foal Date: March 7, 2010

$5,500 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall 2011.
$62,000 OBS June 2012 Sale.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Jan. 1 NOTE: “He worked in 1:10.20 last Thursday and if you didn’t have a stop watch, you’d have thought he went 1:14 or 1:15, just cruising,” trainer O’Neill said. “I did have a stop watch on him, and as I looked down and saw one-ten and change, it was just, wow! It was really amazing. He's a real, real exciting prospect.”

Jan. 5, Grade III Sham Stakes, Santa Anita, One Mile. As expected, Goldencents won this race as the 2-5 chalk, but it was't all that easy. He finally got by pacesetter Manando in deep stretch and prevailed by 1 1/2 length. Den's Legacy stalked those two and got up later than Goldencents to take second, and Manando held third, beaten two lengths, with the next runner 15 more lengths back. Five ran. The time was 1:36.50. The chart call: "Goldencents pulled and was in a bit tight off heels early, stalked just off the rail, came out into the stretch, bid alongside the pacesetter in midstretch, took the lead three deep nearing the sixteenth pole and proved best under urging."

Kevin Krigger: “Today was a great race – the first race back and he shows us that he’s pretty versatile. We’re all happy and pumped up about it. We had a good challenge, but by the time we got to the eighth pole, I got him on top of his feet, and just said ‘Let’s go,’ and that was it.

“From the gate, I got a little bump from (Den’s Legacy) on the inside, and by then (Manando) had already cleared us a little bit. That made me have to ride a smart race by taking him back and putting him on the outside. He’s always been relaxed, but he was so relaxed that I could ride him confidently from behind, too. He’s doing everything right. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and praying that he stays sound.

“When we turned for home, it felt like it was going to be a tough battle, but by the time we got about 50 yards from the eighth pole, I could feel him gathering himself up to make that huge surge. He galloped out real good. I can’t complain.

Doug O'Neill: “As the races go on and the fields get bigger, you got to have versatility, and he showed it today. Kevin is a great rider and he’s as one with the horse. It’s beautiful. This horse is such a brilliant athlete and so amazing mentally. He’s just getting better every day.

Kevin probably worked Goldencents the fifth work of his life and he came back and said, ‘That might be the best horse I’ve ever been on.’ I said, ‘Kevin, why don’t you call the owners and plant the seed with them,’ because he’s not a real big- name guy down here, and the owners fell in love with him, just like Goldencents has. The good thing about Kevin is, win, lose or draw, you know you have him for upcoming races. He’s not going to jump around.

“We thought that with Baffert having two, one closer (Den’s Legacy) and one speed horse (Manando), we figured Martin would really send hard, and Kevin said he could sense leaving the gate that he was doing that, so he wasn’t going to get caught up in a crazy pace duel. He let Martin use up a lot of horse to make the lead and as the waters get deeper, you’ve got to be versatile and I think Goldencents and Kevin showed their versatility today.”

O'Neill was non-committal about the colt's next start.

THE DAY AFTER:  “No plans right now,” said trainer O’Neill. “But he ate up great and his legs are ice cold. We’ll meet up with the owners over lunch in 10 days and map out an agenda.”

Jan. 10 NOTE: “We’re going to meet with his owners next week,” trainer O’Neill said, “but one of the things we’ve talked about is maybe the San Felipe being his next start.”

Jan. 26 NOTE: “Goldencents worked like a champ,” trainer O’Neill said. “I’m very happy."

Feb. 7 NOTE: “He worked great,” trainer O'Neill said. “He brings it every day. I wish they were all like him. He’s very willing.”

Feb. 14 NOTE: “He worked really well,” trainer O’Neill said. “He galloped out good, cooled out great and looked great this morning, so we’re one day closer.”

March 9, Grade II San Felipe Stakes, Santa Anita, 1 1/16 Mile. Hear the Ghost came from nowhere to win. Salutos Amigos set the tone for a wild and woolly San Felipe when he went to the front into the first turn. Flashback and Goldencents sprinted behind him, the first quarter-mile timed in :22.97. Goldencents and Flashback easily put away Salutos Amigos and ran up the backstretch in fast fractions of :45.95 and 1:09.94. While it was the game plan of Goldencents' connections to sit off of Flashback -- they broke from posts 3 and 2 respectively -- the opposite configuration unfolded as Flashback hammered Goldencents with pressure from the outside.

As that pair battled through the far turn, Hear the Ghost and Corey Nakatani were unleashing a rally that carried them to the front inside the furlong grounds. Flashback held on for second, beaten a half-length, while Goldencents caved in to another closer, Tiz a Minister. The latter one was beaten a length for it all and was 1 1/4 length ahead Goldencents at the finish. Hear the Ghost was timed in 1:42.34.

Doug O'Neill, Goldencents: “We’re disappointed, but when you’re running in Derby
preps, you have to have a horse that can adapt to different situations. He maybe didn’t settle as well as we would have liked. We’ll make some adjustments to the way that we train him and prepare him for the next one and regroup. I thought Martin Garcia (on Salutos Amigos) would go, but I was shocked that Flashback was so close up. I thought he’d be a little farther back. I’m sure they’ve got to make adjustments, and we have to make adjustments. We’ll be all right.

Will he run in the Santa Anita Derby? "Yeah, I think now you have to. If he comes out of it good, and we’re still thinking about the Derby, we’ll have to look at a prep.”

Kevin Krigger: “Coming into the first turn, I got him to turn off, and I was surprised, as good of a rider as Julien is supposed to be, the move he made around the turn to make us have a dogfight race all the way around. Turning into the backstretch, that’s like committing suicide, you know? If we’re going that fast easily, it’s understandable, but to pressure a race like that, being on a favorite, that’s not a favorite’s ride at all. He had the ideal scenario going into the first turn, and I mean, my horse came up tired today. There’s not much else I can say.”

March 10 NOTE: Assisant trainer said, “He came out really good. He ate well, but I would say he knows, that in his mind, he was upset that he got beat. He was pinning his ears back a little bit and he never does that. He’s just a kid. He’s learning the basics right now, I think. (The Santa Anita Derby is) up to the owners. I guess they’re going to have a meeting and talk about it, but they’ll decide whether to run in the Santa Anita Derby or try somewhere else.”

March 16 NOTE: "I’ve got to do a little better job training him. I will, and we’ll be tough in the Santa Anita Derby,” trainer O'Neill said.

April 6, Grade I Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita, 1 1/8 Mile. Goldencents, ridden brilliantly by Kevin Krigger, won the race. Krigger and Goldencents got after it right away. When Super Ninety Nine shot the lead from the gate, he was almost immediately engaged by Goldencents off his flank to the outside. The pair cut out splits of :22.72 and :46.48, reminiscent of the fast early pace in the San Felipe. But this time it was different. Krigger took hold of Goldencents and rated him through a third quarter-mile in 24 seconds, and Super Ninety Nine, ridden by Martin Garcia, maintained a short lead. Flashback and Garrett Gomez stalked two lengths back, give or take, in fourth, then fifth, then third going into the far turn.

Krigger let out the reins on Goldencents circling the turn, and they grabbed the lead in upper stretch. When Flashback came after them, Goldencents quickened and opened up two lengths on the even-money favorite.  Flashback remained resolute and trailed by a length at the furlong marker, but he lost a little ground the rest of the way in and finished second by 1 1/4 length. Everything else was far up the track. Super Ninety Nine stayed on for third, beaten 9 3/4 lengths. The winning time was 1:48.76.

Doug O'Neill, winning trainer: “I did (think he had enough left), but I think every trainer has a false sense of hope every time you run one, but I felt like we had a lot of horse left. This time it worked out perfect.

“Again, just credit to Kevin. He didn’t panic early when the pace was a little bit hot the first quarter, and was able to just chill and save horse. Credit to Kevin and the horse. They’re a great team.

Did slowing down Goldencents' workouts help? “I think it did. I think it saved some more energy for the afternoon. I was getting caught up into he was just a fast horse. It is fun to watch a horse work one ten and change, but you do worry it saps some of their energy for the afternoon, so we just tried to stay away from that. Whether that has anything to do with it or not, it worked today.”

