AMERICAN PHAROAH – Arkansas Derby winner American Pharoah galloped 1 1/2 mile under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez after the morning renovation break. The Pioneerof the Nile colt remains scheduled to work Sunday morning.
BOLD CONQUEST – Bold Conquest galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Abel Flores after the morning renovation break for trainer Steve Asmussen.
CARPE DIEM / ITSAKNOCKOUT / MADEFROMLUCKY / MATERIALITY / STANFORD – Not wanting to take a chance of working on an off track, trainer Todd Pletcher sent his four Churchill Downs-housed Kentucky Derby hopefuls to the track for half-mile works during the 8:30-8:45 window reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls.
Working first together were the 1 and 4 finishers from the Florida Derby, Materiality and Itsaknockout. The horses raced as a team through a half-mile in :48 with fractions of :12, :23.60, :35.60 and out five furlongs in 1:01 and six furlongs in 1:14.60. The moves were the seventh fastest of 76 at the distance. Javier Castellano was on Materiality and Ezequiel Perez on Itsaknockout.
Following right behind in company were Stanford, with Isabelle Bourez up, and Madefromlucky with John Velazquez aboard.
Stanford was clocked in :48.40, the 19th fastest of 76, with fractions of :12.40, :24.20 and out five furlongs in 1:01 and three-quarters in 1:13.80. Madefromlucky was timed in :48.60, the 28th fastest, with fractions of :12.40, :24.20, out five furlongs in 1:01.60 and three-quarters in 1:15.
“I was happy with all of the works,” Pletcher said. “Materiality and Itsaknockout worked very well and I thought they both got over the track very well. Stanford breezed really well today and I thought his gallop out was particularly good.”
Pletcher said he was leaning against running Madefromlucky in the Derby and that he would recommend a race like the May 9 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, but he needed to confer with the owners before an official decision was made. “I am thinking that Belmont Park with its sweeping turns might be a good fit for him,” Pletcher said.
Later in the day this was made official.
Carpe Diem galloped late Friday morning at Keeneland under Patti Krotenko. “We are still watching the weather closely and he will likely work very early there tomorrow and then come here Monday,” Pletcher said.
Regarding Stanford, Pletcher said, “No decision has been made yet on running. Florent Geroux rode him the last time in the Louisiana Derby, and he would be a possibility.”
DANZIG MOON – With Julien Leparoux aboard, Danzig Moon worked a half-mile in company in :48.80. Working with maiden winner Bollente, Danzig Moon posted fractions of :12.80, :25, :37 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80.
“We just decided to get the work done and not worry about it,” assistant trainer Norman Casse said. “He always works in company and we just wanted a good, even work. His preparation could not be any better, and I feel he has moved up since the Blue Grass. Other than the Tampa Bay Derby, he has run well every time. There were two reasons for the Tampa Bay results; one, he didn’t handle the track at all and came back with cuts on his hind legs, and two or three days after that he came down with a virus that may have affected the performance.”
Casse said Danzig Moon would walk Saturday and return to the track Sunday. A paddock schooling session is scheduled for Wednesday.
FAR RIGHT – Far Right worked a half-mile in :49 under Greta Kuntzweiler for trainer Ron Moquett. Fractions on the work, which was the 38th fastest of 76, were :12.40, :24.20 and out five furlongs in 1:03.
“I was worried it would be too quick,” Moquett said. “I wanted a Far Right work, not a :47, just a steady, grinding work.” Moquett, like trainers of other Friday workers, moved the drill up because of the rainy forecast. “I’m glad that we can put that behind us and now we can go on and worry about something else,” Moquett said.
INTERNATIONAL STAR – Louisiana Derby winner and Road to the Kentucky Derby points leader (171) International Star galloped 1 1/4 mile at the Trackside training center with exercise rider Joel Barrientos aboard – the same routine he has kept every day this week – according to trainer Mike Maker. The New York-bred colt by 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, but those plans are subject to change.
“Mother Nature is going to dictate,” Maker said. “If the weather is good we’ll go at 8:30.” If there are showers Saturday morning, as currently expected, then International Star’s breeze would “most likely” be pushed back to Sunday, the trainer said. Another possibility – less likely but also under consideration – would be to train Saturday at Trackside as soon as the track opens to beat the rain.
KEEN ICE – Keen Ice, galloped 1 ½ mile after the morning renovation break with exercise rider Faustino Aguilar aboard for trainer Dale Romans. Keen Ice is scheduled to work Saturday.
MR. Z – Mr. Z jogged under exercise rider Edvin Vargas after the morning renovation break for D. Wayne Lukas. It was the colt’s first day back at the track following a five-furlong work in 1:01 on Wednesday.
MUBTAAHIJ – Mubtaahij cantered one lap Friday at Arlington under Lisa Moncrieff, a day in advance of another anticipated breeze. “They are popping at the moment, really ready to go,” said assistant Trevor Brown about the Derby prospect and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic hopeful Umgiyo. “We are ready to go today if we needed to. Their prep here has been superb, they are blossoming.”
OCHO OCHO OCHO – Ocho Ocho Ocho left trainer Jim Cassidy’s barn at Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles at 4:15 a.m. PDT bound for Kentucky on a H.E. Tex Sutton charter flight. He was bedded down at Barn 41 at 2:40 p.m. EDT. The Street Sense colt tired to third in the Blue Grass, his second start of the year. Though Cassidy was disappointed by that effort he remains positive based on what he has seen in back in California. Wednesday morning, Ocho Ocho Ocho breezed six furlongs, handily, from the gate in 1:13 3/5. “Everything’s gone right since the Blue Grass,” Cassidy said. “He worked really well the other day.” Ocho Ocho Ocho will step on the Churchill Downs surface for the first time Saturday at 8:30 a.m. during the Oaks and Derby training session after the renovation break. Assistant trainer Matt Williams will supervise Ocho Ocho Ocho until Cassidy arrives Monday.
TENCENDUR – Phil Birsh’s homebred colt Tendendur galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Blair Golen Friday and is scheduled to work Saturday morning. Golen said that jockey Manny Franco will be in from New York to breeze the colt, who will work in company with stablemate Wake Up in Malibu. Trainer George Weaver typically sends Tencendur out with a workmate for his breezes. “We do that with him because he gets a little distracted out there by himself and it just keeps him focused,” Golen said. With rain in the forecast, Golen said Weaver has not decided what time he will have the colt do his five-furlong work. “We might go at 6:00 or we might go at 8:30. We’re going to keep an eye on the weather. We’re all going to be here early and decide at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. Golen chuckled at a question about the chilly morning at Churchill Downs Friday. “We were in New York. He’s trained in 5-degree temperatures, so 37 is nothing for him,” she said. “He handled the winter very well and he’s a New York-bred who grew up at Phil’s farm near Saratoga. This weather is not a big deal to him.”
WAR STORY – War Story jogged after the morning renovation break for trainer Tom Amoss. It was the colt’s first day back at the track after working five furlongs in 1:02 on Wednesday.