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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Three Work After Renovation Break; Jones Unsure of Mark Valeski


By Dick Downey

Mark Valeski, Liaison and Creative Cause, in that order, worked at Churchill Downs Monday morning during the special 15-minute training period for Kentucky Oaks and Derby horses.

Mark Valeski, trained by Larry Jones, went five furlongs in 1:00.20, breezing. His internal fractions were :11.60, :23.40, :35.20 and :47.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.

Jones said yesterday that Mark Valeski would have to prove to him that he should start in the Kentucky Derby. Today, he commented that he won't guarantee whether Mark Valeski is in Derby or not until Wednesday after he gets on his back. Jones said he was happy with today's work.

Liaison worked to the outside of Mile High Magic for trainer Bob Baffert, getting five furlongs in  1:00.80 breezing. He started at the 4 1/2-furlong pole and finished a sixteenth of a mile past the finish line. Liaison is once again equipped with blinkers after racing without them his last two starts. He had splits of :24.80, :37.20 and :48.80. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.20 and seven in 1:26.60.

Bob Baffert said today's move was the best work Liason's had since before he won the Grade I CashCall Futurity in December.

The last Derby horse to work was Creative Cause, the California invader trained by Mike Harrington. Creative Cause initially looked choppy walking to the front side. He tore part of his right rear hoof off while shipping in, and epoxy was applied to repair it.

Creative Cause visited the auxillary starting gate at the top of the stretch, then breezed four furlongs in :47.80. His splits were :12.60, :24.60 and :36.00. He was out five furlongs in 1:01.20.

That leaves Rousing Sermon and Trinniberg looking at Tuesday workouts to wrap up all the major preparation for Kentucky Derby 138.

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