When will he ship to Kentucky? “I don’t know. We’ve got to huddle up. As soon as the alcohol wears off, we’ll figure it all out.”

Kevin Krigger; “Right here, right now, is the biggest moment of my life. It’s only going to get better, the horse, me, the team.  As far as this horse, I had him relaxed, and that’s the key to him all the way. I wasn’t fighting him, I really wasn’t, I just kept him at his pace and kept him relaxed.”

“The gate broke and Martin Garcia hustled Super Ninety Nine to get him to the lead. I just took my hands off his neck to keep him relaxed and he stayed relaxed down the backstretch. He pulled a little bit but I didn’t want him to get closer than a half length, I didn’t want to get in a dog fight. He stayed relaxed, and when we went into the far turn, I said ‘let’s go!’ and he said ‘how far?’ and he kept running.

“I looked back on the inside just to see if anyone was coming since Martin was trying to float me out a little, and took another hold to make Goldencents drop back enough to make Martin Garcia go back on the rail, and after that I just gradually made my way back up to Super Ninety Nine. I wasn’t focused on where anyone was during the race, I was just focused on keeping Goldencents relaxed and comfortable.

“It’s going to mean everything to me, to be able to go to the Derby, to be able to make a run for the Roses, every jock dreams about this. I have never sat on any other three-year-old that makes me feel the way he does. He’s fast, he does it easy, and he relaxes for me. That’s the key factor, to be able to say that I am the only jockey to have ridden this horse is a big plus for me.

“I have to thank (agent)Tom Knust. If it weren’t for him I would still be chasing Russell Baze up north, and because of him, we’re chasing roses now.”

April 11 NOTE: “He came out of the Santa Anita Derby great,” trainer O’Neill said. “He’s doing super but it’s one day at a time. He was back on the track for the first time today, jogging, and at this point, we would work him nine days out and fly him (to Kentucky) seven days out. That’s the tentative game plan. he fact that he’s traveled to New York, traveled to Louisiana, and he’s a pretty well-seasoned 3-year-old, has us pretty excited as well.”

April 11 NOTE: “We’ve been texting back and forth,” trainer O’Neill said. “Rick’s all fired up. He’s on Cloud Nine, which he should be. What a great run he’s been on, and we’re just glad to be part of Team Pitino. I feel like I’m the luckiest man alive.”

April 17 NOTE: Trainer O’Neill said Goldencents' workout on April 17 was six furlongs in 1:14.40, not four furlongs in :48.40 (6/24) as reported by official clockers. O’Neill said he thought that Goldencents was able to relax “big time. I saw a relaxed, mature horse that finished up great." O'Neill said he timed Goldencents in :37.20 for the first three furlongs. Goldencents will work again April 25 before being shipped to Churchill Downs on April 27.

May 4, Grade I Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4 Mile. Goldencents finished seventeenth, beaten 49 1/2 lengths by Orb and a time of 2:02.89 after attending the early pace, then dropping far back on the second turn and being eased.

Doug O’Neill – “They went really fast early and I thought Kevin gave a great ride. He settled into a good spot, and for some reason he didn’t fire today. They aren’t machines so you never know. He came back in good shape and we are all bummed, but this horse has been so great.”

Kevin Krigger – “I was comfortable where I was. I didn’t want to be up there with that :22 and :45 business. He just didn’t get there.”

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Goldencents finished fifth, beaten 9 1/2 lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Goldencents, away quickest, was content to allow the winner to clear, was taken outside that one to stalk the pace, came under a ride chasing past the five sixteenths marker, continued willingly five wide to upper stretch then gave way through the final furlong."

 Doug O’Neill: “I'm doing great. I thought Kevin had him in a great spot and when the winner kicked there, we just couldn't keep up with him. I'm very proud of Kevin and the horse. We're going to be fine. We've got a bright future. Definitely, he belongs among these horses and we're going to be in good shape. We'll be OK. I'll have to talk to (co-owner) Glen (Sorgenstein) and we'll put our heads together and see what's next."

Kevin Krigger: “He didn’t run his race today. We were expecting him to run very well here, but it just doesn’t happen sometimes.”

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Sept. 2, Maiden Special Weight, Del Mar, 5 1/2 Furlongs. Goldencents was bet down from an 8-1 morning line to 8-5, then proceeded to run the distance, pretty much on his own, in 1:02.79, just .09 second off the track record. Kevin Krigger was up for the 7 1/4-length win. A track record was set by a 3-year-old filly earlier in the day. The chart call: "Goldencents had good early speed and dueled inside, inched away on the turn, was mildly hand ridden for several strides to open up in the lane and drew off without further encouragement."

Oct. 6, Grade I Foxwoods Champagne Stakes, Belmont Park, One Mile. Goldencents finished second, but he was beaten five lengths. Shanghai Bobby remained undefeated in four starts after a stalk-and-pounce trip.Breaking from post 2, Shanghai Bobby was reserved off early fractions of :23.55 and :47.45 set by Goldencents. In the turn, those two were on near even turns with six furlongs run in 1:11.21.  When heads turned for home in the one-turn mile, Shanghai Bobby was cut loose by Rosie Napravnik, and in short order he was easily in front of the pack while drifting out slightly on two occasions.

Timed in 1:35.55, Shanghai Bobby cruised under the wire five. Fortify and Archwarrior finished third and fourth after runnnig evenly. They were followed by Micromanage and Chief Havoc. Bern Identity was scratched.

Oct. 11 NOTE: Goldencents wasn't nominated to Breeders' Cup, and he won't be supplemented to the Juvenile.

Nov. 17, Grade III Delta Downs Jackpot, Delta Downs, 1 1/16 Mile. Goldencents, the 5-2 second choice, led at each call, setting sharp early fractions, then slowing it down a bit with the first six furlongs in 1:11.18. His winning time was 1:44.89. Favored at 9-5 odds, Bern Identity was ninth of nine after three-quarters of a mile, and he charged hard late to get second, beaten 1 3/4 length. The chart call: "Goldencents was sent right to the front to set a well rated pace, drew off in upper stretch then was kept to a strong drive and held sway in the end."

Doug O'Neill: “Kevin knows this colt. He’s worked him nearly every out. When I heard the announcer give the early fractions I thought, ‘uh oh we are going a little too quick,’ but we all have so much faith in this colt. Kevin kept him out of trouble and didn’t fight him and it worked out perfect. I don’t know the exact path (to the Kentucky Derby), but we will probably look somewhere at Santa Anita after the first of the year, maybe the Bob Lewis Stakes. This horse has been in New York and Louisiana in two of his three starts, so he travels great.”

Dec. 21 NOTE: Dennis O’Neill said that Goldencents will make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade III Sham Stakes on Jan. 5.

 

 

GOVENOR CHARLIE (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Michael E. Pegram
Breeder: Michael E. Pegram
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Midnight Lute (Real Quiet, Candytuft)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Silverbulletway (Storm Cat, Silverbuletday)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-2-4-0-1 (8) 1.67
Foal Date: Feb. 23, 2010

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Jan. 19, Maiden Special Weight, Santa Anita, Six Furlongs. Govenor Charlie broke tardily and was 10 1/2 lengths off the lead after a quarter-mile. He was beaten 7 1/2 lengths by Let Em Shine and a time of 1:08.36.

Feb. 17, Maiden Special Weight, Santa Anita, One Mile. Govenor Charlie broke alertly, put away the pacesetter, but was soon joined by 6-5 favorite Footbridge. In the stretch, Footbridge got a slight lead, but Govenor Charlie came back on him and prevailed by a neck. The third finisher was 3 1/4 lengths back. The chart call: "Govenor Charlie had speed three deep then dueled outside a rival, took a short lead leaving the second turn, came three deep between foes into the stretch, was headed past the eighth pole, fought back under urging and gamely prevailed late."

