By Dick Downey
Photo Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs
As we wind down this portion of the week, two Kentucky Derby contenders breezed at Churchill Downs this morning.
Tapiture (right), trained by Steve Asmussen, was out early and worked during a cloudburst that began as he was walking the wrong way on the first turn. Everything continued as otherwise planned, and he ran four furlongs in :50.00 with the first quarter in :24.60, out five furlongs in 1:04.80. Tapiture stayed well away from the rail during the move.
Asmussen subsequently expressed his pleasure with the move and the way the drainage system at Churchill Downs handles rain.
The track was soon closed due to lightning. After it reopened at 7:20, Hoppertunity, with Martin Garcia up, breezed outside of Drill in :48.00. He started two lengths back and finished on even terms. Hoppertunity’s fractions were :12.00 and :24.20. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40, seven in 1:27.40.
"Martin had a hard time pulling him up," trainer Bob Baffert said after the work.
Those were the only two works of the day. We think General a Rod will breeze Tuesday morning, completing the works for the Derby field with the exception of a couple of blowouts later in the week.