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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Rainy Day Paves the Way for Rebel


Training took place at Oaklawn Park Friday morning despite heavy rains and a sealed track, but the shippers are there and everyone's dealing with the same conditions for the Rebel Stakes.

“Everybody is in the same boat with this rain,” said Bob Baffert assistant Jim Barnes. American Pharoah came in from Santa Anita on Wednesday. “Our horses are ready to run and at this stage of the game, one day isn’t going to make any difference. With the track being so firm so close to race day, we don’t want any issues, so they just had an easy one mile gallop.”
Madefromlucky had a very easy morning after arriving from South Florida on Wednesday.

“We just jogged...one mile but we would have galloped if the track condition had been better,” said Todd Pletcher assistant trainer Adele Bellinger, who was in the irons. “But our plans are still the same.... (He's) ready to run.”
All of Madefronlucky’s five races have been on a fast track, but with Smart Strike and Pulpit as his grandsires, he has the pedigree to handle the surface if the forecast for more rain holds.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of experience with him on an off-track, but he seemed to get over the track pretty well the other morning. You never know until race time, but I don’t anticipate it will be a problem,” Pletcher said via phone from his South Florid base.

Madefromlucky will have an unlikely fan club rooting for him. He is the only Thoroughbred among 25 harness horses in a venture named The Stable That God Loves, and one percent of his purse earnings throughout the year are dedicated to Chaplain Ken Carter’s homeless Standardbred Chaplaincy of Canada. The ministry provides for the emotional, physical, spiritual and human needs of the horse racing workforce in Southwestern Ontario. Co-owner Mac Nichol is the first Thoroughbred owner to be involved in that venture.

“I figured I’ll mix it up a bit on this Thoroughbred and maybe it will open some more doors for support for the chaplaincy,” said Nichol, who owns Ideal Training Centre, a 50-acre showplace with accommodation for 123 horses and a 5/8 mile Standardbred training track in Canada.
Trainer Ken McPeek elected to take no chances with The Truth or Else, so he walked the shedrow Friday morning.

Edited Oaklawn Park release


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