March 24 Grade III Sunland Derby, Sunland Park, 1 1/8 Mile. Govenor Charlie won in track-record time as the 6-5 favorite. He broke a mark in place for over 50 years, timed in 1:47.54. It was the third track record of the day. Saint Prado took the lead up the backstretch, closely followed by Abraham and Govenor Charlie. Those two moved up to flank the pacesetter, with Abraham on the inside. The quarter-mile had gone in :22.74 and the half in :46.22. Approaching the far turn, Abraham stuck a neck in front, but Saint Prado fought back, and Govenor Charlie wasn't about to back down. With six furlongs in the books in 1:09.96, longshot Show Some Magic made a wide move, and the four of them hit the far turn heads apart.

Govenor Charlie got away from the field leaving the turn, and Show Some Magic's momentum carried him into second. They finished that way, with Govenor Charlie prevailing by five lengths. Abraham stayed on for third, beaten 8 1/4 lengths for it all.

Martin Garcia: “I was in really good position. The best thing was that I was outside. The best place was outside.”

April 17 NOTE: On Govenor Charlie going Wednesday to a Kentucky veterinary clinic: "We had a hind foot issue a couple days ago, so I want to make sure we didn't miss anything," trainer Baffert told DRF.com. He told Bloodhorse.com: "His foot was bugging him a couple of days ago, so we thought we better check it out and sent him to Dr. Bramlage at Rood & Riddle for a bone scan, which came up negative.He was just off one morning; it may have been just a slight bruise. We'll get him to Churchill Downs and play it by ear, and just see how he's doing." Baffert also said Govenor Charlie would be shipped back to Louisville from Lexington today and go back to the track on Friday.

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Govenor Charlie finished eighth, beaten 32 lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Govenor Charlie was rated back soon after the break, lost ground five wide, made a slight move near the half mile marker then had nothing from there."

Bob Baffert: “If they would have yelled 'about-face' I would have won easy at the wire. My horse missed the break and never really was in the race. I’m happy for Gary and Wayne; that’s awesome.”

Martin Garcia: “He did not like the track at all. He was very uncomfortable all the way around.”

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Unraced.

 

 

ITSMYLUCKYDAY (KY)
Trainer: Edward Plesa, Jr.
Owner: Trilogy Stable & Laurie Plesa
Breeder: Liberation Farm & Brandywine Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Lawyer Ron (Langfuhr (CAN), Donation)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Viva La Slew (Doneraile Court, Viva La Viva)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-3-7-0-0 (14) 3.00
Foal Date: March 18, 2010


$47,000 Keeneland September 2011.
$110,000 OBS 2-Year-Olds in Training.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Jan. 1, Gulfstream Park Derby, Gulfstream Park, One Mile. Coming off a troubled fifth on turf in the Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream on Dec. 15, Itsmyluckyday dominated his five rivals, winning by 6 3/4 lengths under Paco Lopez. Itsmyluckday settled in fourth on the backstretch run of the one-turn stakes while close to the pace. He made a move on Undrafted, who had set very fast fractions. Itsmyluckyday challenged for the lead on the turn and sweptpast the tiring Undrafted in the stretch, lengthening his lead to the wire. Sr. Quisqueyano, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Joel Rosario, raced just behind the leaders throughout the race and finished second. The next runner was another 5 1/2 lengths behind. The time was a stout 1:34.39.

Eddie Plesa, Jr.: “This horse has been training great. Paco thinks this horse is better on the turf and still thinks he’s better on the turf. I have a problem with that. I know how good he’s been training. He loves the dirt. I don’t get Derby Fever until at least April. When I looked up at the fractions, I was somewhat concerned, but he just kept on going. I’m very pleased with his effort.

“We’ll evaluate what our options are. You’ve got the next race here, and you’ve got another one at Tampa. The main thing is: he’s had a full schedule. Let’s see how he comes out of this race and we’ll go from there.”

Paco Lopez: "I liked our position today, and last time we were on the grass we had a little trouble. I was in a good position so I pushed early to stay second. On the rail I waited and waited, looked back a few times but I knew I had a lot of horse left."

Jan. 26, Grade III Holy Bull Stakes, Gulfstream Park, 1 1/16 Mile. Itsmyluckyday became the first horse to defeat Shanghai Bobby, and it took a track-record time to do it, 1:41.81, cutting .54 second off then 5-year-old Endorsement's mark from Feb. 1, 2012. Shanghai Bobby broke from post 1 on the lead under Rosie Napravnik. He was pursued most closely going into and up the backstretch by longshot Clearly Now. Behind those two was the eventual winner, Itsmyluckyday, written by Elvis Trujillo. Frac Daddy and Bern Identity vied for fourth position as the field ran toward the second turn. Heading into the turn, Shanghai Bobby and Itsmyluckyday separated themselves from the rest of the field. Shanghai Bobby led into the top of the stretch, but he was soon overtaken by Itsmyluckyday.

Shanghai Bobby went the first quarter-mile in :23.34 and got the half in :46.68. They winning margin was two lengths. Clearly Now finished third at odds of 42-1 and was beaten 13 1/2 lengths for it all. Another half-length behind him was another longshot, Joshua's Comprise at 132-1.

Eddie Plesa Jr.: "Words can’t describe it. It’s something everybody should feel. Anybody in this game deserves to have this feeling. I wish them all to have this feeling sometime….just not today.

Plesa said, subject to change, that he would point Itsmyluckyday next to the Grade I Florida Derby. Pletcher's original plan has been to do the same with Shanghai Bobby.

“I told Elvis,’If you’re seven-wide on the first turn and four-wide heading for home, you’re not going to win the race.' I just wanted the best horse to win the race; I believe that’s what happened today. I didn’t see anybody that had any big excuses as far as wide trips. That’s what I wanted for our horse; I wanted a fair chance to win the race. When we got to about the five-eighths pole, the half-mile pole, I felt real good, because I know he has a good kick. He couldn’t have been training any better or doing any better, so I was pretty confident that we were going to be right there.

“We’ll see how he comes out of the race, but I’d lean toward the Florida Derby. But he’s going to tell me what he wants to do. Then I’ll sit down with our partners and we’ll discuss it. It’s a 3-year-old. Everybody’s excited because of the Kentucky Derby. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in that.”

Elvis Trujillo: "I'm very thankful for Mr. Plesa, who gave me this opportunity to ride Itsmyluckyday. This was a very fast trip with two horses out in front and us right behind. This was the trip Mr. Plesa and I hoped for."

Feb. 8 NOTE: "We've already decided with the new points system, that if for some reason we don't get enough points in the next race, the Florida Derby, we won't go to the Kentucky Derby," trainer Plesa told Jennie Rees in USA Today. "Because I don't think I'm going to run him in a race between the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby to get enough points to get into the race."

March 16 NOTE: “He worked perfect with Elvis,” said trainer Plesa. “He galloped out three-quarters in 1:14. I couldn’t be more pleased with him. We’re coasting from here. He’ll just have an easy half-mile breeze next weekend, and that’s it. It’s been a long wait, but I think we’ve done the right thing with him.”

March 26 NOTE: “It was a matter of him finding his niche,” trainer Plesa said. “I was waiting for the distance races all along. Did he far exceed anything that I thought? Absolutely. But I did expect him to be a distance horse.”

March 30, Grade I Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park, 1 1/18 Mile. Orb initially set up a couple of lengths behind the pace set by Merit Man, who was pressed by Narvaez. Itsmyluckyday and Elvis Trujillo were tracking those two outside of two-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby, who was on the rail after breaking from post 1. Merit Man and Narvaez went the first quarter-mile in :24.74 and the half in :48.56, and at the second call Orb was in fifth position, four lengths from the front.

Merit Man and Kent Desormeaux still led after six furlongs in 1:12.89, but Itsmyluckyday was getting closer. With a mile booked in 1:37.70, Itsmyluckyday was on the lead. But Orb was not to be denied. After circling four wide on the second turn, he caught Itsmyluckyday, the 8-5 post time favorite, inside the furlong marker. Orb separated himself from Itsmyluckyday to prevail by 2 3/4 lengths. Merit Man and Narvaez, both making their two-turn debuts, stayed on for third and fourth, beaten five lengths and 10 lengths, respectively. Shanghai Bobby finished fifth, 3/4 length behind Narvaez.

