Golden Soul works; Java's War arrives; a decision coming soon for Falling Sky; and Kentucky Oaks news.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Golden Soul, ranked No. 23 on the Churchill Downs Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, continued his preparations for a potential start in the Run for the Roses with a six-furlong breeze Thursday.
Timed in 1:12.40 under exercise rider Emerson Chavez, Golden Soul worked to the seven-eighths pole and recorded fractions of :12.00, :23.40, :35.00, :46.80, :59.00 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.40.
“He worked great, and he’s a very good work horse,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “He came back great and had good energy while he cooled out. He did it very well.”
It was the first published workout for Golden Soul since he finished fourth in the Grade II Louisiana Derby. His 3-year-old campaign also has included a sixth in the Grade II Risen Star and a runner-up effort in the Grade III Lecomte. With 14 points, Golden Soul is currently on the outside looking in, but Stewart is hopeful he will still make it in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
“He got beat four lengths to Revolutionary (in the Louisiana Derby), who is a very good horse,” Stewart said. “We were wide, but we were still running at him a little at the end. I think we’re very credible. You’ve got to roll with the punches, but we’re hoping it shakes down our way.”
Stewart added that if Golden Soul doesn’t get in on the first Saturday in May, he'll consider the Grade II Peter Pan on May 11 or the Preakness on May 18.
Stewart has longed maintained that Golden Soul is a "longer the better" kind of horse.
Java's War, Frac Daddy
On schedule Thursday from Lexington to Churchill Downs, Java's War arrived in early afternoon. The Grade I Toyota Blue Grass winner was taken to Ken McPeek's barn 6. McPeek said earlier that he plans to gallop Java's War for about 10 days.
Grade I Arkansas Derby runner-up Frac Daddy, a stable mate of Java's War, galloped 1 1/4 mile under Victor Lebron on his first day back at the track since arriving in Louisville from Oaklawn Park very early Wednesday morning.
“He galloped well, and we took it light on him today on his first day at the track since shipping,” assistant trainer Phil Bauer said. “We’re happy with how he shipped and how he’s doing. Hopefully he’ll improve a little bit in the next couple weeks and we’ll be set to go.”
Itsmyluckyday worked a mile in 1:43.20 at Calder for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. Runner-up to Orb in the Florida Derby, Itsmyluckyday is scheduled to ship by van to Churchill Downs on April 26. The trip from Calder is about 1,100 miles.
Trainer John Terranova said that a firm decision on whether to run Falling Sky in the Kentucky Derby will come by Sunday.
Terranova also said that Grade III Fantasy runner-up Manuka Honey is no longer under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks. That would move Broken Spell, who was number 15 on the Oaks points list with 11, up to the fourteenth spot in the race. She's trained by D. Wayne Lukas.
Todd Pletcher said Unlimited Budget, Dreaming of Julia, Princess of Sylmar and Silsita are scheduled to breeze Saturday at Churchill Downs. The four fillies will breeze during the 15-minute period from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. when the track is reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders.
Due to the special training window that begins Saturday and runs through May 2, the track will open for training at 5:45 a.m.
Edited Churchill Downs notes