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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Howard Duo On Course for Louisiana Derby


Trainer Neil Howard said late this week that Machen and Wilkinson are staying the course for the Grade II Louisiana Derby on March 26.

Wilkinson breezed four furlongs in :51.40 last Monday at Fair Grounds, while Machen went the same distance that morning in :50.60.

“They were both basically ‘leg stretcher’ breezes,” said Howard. “I’ve been giving Wilkinson three or four ‘halves’ six days apart since the Lecomte, and Machen’s move Monday was just a maintenance kind of tune-up to see where we are with him since the Risen Star. They are both fairly easy horses to train, and right now all we’re trying to do is see what they need and how stringent we have to be with their training leading up to the Louisiana Derby.

“They will both have fairly simple schedules leading up to the race,” said Howard. “At this point in time, there is a remote possibility that I will work them in company with other horses to keep them sharp, but not with each other. They’re both too competitive for me to do that with them.”

--Edited track notes

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