Orb was timed in 1:50.87.That was almost two seconds slower than Dreaming of Julia's 1:48.97 in the Grade II Gulfstream Oaks earlier on the card. She won by 21 3/4 lengths and is bound for the Kentucky Oaks.

Trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. (Itsmyluckyday) – “I expected him to win, and he didn’t. Am I disappointed? Yes, but I’m also very proud of him too. He’s done everything we’ve asked. I’ll be fine going to bed tonight with what he did. He won $200,000 today and $600,000 altogether.

“He ran his race. He just got outrun. The winner ran a fantastic race. We finished second, and that’s good enough to get to the Derby, which was our goal. I thought we were sitting in pretty good position and moved for the lead on the far turn, but Orb just outkicked him.”

April 18 NOTE: “I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he worked,” trainer Plesa told DRF.com. “The first half-mile is what it is, I just wanted him to finish up. I’ve been doing this a long time over here and they don’t tend to go much faster than 1:43 for a mile at Calder. Maybe one or two have but I don’t think I’ve had a horse finish like he did or gallop out so strongly after working a mile in that kind of time. He’s bigger and stronger than he’s ever been. The 62 days between the Holy Bull and Florida Derby was just what we needed to do. He’s responded very favorably and is on top of his game right now.”

With exercise rider Bobby Gray aboard, Itsmyluckyday was timed by Mike Welsch in :26.82 and :53.82, then completed his final half-mile in :49.28 and final quarter in 24.80.  Plesa said that it was as good a mile work as any horse he could remember at Calder. The move was deemed the final serious workout for Itsmyluckyday before the Kentucky Derby. Plesa's plans to put one more easy work into Itsmyluckyday before vanning him to Churcill Downs on April 26.

May 4, Grade I Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4 Mile. Itsmyluckyday finished fifteenth, beaten 22 1/2 lengths by Orb and a time of 2:02.89 after running sixth and seventh the the first three calls.

Eddie Plesa Jr. – “Elvis said he didn’t like the track. It was something I was concerned about, but we were all running on the same track.”

Elvis Trujillo – “He didn’t run his race. He just didn’t like the track.”

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Itsmyluckyday finished second, beaten 1 3/4 length by Oxbow. The chart call: "Itsmyluckyday, four wide around the first turn, edged closer within himself nearing the far turn, came five wide for the drive, made a menacing run leaving the eighth pole but flattened out a bit late while saving the place."

 Eddie Plesa Jr.: “I’m very pleased with the way he ran. He ran his race. He simply just got beat by a horse that was trained perfectly by Wayne Lukas. We did run our race, but we just weren’t lucky enough to win.”

John Velazquez: “My horse ran awesome. The speed didn’t develop the way I thought it would. I thought Oxbow would be third or fourth, then all of a sudden I look up and Bob Baffert’s horse gets left and Oxbow was on the lead all by himself. I worried then about my horse, but he ran great.”

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Itsmyluckyday was a four-length winner of the five-furlong Fasig-Tipton Dash on Aug. 25, improving his career record to three wins from five starts with $110,600 in earnings. The purse for the Foolish Pleasure would be $100,000.

Sept. 15, Foolish Pleasure Stakes, Calder, One Mile 70 Yards. Itsmyluckyday tracked in fourth, moved on the turn and led by two lengths with a furlong left. He won by three, timed in 1:45.45, at 7-2 odds. Initial fractions were moderate to slow, the first six furlongs timed in 1:13.51. Sr. Quisqueyano, favored at 1-2, finished second, followed 5 3/4 lengths by Joshua's Comprise. Itsmyluckyday benefitted when Sr. Quisqueyano and 47-1 outsider Billos Boy fought for early control of the race.

Manny Cruz, aboard the winner: “My horse can go to the lead, but there were a couple of others that wanted the lead, so I let them go and was happy to keep my horse covered up. All through the race, my horse gave me the choice to do whatever I wanted. And then when I asked him, that little horse, he gave me a big punch.”

Oct. 17 NOTE: “I talked to the partners in Itsmyluckyday and for them, geographically, it’s not what they wanted. He’d be 20-1 or higher in the Juvenile and they’ve been to California before with a horse and didn’t have any luck. We’ll just bypass the Breeders’ Cup and get him ready for the bigger races down here this winter,” trainer Plesa told DRF.com.

Nov. 17, Grade III Delta Downs Jackpot, Delta Downs, 1 1/16 Mile. Itsmyluckyday failed to impact the race and finished sixth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths. The chart call: "Itsmyluckday was unhurried early then rallied on the far turn while five wide to upper stretch then failed to menace in the stretch drive."

 

 

MYLUTE (KY)
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Owner: GoldMark Farm LLC & Whisper Hill Farm (Theodore P. Bulmahn, Amanda Pope)
Breeder: Mike G. Rutherford
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Midnight Lute (Real Quiet, Candytuft)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Stage Stop (Valid Expectations, Winning Move)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-1-4-0-0 (6) 2.00
Foal Date: Feb. 26, 2010

$150,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky 2011.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Feb. 24, Grade II Risen Star Stakes, Fair Grounds, 1 1/16 Mile. Mylute and Shaun Bridgmohan contended early in fourth, were still in contention during the stretch drive, but faded to finish seventh beaten 3 1/4 lengths. Ive Struck A Nerve rallied on the outside to win from last position at the first call. The time was 1:44.52. The chart call: "Mylute was rated under a very strong hold, went two then three wide on the far turn, was asked near the quarter-pole, chased into the final furlong and weakened."

Feb. 26 NOTE: “The way he was trained and the amount of time between races had something to do with him faltering at the end, so we’re going to try one more time with him,” trainer Amoss said.

March 30, Grade II Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds, 1 1/8 Mile. Revolutionary and Mylute both came from far back to run one-two. Revolutionary took the overland route to win. Unhurried early, he was about a dozen behind a fast early pace, while Mylute was nine to 11 lengths back. Hip Four Sixtynine and Titletown Five alternated for the early lead with splits of :22.84 and :46.34. They tired to six in 1:11.84, and Revolutionary was only 2 3/4 lengths behind at that point, with Mylute four lengths back of the pace. Revolutionary launched a bid five wide in the far turn -- it looked like eight. Mylute, at 19-1, went four and five wide and briefly got the lead at the sixteenth pole but hung a bit, and Revolutionary prevailed by a neck over Mylute, timed in 1:50.28. Finishing third, three lengths farther back, was Departing. Fourth was Golden Soul, who was beaten 4 3/4 lengths.

Tom Amoss, trainer of Mylute: “I’m really proud of him. I am proud of the way he ran today. One of these years, the Louisiana Derby is going to have our name on it.”

Shaun Bridgmohan, aboard Mylute: “I thought I had a great trip, my horse ran hard the whole way, he gave me what he had and unfortunately he got beat. He tried very hard though.”

THE NEXT DAY: “We’re going to head right to Louisville,” said trainer Amoss. “I’m still not exactly sure what our plans are when we get there, but our horse ran a huge race yesterday, and we’re very proud of him. He came out of the race just fine.”

May 4, Grade I Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4 Mile. Mylute finished fifth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Orb and a time of 2:02.89 after being in sixteenth position after six furlongs behind hot fractions.

Tom Amoss – Unavailable for comment.

Rosie Napravnik – “I really had a great trip. Tom’s instructions were to just let him fall out of the gate. Run like he likes to run. So I was a little further back than I had hoped to be going into the first turn. We were right inside of Orb the whole way and I knew we were in good shape. We did have to go around but it was a clear run. It was an exhilarating feeling at the quarter pole knowing that I had a shot. I have never wanted to win a photo for third so bad in my life. The horse ran great and the best part is I think he’s really going to move forward off of this, and I’m looking forward to his next race. He is really the right type of horse for these classic distance races and I’m really excited about his next race because he’s really growing into a very nice racehorse.”

