By Dick Downey
With rain in the Saturday morning forecast at Churchill Downs, a number of Kentucky Derby contenders were sent out for their final workouts for the race on Friday after the morning renovation break. One of them was all but declared out of the Derby, putting Keen Ice into the mix.
Four horses from the Todd Pletcher stable saw morning action for the first time at Churchill Downs, along with Danzig Moon and Far Right.
Materiality, Pletcher's Florida Derby winner, worked in company with Itsaknockout, who struggled to a fourth-place finish in the same race. Itsaknockout was outside Materiality. They ran in tandem and were timed in 48.00 by track clockers with splits of 12.00, 23.60, and 35.60. They galloped five furlongs in 1:01.00 and six in 1:14.60. Derby rider Javier Castellano was aboard Materiality.
"They both worked very well, and I thought they both got over the track very well," Pletcher said.
The other two Pletcher horses, Madefromlucky and Stanford, have sufficient points to qualify for the Derby, and today's works were key to a final decision on whether they'll be entered. After the moves, Pletcher all but said Madefromlucky won't run in the Derby. The defection opens up a spot for Keen Ice, trained by Dale Romans.
The pair worked together. Madefromlucky, fourth in the Arkansas Derby, went four furlongs in 48.60 on the outside of Stanford. Stanford, second in the Louisiana Derby, was timed in 48.40.
"Stanford breezed really well today, and I thought his gallop out was particularly good," Pletcher said.
John Velazquez, aboard Madefromlucky, told Bloodhorse.com, "He had trouble getting a hold of the track on the turns for whatever reason."
Far Right was the first Kentucky Derby worker to breeze. He was timed in 49.00 with splits of 12.40 and 24.20. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.00 for trainer Ron Moquett.
Danzig Moon, working under Julien Leparoux in company with 3-year-old maiden winner Bollente for trainer Mark Cassse, was timed in 48.80 and outworked Bollente by a length. Danzig Moon's splits were 12.80, 25.00 and 37.00. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80.
Pletcher said Carpe Diem will work at Keeneland on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. ET.