Three Work at Churchill
By Dick Downey
Photo by Churchill Downs
First update at 10:41 a.m. ET
Second update at 3:05 p.m. ET
Brody's Cause, Tom's Ready and Fellowship were sent out for Kentucky Derby workouts today during the 8:30 a.m. window reserved for horses pointing to the Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
Churchill Downs clockers caught Brody's Cause going five furlongs in 1:01.80 (34/64), breezing, with internal splits of 12.40, 24.60, 36.60 and 48.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60.
It was the first workout for the Dale Romans trainee since he won the Blue Grass Stakes in closing fashion on April 9. One more breeze and Brody's Cause will be ready for the Derby.
“It’s just what we wanted,” Romans said. “I know it sounds cliché, but you can’t hide these Derby horses, everybody’s watching them. We wanted to go with a nice easy work. It’s the first one back off of the race, and he went around there perfect. Tammy said he felt great.”
Romans said he likes the fact Brody's Cause has a win at Churchill Downs.
“It just takes one unknown out of the equation,” Romans said. “That’s important because this track is so different form a lot of others. Some horses don’t run well on this surface, so we know that’s not going to be a problem. We thought he was good from the time we got him.”
As for the clunker Brody's Cause ran at Tampa in March, his sophomore debut, Romans said he's put it behind him.
“I quit trying to figure that one out,” Romans said. “I just kept training him, stuck to the plan and ran in the Blue Grass and he did his job. Sometimes you’ll never figure it out. Everybody tries to look for reasons, but I’ve found that it’s better to just come up with no reason than a false reason and try to change something.”
His stablemate in the barn of trainer Dale Romans, Cherry Wine, is training at Churchill Downs as well and was on the track today. He didn't breeze, according to Equibase records. Cherry Wine was narrowly edged for second in the Blue Grass, costing him Derby points. Cherry Wine ranks 25th in points and appears to be a longshot to make the Derby starting gate. An entry in the Preakness Stakes might be in the offing.
Tom's Ready, one of two Kentucky Derby horses owned by GMB Racing, breezed five furlongs in company for trainer Dallas Stewart. The Louisiana Derby runner-up was timed in 1:01.00 (22/64) after breaking off two lengths behind his workmate and finishing on even terms. Internal fractions were 13.60 and 38.00. Tom's Ready galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.20.
Today's workout was the third at Churchill Downs for Tom's Ready since the March 26 Louisiana Derby. On April 7, he breezed four furlongs in 47:60 (1/9), and on April 14, he went five in 1.01:60 (4/6).
“I thought it was good,” Stewart said. “He was nice and solid. It was a typical work for him; he laid off a horse (Forever d’Oro) and made a good finish. It was a good fight and that was a nice colt that he worked with.
Stewart wasn't entirely pleased with Tom's Ready's first work after his last race.
“That was the first work back; he went :47 and typically you’re looking for :49 or :50,” Stewart said. “He worked in company that time and got head-and-head. Sometimes he gets too eager when he works with another horse. That’s why we let him fall back a little this time. We wanted to get him blowing and get him halfway tired.”
It was confirmed this morning by GMB Racing that Brian Hernandez, Jr. will retain the mount on Tom's Ready for the Derby.
Fellowship, trained by Mark Casse after spending the winter in Stanley Gold's barn in Florida, also worked five furlongs. Track clockers timed him in 1:00.40 (6/64), while his workmate, the usually speedy Awesome Banner, was clocked one second slower. Fellowship's splits were 13.00, 25.00, 36.80 and 48.40. He was out six in 113.80.
Fellowship is a hard-trying horse and finished third in the Holy Bull Stakes, Fountain of Youth Stakes and the April 2 Florida Derby won by Nyquist. He's had one workout at Churchill Downs since shipping north. On April 17, he breezed four furlongs in 48:80 (10/38).
“He did everything that we wanted him to do,” said assistant trainer Norman Casse. “This was just what we liked to see two weeks before a big race. Looks like he just skips over the racetrack. He’s full of himself and has a lot of good energy. It’s just everything you look for in a two-week work in our program.”
Fellowship needs a defection to make the Derby.
“As of right now I’m really excited with the idea that we could get to run,” Casse said. “I think he would run really well. He’s obviously not in yet, but I’m actually kind of overwhelmed with how well he’s trained.”
Here's video from the Courier-Journal:
Mike Maker sent out Spiral winner Oscar Nominated over at Churchill Downs Training Center. The son of Kitten's Joy went five panels in company in 100.20 (3/10) on a track rated good. According to DRF's Byron King, Oscar Nominated galloped out six in 1:14.20 on the watch of clocker Richard McCreery. His splits were reported at 12.20, 24.00, 36.20 and 48.20. Oscar Nominated outworked Two Step Time, who finished fourth in the Spiral for Maker.
To be updated.