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Mylute finished third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Mylute was lightly steadied back at the break then unhurried, picked up momentum four wide under urging leaving the far turn, altered out seven wide straightening for the wire and steadily closed the gap."

 Tom Amoss: “My horse ran great. The pace was a disappointment up front. I thought there would be more speed; it didn’t materialize. We were probably at the biggest disadvantage of all, coming from way back and being the widest in the race. We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.  I actually look at this like a missed opportunity because my horse ran a big race today.”

Rosie Napravnik: “He was very sluggish out of the gate for the first quarter of a mile. Then he got going. This is a tough course. I was too far back to see who the leaders were. This was a tough pace to follow. But he ran great down the lane and closed well.”

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Mylute broke his maiden third time out going six furlongs at Arlington Park, then finished fifth in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity.

Mylute earned $213,695 thanks to three on-the-board finishes in stakes: a second in the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows in his second start, a second in the $200,000 Jean Laffite Stakes at Delta Downs after the Arlington-Washington Futurity, and a third in the Grade III Delta Jackpot after the Jean Lafitte.

Dec. 26, Entry Level Allowance, Fair Grounds, One Mile 70 Yards. Mylute literally ran away with this one, winning by 10 3/4 lengths while timed in 1:44.30 under Rosie Napravnik. Mylute stalked fourth of six, got ahead after six furlongs in a dawdling 1:15.00 and drew off. He was three or four wide on the first turn and three wide on the second one. Rosie hand-rode him the final 100 yards. General Election was second, followed a neck by Lattin Devil.

The chart call: “Mylute went four then three wide on the first turn, was rated on the outside, advanced leaving the backstretch, engaged the leader while three wide on the far turn, edged clear under a drive in upper stretch and drew off under the whip then was hand ridden in the final sixteenth.”

Dec. 31 NOTE: “(Next will be) either be the Lecomte or wait until the Risen Star, and that’s a decision that’s going to be made by GoldMark Farm general manager Todd Quast. A lot of it will have to do with how he trains over the next three weeks,” said trainer Amoss.

 

 

ORB (KY)
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Owner: Stuart S. Janney III & Phipps Stable
Breeder: Stuart S. Janney III LLC & Phipps Stable
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Malibu Moon (A.P. Indy, Macoumba)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Lady Liberty (Unbridled, Mesabi Maiden)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 11-12-15-0-2 (40) 3.21
Foal Date: Feb. 24, 2010

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Jan. 26, Entry Level Allowance, Gulfstream Park, 1 1/8 Mile. Orb started slowly, had to be checked, then went from last to first in a quarter-mile, although the field was fairly compact at the time he made his move. But he did that from behind moderate fractions during the first six furlongs. He defeated a stubborn, front-running Duke of the City by a length and appeared to be waiting on horses after he got the lead inside the furlong marker. The fractions and final time were :24.32, :49.11, 1:13.58, 1:37.69, 1:51.05. Two races earlier, 3-year-old Cerro won an allowance at the same distance in 1:50.29.

The chart call: Orb raced in tight going into the first turn, steadied slightly and raced in the back in opening quarter, continued to pull in early stages, forced to settle in under patient handling, given permission to pick up the pace in the backstretch, edged up to the leader near the quarter pole, matched strides with Duke of the City into the stretch, shook free in the final sixteenth and continued clear to the wire."

Shug McGaughey: “He’s not fast, so (getting in trouble behind horses) going to happen sometimes. (Joel Rosario) was trying to keep him down in there. I’m glad, because that way he got a little schooling. I think there’s a lot left there. It was the first time I was able to get him stretched out around two turns. When I brought him down here this winter, I said ‘He might be a nice horse when we get him back to Aqueduct this spring.' I’m very pleased today.”“I’ve had trouble with him at the gate. The first two times I ran him, he was terrible in the gate. He came up against some good horses, too, like Violence."

Feb. 23, Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes, Gulfstream Park, 1 1/16 Mile. Too-swift early fractions were made to order for a late run by Orb. Majestic Hussar set fractions of :23.11, :45.45 and 1:08.85. Cerro was in closest pursuit up the back, followed by Sr. Quisqueyano, Violence and Elmutahid. Speak Logistics and Orb played it cool near the back of the nine-horse field. Violence edged closer to Majestic Hussar heading into the second turn and was within a half-length at six furlongs. Violence got to the furlong marker with a 1 1/2-length lead, but Orb, ridden by John Velazquez, was coming at them and surged past to beat Violence by a half-length. The time was a solid 1:42.24. Speak Logistics also closed, but not as quickly as Orb, to finish third, beaten 7 1/4 lengths.

The winner was getting six pounds from Violence. It was Orb's second race with Lasix.

Trainer Shug McGaughey: "I was watching on the television, so I couldn't see the fractions, but when they came into the picture I said to myself, 'If they slow down, he's going to catch them.' Of course, Violence kept going a bit, but I still thought we had him. When he made the lead, he did the same thing he did in the allowance race here, pulling himself up a bit. But that's just being young. The strides he has made this winter are just absolutely incredible...I think what happened is when Orb made the lead, he started looking around a bit. But I think Violence made him that much more competitive. I hope that's what it was.

"I don't know what his next outing will be, but we'll see and talk to the Phipps and Stuart Janney and see what they want to do and go from there."

Asked if he was worried about the Kentucky Derby: "I've been worried about it since I started rubbing horses in 1972."

"John Velazquez said everything went great. I was concerned about the one post and the mile and sixteenth. I would have liked it to have been 1 1/8 but it wasn't. So there was nothing we could do but it worked out."

John Velazquez: “There was a lot of speed, and I was actually able to get right where I wanted to be pretty early. I was told the horse likes to be on the outside, and by the time we got on the backside, I was able to switch him out, and he was going along nice and smooth. I actually had to ride him pretty hard from the half-mile to the quarter pole to keep position, and I hoped it wouldn’t take anything out of him for the stretch but it actually worked out great, so I was right where I wanted to be.”

March 26 NOTE: “Like I said after the Fountain of Youth, I wake up every morning thinking of winning the Kentucky Derby. I wish I’d won it a long time ago so I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore,” trainer McGaughey said. “The reason I don’t get Derby Fever is that I want to take the right horse.”

March 30, Grade I Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park, 1 1/18 Mile. Orb did what trainer McGaughey hoped he'd do, and that's take him a step closer to the Kentucky Derby. Orb and John Velazquez initially set up a couple of lengths behind the pace set by Merit Man, who was pressed by Narvaez. Itsmyluckyday was tracking those two outside of two-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby, who was on the rail after breaking from post 1. Merit Man and Narvaez went the first quarter-mile in :24.74 and the half in :48.56, and at the second call Orb was in fifth position, four lengths from the front.

Merit Man and Kent Desormeaux still led after six furlongs in 1:12.89, but Itsmyluckyday was getting closer. With a mile booked in 1:37.70, Itsmyluckyday was on the lead. But Orb was not to be denied. After circling four wide on the second turn, he caught Itsmyluckyday, the 8-5 post time favorite, inside the furlong marker. Orb separated himself from Itsmyluckyday to prevail by 2 3/4 lengths. Merit Man and Narvaez, both making their two-turn debuts, stayed on for third and fourth, beaten five lengths and 10 lengths, respectively. Shanghai Bobby finished fifth, 3/4 length behind Narvaez.

Orb was timed in 1:50.87.That was almost two seconds slower than Dreaming of Julia's 1:48.97 in the Grade II Gulfstream Oaks earlier on the card. She won by 21 3/4 lengths and is bound for the Kentucky Oaks.

Shug McGaughey: “I’m pretty excited about the first Florida Derby I’ve ever won. I’m just glad to see the horse take another step, and we’ll go from there. Johnny did a good job getting him in position. I got a little nervous on the turn when it looked like he backed up a little bit, but he switched on his right lead and came with his run. I do think he beat a nice horse that finished second.

“From the Fountain of Youth to now, he’s a different horse, physically and coat-wise. Hopefully, he’ll keep going forward. It’s really exciting. I’d never won the Fountain of Youth, and now to win the Florida Derby, it’s exciting. I’m happy for all the people who have put so much work into it. I’m just tickled to death for the Janneys and the Phippses than I am for myself. It’s a big thrill for me.

“The Derby is my dream, but we never tried to overdo it. Hopefully, this is the one who can take us there.

"He trained fairly sharp, and I told my son in the paddock, I wouldn't be surprised if he breaks OK and he won't be as far back. Now I didn't know they were going to go 24 and change either. So I wasn't too surprised where he was. The one thing you don't know is if it will take away from the run or not and, obviously, it didn't.

"I never wanted to run the wrong kind of horse because I know what the consequences would be. We're trying to set up to have horses that will run later on and keep going, so I've learned if you press on too early, maybe something will happen where they don't make it or they'll peak too soon. When I ran this horse the first time in September I didn't believe he would be a Derby horse, but we were hoping that somewhere along the line, one of the colts would go through the development stage and take us there, as we do every year."

John Velazquez: "The first jump from the gate wasn't very good so I had to kind of ask him to get into the game in the first turn. Trujillo (Itsmyluckyday) started coming out on the first turn..I let him out. I thought he was the horse to beat. So I followed him. I was right behind him. I wasn't too far from him. About the half-mile pole I said, 'I'm going to put a little pressure on him,' because it looked like he was going a little too easy. I got to him, we started moving together. At the three-eighths pole I showed the whip to my horse, and he kind of went to get him a little too soon. So I kind of sat against the horse. The reason I wanted to do that was I didn't want to get ahead way too soon in the race and then he'd be waiting. Once we did that, and I asked him, he responded right away. It was impressive. Once I asked him, he was there for me, and I couldn't ask for a better feeling than that.

"Once you get him out of the paddock and on the racetrack he's beautiful, he doesn't do anything wrong on the track. I like to warm him up with the pony and then jog him by myself and take my feet out of the irons, he's perfect. I think he just feels a little crowded in the paddock and that's it. Once he's on the track, he's very good."

Velazquez said trackside that Orb "definitely" has what it takes to win the Kentucky Derby.

Stuart Janney III (owner-breeder – Orb): Obviously, he is very calm, although he has shown some signs of a horse I had here some years ago (Coronado’s Quest). With him, you got the feeling you were trying to disarm a nuclear device. (Orb) acted up just a little, and I had a brief panic attack, but after he was saddled he was calm. He seems to be a horse that could take us there with his temperament and style.

"You know, you can be in this game so many different ways. You can buy them or, like I do, try to breed them. I was very lucky a lot of years ago to take over some very good bloodlines from my parents. And this was particularly a bloodline that was their best. So I feel a great sense of pride that we've been able to produce some very good horses out of this particular line because it goes back through my parents to my grandmother. And it's a lot of fun, frankly, to run this horse with Dinny Phipps. His father was...very special. I really wasn't necessarily going to get into the game. He came to me and said, 'I'll be your partner. I'd like it if Shug trains the horses we own together.'And for me it was wonderful because, first of all, I enjoy doing it and, secondly, I got the benefit of his advice and I also got a reasonably good trainer. So to do this with the extended members of my family is also a wonderful aspect of this."

(Note: Coronado’s Quest finished second in the 1998 Hutcheson Stakes and Fountain of Youth Stakes before a fifth-place finish in the Florida Derby.)

May 4, Grade I Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4 Mile. Orb, whose odds were 8-1 minutes before post time, dipped to 5-1 favoritism shortly before the gates opened and then won. Timed in 2:02.89 over a sloppy/sealed track, Orb and Joel Rosario took advantage of a swift early pace and swooped to the lead in the stretch. Palace Malice set hot fractions of :22.57, :45.33 and 1:09.80. He was chased through those splits initially by Goldencents, Falling Sky, Vyjack, Verrazano and Oxbow. Falling Sky was the first of them to fall back, then Vyjack went by the wayside. That got the field, led by Palace Malice, to the beginning of the far turn, but he began to tire. Goldencents dropped from fourth position to fifteenth in the span of a quarter-mile. Oxbow surged around the turn, and Verrazano was running one-paced.

Leaving the turn, Normandy Invasion, ridden by Javier Castellano, was the first of the late runners to strike the lead and looked like a winner turning for home after a mile in 1:36.16. But Orb got by him with an eighth of a mile to run and edged away from the field to win by 2 1/2 lengths. After a half-mile, Orb was in sixteenth place, 18 3/4 lengths off the lead.

Shug McGaughey -- "I still think there's something there.  I think there's more there.  I don't think we've bottomed out.  I think he's still learning how to run a little bit.  All winter we saw that same thing.  He would make the lead like he would go off and would kind of ease himself out.  His allowance race, Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby, and even today when he made the lead kind of thing, Joel did the right thing by sort of letting him drift out a little bit to see that horse come, and then he went on and finished. But I've seen some things that make me think that there is more there."

Joel Rosario -- "Well, when I brought him over, I know he's the kind of horse, I know he keeps going, and I can see he can catch the horse in front really quick.  As soon as I passed the last horse sometimes he likes to pull himself a little bit and kind of get after him a little bit, and he was going along well.  It all worked out good."

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Orb finished fourth, beaten nine lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Orb bobbled inward at the break, recovered and moved up to be within range while saving ground around the first turn, eased off the inside and quickly reached a striking position between foes five furlongs out, dropped back a bit on his own entering the far turn, moved to the rail soon after, gave chase into the lane, angled out past the three sixteenths marker and finished with some interest between rivals."

 Shug McGaughey: “I’m disappointed. It was a great opportunity. We were 3-5 and we finished fourth. I would be disappointed any time you had this kind of opportunity and didn’t get it done. I don’t think two weeks had anything to do with it. Oxbow ran back in two weeks. Itsmyluckyday ran back in two weeks, Mylute ran back in two weeks. I just think he got himself in a position where he wasn’t comfortable and then without the pace scenario in front of him; they really weren’t spread out a little bit more than maybe I’d hoped. That probably affected him more than anything else.

“The pace was slower than I anticipated. I thought the pace would be quicker.  I thought maybe they would speed it up a little bit but they didn’t.  I still thought we would close into it, but it just wasn’t his day. He was just never real comfortable once he got down in there.  I’m  disappointed. I’ll probably be way more disappointed tomorrow but I know the game. It is highs and lows, probably more lows than highs. We had a great run two weeks ago. My hat’s off to Wayne to win his sixth Preakness. That’s pretty remarkable.”

Joel Rosario: “He was in a good spot early in the race. They were going slow up front and he was fine. When I got to the half-mile pole, he had a hard time keeping up. I used my stick to try to get him going. He usually takes you there. He always runs hard. But today he never took off. He just steadied. Today was not his day.”


PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Orb failed to break his maiden in his first three starts, but he got the job done on Nov. 24 in his fourth time out -- and his second time going a mile.

Nov. 24, Maiden Special Weight, One Mile, Aqueduct. Orb won by two lengths at 9-2 odds under Joel Rosario, who must've known he had a lot of horse. The final time was 1:38.73. Orb was sixth of seven midway through the race, behind moderate fractions. Freedom Child was second. Revolutionary, the 1-5 favorite, was third, beaten 4 1/4 lengths.

"Orb was patiently allowed to settle into stride proceeding down the chute, picked up the pace noticeably upon setting foot on the backstretch, moved into contention with a four wide run on the turn, was under strong handling spinning into the lane, lost none of the momentum and continued to close in on the runner up, wore down that rival in the late stages and kicked clear, kept to the task at hand."

 

 

OXBOW (KY)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley)
Breeder: Colts Neck Stables LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Awesome Again (Deputy Minister (CAN), Primal Force)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Tiz Amazing (Cee's Tizzy, Cee's Song)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-0-8-0-0 (14) 2.50
Foal Date: March 26, 2010


$250,000 Keeneland September 2011.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Jan. 19, Grade III Lecomte Stakes, Fair Grounds, One Mile 70 Yards.
Oxbow led from gate to wire winning by over 11 lengths as some of the horses behind him staggered through the stretch. The time was 1:43.30 after initial fractions of :48.58 and 1:13.34.

D. Wayne Lukas: “You guys [the media] didn’t even know he was in the race, did you? If you had to make a living handicapping you’d all starve to death. When Jon gets back here tomorrow, I’m going to make him give half the mount money back because he didn’t have to do anything. All he had to do is hang on.

“There is a certain amount of wisdom that he handled the surface well and shipped well, so that gives us another option. You like to see a horse handle the situation that you put him in. We took all the worst of it with shipping in yesterday and taking on your local guys all coming out of their own stalls and having works
over the racetrack. So we took all of the worst of it today and still got along pretty good. Now we’re a little tighter and in a little better shape if we come back to the Risen Star.

“This horse has a beautiful stride and a high cruising speed. When you watch the replay you see his ears are pricked and he’s just in a cruising speed the whole way around there.”

Jon Court: “I actually thought I’d be one-two-three, but Wayne said don’t be surprised if you find yourself on the lead. He just said to be relaxed, and he wanted to see him happy with a smile on in the bit, and he can win this race and that’s exactly how it turned out.”

“Where he goes from here is up to Brad Kelley and Wayne Lukas, of course, but I did see this horse progress from the first time I got to ride him. In fact, the day he won I told Joe Rocco Jr. that this horse has really improved a lot and I wish I could be on his back. I said, ‘You are going to really like him’ and he went on to win. As I mentioned, the progression he’s made in his training and in his races shows that he’s continued to pursue the prestigious levels so we’ll see where he goes from here.”

Feb. 7 NOTE: “Oxbow is just super right now,” said trainer Lukas on Feb. 6. “He’s really an amazing horse with the way he trains.”

Feb. 24, Grade II Risen Star Stakes, Fair Grounds, 1 1/16 Mile. Oxbow and Jon Court finished fourth, beaten only  a half-length. In a wild finish, a half-length separated the top four runners and the winner paid over $200. Ive Struck A Nerve upset at 135-1. He nosed out Code West by a nose after rallying from last in the 12-horse field. He was timed in 1:44.52. Code West was ridden by Martin Garcia.

Proud Strike and Code West vied for the early lead, cutting out fractions of :23.92 and :48.34. After six furlongs, Proud Strike was regressing, while Oxbow had overtaken Code West to make a short lead. Heading toward the stretch, Oxbow held a short lead while Palace Malice and Mylute had run up to join Code West. Two lengths separated them all. As they struggled to get to the finish line first, Ive Struck A Nerve came wide to nail the win at the finish line. Code West finished a half-length ahead of Palice Malice, who nosed out Oxbow for the show. Normandy Invasion finished fifth, beaten only 1 1/12 length after a rough start.

Jon Court: “I had a good, clean trip. He didn’t break really running. I didn’t want him to get in a hurry leaving there and burn himself out. He just sat off the pace; I knew he didn’t have to be on the lead. He ended up inheriting the lead, and I just straightened for home and sat down and went for the gusto like I did last time, but the last 40, 50 yards they overtook me."

March 5 NOTE: Will race next in the Grade II Rebel; Mike Smith named to ride.

March 16, Grade II Rebel Stakes, Oaklawn Park, 1 1/16 Mile. Will Take Charge, ridden by Jon Court, won the race by a head over Oxbow, ridden by Mike Smith. As expected, Title Contender sped to a lead designed to set up a late run by fellow entry Treasury Bill -- a late run that never materialized. But the tactic may have been the undoing of Super Ninety Nine, who was never far from Title Contender. They were followed up the backstretch by Delhomme and Oxbow, then Oxbow and Delhomme, through fractions of :23.36 and :47.19.  Hitting the far turn, Title Contender was done. Super Ninety Nine and Oxbow were in a battle for the lead, with Oxbow to the outside of the 6-5 post-time favorite. However, Den's Legacy and Will Take Charge were putting pressure on both of them. Six furlongs had gone in 1:12.39.

After the field turned for home, Super Ninety Nine found himself between Oxbow to his outside and Den's Legacy to his inside. Will Take Charge, who'd gone four wide on the turn, has lost a little ground. Bumped a bit, Super Ninety Nine faltered while the other three went on. Will Take Charge regrouped and came running to the outside of Oxbow to secure the win by a head. Den's Legacy was beaten two lengths. The time of 1:45.18 was a little faster than 6-year-old Tiz Miz Sue's 1:45.26 in the Grade III Azeri one race earlier at Oaklawn.

Mike Smith: "He ran awesome. He was doing things really easy. I didn't want to send him at the quarter pole because I knew it was a bit too early. But, it was the hand that was dealt to us."

March 26 NOTE: Mike Smith will ride War Academy in the Grade I Arkansas Derby, and Gary Stevens will replace Smith on Oxbow.

April 13, Grade I Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park, 1 1/8 Mile. Oxbow finished fifth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths, after running ninth or tenth of 10 in the early going. Overanalyze, in a major form reversal, came from off the pace to win in dominant fashion. Best by 4 1/4 lengths, he was timed in 1:51.94

Gary Stevens (via Twitter): "Things didn't go as planned. Happens a lot. Don't write Oxbow off for (the) Derby just now. Never count a Lukas horse out."

May 4, Grade I Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4 Mile. Oxbow finished sixth, beaten 9 3/4 lengths by Orb and a time of 2:02.89 after running sixth early and nearly grabbing the lead after a mile.

D. Wayne Lukas – Unavailable for comment.

Gary Stevens – “Coming into the stretch, I had a big smile on my face. I’m going to win my fourth. But five strides later, I was attacked from the outside for a couple strides, and they went on. He was brave. He never gave it up at all. He ran all the way to the finish line and galloped back proud, and I’m proud of him.’’

On coming out of retirement and riding in another Derby: “I’ve got a smile on my face I can’t wipe off. It was fun. It was fun, because he ran his race. He got a chance today, and he fired a big bullet, and that’s when it’s fun, when you get a good trip in this race and the horse is giving his all. And he did.’’

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Oxbow won in front-running fashion, setting moderate fractions after not being seriously challenged by anything else in the nine-horse field during the early going. The chart call: "Oxbow was brushed by Will Take Charge leaving the gate, quickly recovered and cruised past Goldencents in the opening furlong, opened a daylight advantage under the wire the first time, remained off the inside while nicely rated down the backstretch, came under some hand urging leaving the five sixteenths marker, entered the lane four wide, responded when put to a strong drive leaving the three sixteenths marker and held firm to the wire."

D. Wayne Lukas: "Actually, we thought that maybe that Goldencents and a couple of those other horses might show a little bit more speed and we would not inherit the lead as easily as we did today.  Gary was smart enough.  When he threw up the 1:13 and change, I knew we were in good shape."

Gary Stevens: "We had talked about strategy, and I didn't expect to be on the lead as I said earlier.  In these classic races, you don't give up anything that they give you free, and they gave me a free three-quarters of a mile today."

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Oxbow raced five times. In his third start, he was beaten eight lengths by Gulfport after setting the pace at Churchilll Downs. He broke his maiden the fourth time out. That was a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25. Looking Cool was second by 4 3/4 lengths. The race was timed in 1:22.97.

In his fifth and final start of 2012, Oxbow was shipped to Hollywood Park only to finish fourth in the Grade I CashCall, beaten nine lengths by Violence. He was fourth or third at each call; and was five wide in the first turn and three wide in the second one.

 

 

TITLETOWN FIVE (KY)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: William Davis, Paul Hornung & Ed Martin
Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tiznow (Cee's Tizzy, Cee's Song)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): D'Wildcat Speed (Forest Wildcat, Velvet Panther)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-0-4-0-0 (6) 2.00
Foal Date: March 4, 2010


$250,000 Keeneland September 2011.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

“He’ll be ready in March,” trainer Lukas told Jennie Rees in mid-January. For what, we are not sure.  He had a knee chip removed following his maiden win.

Feb. 7 NOTE:  “He’s been galloping beautifully and he looked wonderful working the other morning,” said trainer Lukas. “We are playing catch up. We know that. But it’s been my experience that horses with that kind of talent, it doesn’t take them as long to get back where they were. Horses without that kind of talent you have to work on and work on, but he’s got that gift. So, we are obviously coming along late to the party, but we are looking at mid-March and seeing where we are at. If he can come back to his form, he’s going to be something special.”

March 2, Gazebo Stakes, Oaklawn Park, Six Furlongs. Steve Asmussen's King Henny -- not nominated to the Triple Crown -- tracked pacesetter Titletown Five before pouncing to win by 1 1/4 length. King Henny rated in third place through opening fractions of :22.62 and :46.77 behind Titletown Five, the even-money favorite. King Henny came three wide into the stretch and gamely wore down the pacesetter in a time of 1:12.00. Malibu High came flying late but finished third of seven, beaten a head by Titletown Five.

Jon Court: “No real problems. Smooth trip. We just got outrun at the end.”

D. Wayne Lukas: “I thought they would throw up some pretty good fractions. He needed this race a little more than I expected. The track was dry and cuppy from the cold weather, but I’m not making excuses. This will give me something good to build on.”

March 30, Grade II Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds, 1 1/8 Mile. Titletown Five battled for the lead and stayed in that mode for six furlongs. He faded to finish ninth, beaten 8 1/2 lengths by Revolutionary.

April 3 NOTE:  “He’ll go in the Derby Trial,” trainer Lukas told DRF.com on April 2. “Were going to do what’s right by the horse and give him the chance to run a one-turn mile. If he runs well, we’ll look at the Preakness.” Later, the Illinois Derby was put on Titletown Five's calendar.

April 28, Grade III Derby Trial, Churchill Downs, One Mile. Titletown Five chased a fast pace two or lengths back but could not must enough closing kick and finished fourth, beaten four lengths by Forty Tales and a time of 1:35.77.

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Titletown Five finished ninth, beaten 47 1/4 lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Titletown Five saved ground stalking the early pace, was under strong hand urging past the five furlong pole, remained in contention to the far turn, faltered then was eased through the final three sixteenths of a mile."

Julien Leparoux: “Stevens took the lead early, and I was just kind of sitting there. I felt like I had a lot of horse under me when we turned for home. But he just kind of flattened out in the stretch.”

PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Titletown Five won at Churchill Downs -- by nine lengths -- to break his maiden in his fourth and final start of 2012. That was on Oct. 28 going seven furlongs. The time was 1:23.84, and he led a at each call. Bradester second, Proud Strike third.

Earlier, he had a fourth and a second at Saratoga, and he finished fourth at Churchill back on June 29.

 

 

WILL TAKE CHARGE (KY)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Willis D. Horton
Breeder: Eaton
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Unbridled's Song (Unbridled, Trolley Song)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Take Charge Lady (Dehere, Felicita)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-10-8-0-2 (26) 3.33
Foal Date: April 13, 2010


$425,000 Keeneland September 2011.

Out of the multiple grade I-winning mare Take Charge Lady. A half to Take Charge Indy.

PERFORMANCE AT AGE THREE

Jan. 21, Smarty Jones Stakes, Oaklawn Park, 1 1/1/6 Mile.
Trainer Lukas and jockey Court got a secon Derby Road win in three days with Will Take Charge. Texas Bling a neck back in second, Always In A Tiz a head back in third. The time was 1:38.64. Will Take Charge was always prominent and had a wide trip under Jon Court from post nine. The fourth finisher, Stormy Holiday, was another 4 3/4 lengths back.

The chart call: "Will Take Charge, six wide into the first turn, four wide onto the backstretch, prompted the issue outside, moved up to challenge three wide in the second turn, vied into the lane, spirited drive to the wire, held late in game fashion and under firm handling."

D. Wayne Lukas: “He showed me a lot of heart. He had a horrible trip into the first turn, but he got the job done. He’s a nice horse, and we can build off of this. We’re feeling good about him.”

Owner Willis Horton: "This is unbelievable. He had kind of a rough race. It's remarkable that he could still win. We've thought highly of him since we got him. We look forward to going forward with him, hopefully to the Derby."

Jan. 31 NOTE: “I was glad to see this from him,” said trainer Lukas. “I told the exercise rider to go in 49, so that was almost perfect. It was just a maintenance half mile, but there were a couple of horses who broke off in front of him, and he was pretty aggressive. He’s come back good and we’re still looking at the Southwest or Rebel with him.”

Feb. 18, Grade III Southwest Stakes, Oaklawn Park, 1 1/16 Mile. On a sloppy track, Will Take Charge came away from the gate slowly and was never in contention. He finished sixth, beaten 18 lengths.

March 16, Grade II Rebel Stakes, Oaklawn Park, 1 1/16 Mile. Will Take Charge, ridden by Jon Court, won the race by a head over Oxbow, ridden by Mike Smith. As expected, Title Contender sped to a lead designed to set up a late run by fellow entry Treasury Bill -- a late run that never materialized. But the tactic may have been the undoing of Super Ninety Nine, who was never far from Title Contender. They were followed up the backstretch by Delhomme and Oxbow, then Oxbow and Delhomme, through fractions of :23.36 and :47.19.  Hitting the far turn, Title Contender was done. Super Ninety Nine and Oxbow were in a battle for the lead, with Oxbow to the outside of the 6-5 post-time favorite. However, Den's Legacy and Will Take Charge were putting pressure on both of them. Six furlongs had gone in 1:12.39.

After the field turned for home, Super Ninety Nine found himself between Oxbow to his outside and Den's Legacy to his inside. Will Take Charge, who'd gone four wide on the turn, has lost a little ground. Bumped a bit, Super Ninety Nine faltered while the other three went on. Will Take Charge regrouped and came running to the outside of Oxbow to secure the win by a head. Den's Legacy was beaten two lengths. The time of 1:45.18 was a little faster than 6-year-old Tiz Miz Sue's 1:45.26 in the Grade III Azeri one race earlier at Oaklawn.

D. Wayne Lukas: "Will Take Charge is a fair-weather horse. He said he didn't feel like running in the rain last time. He had been doing well all week. I was feeling pretty good 100 yards from the wire. The competition was so tough. The hill gets a little steeper from this point.

Jon Court: "Wayne told me how well he's been doing and he had him tuned up today. The race was executed to plan. It worked out perfectly. I was able to position him where we wanted. He was very professional today."

May 4, Grade I Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4 Mile. Will Take Charge finished eigth, beaten 12 1/4 lengths by Orb and a time of 2:02.89 after tenth or eleventh in the early going, moving forward, then flattening out.

D. Wayne Lukas – Unavailable for comment.

Jon Court  – “I’d have to say what it was like was a lot of fun, without a doubt. I had a good break, ground-saving first turn, the transition was smooth. I think adequate to where we’d be able to make that big close. We started to engage turning for home, then he kind of started coming back and tailing. He was still picking up tired horses, but he didn’t have that big kick, turn of foot, and I just started maneuvering through horses that were stopping in front of me.”

May 8 NOTE: “He races in glue-on shoes,” trainer Lukas said on May 6. “When he was being shod Thursday, a tiny piece of the front wall came out when the nail was pulled. That was nothing. The horse has no foot problems at all.”

May 18, Grade I Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3/16 Mile. Will Take Charge finished seventh, beaten 16 lengths by Oxbow. The chart call: "Will Take Charge broke inward brushing with the winner, settled off the pace, raced towards the inside past the five furlong marker but had no response."

Mike Smith: “He just really struggled with the racetrack. His legs were going everywhere from the word ‘go.’ He just couldn’t get a hold of it at all.”


PERFORMANCE AT AGE TWO

Will Take Charge closed from last of nine to win his second race, a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland timed in 1:24.01. Next out, at 33-1 odds he finished last of 13 in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club with no apparent excuse. In his final race of 2012, the Springboard Mile, he led for six furlongs in 1:14.56 before giving way and finishing second by 1 1/4 length to Texas Bling. World Venturer was a half-length back in third. The Springboard Mile time was 1:39.65.

 

 

 

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