Saturday, April 30, 2016
BRODY’S CAUSE/CHERRY WINE – Toyota Blue Grass Stakes winner Brody’s Cause put in his final serious work for the May 7 Kentucky Derby going five furlongs in 1:00.20, which was the fourth best of 57 workouts at the distance. Churchill Downs’ clockers caught the son of Giant’s Causeway in eighth-mile splits of :11.60, :23.40, :35.40, :50.40, galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.60 and seven furlongs in 1:29.60.
“I think Brody’s Cause worked great,” trainer Dale Romans said following the work in which Tammy Fox was in the saddle. “He came back great and looked like he had never done anything. It’s a great sign, he’s ready. All the heavy lifting is over. We just have to keep him happy and fresh until next weekend. This is what we were looking for this morning. He galloped out nice and relaxed and went fast even though he was relaxed and came back like he had never done anything.”
Romans has had six Kentucky Derby contenders in previous years, all of which had “at least a little question mark to be concerned about.” Brody’s Cause, however, is an exception.
“I’ve had a lot of good horses going into the Derby and they proved to be good horses even after the Derby, but no one has come into the race that really didn’t have any question marks,” Romans said. “We know that he likes the racetrack, we know he can get the distance, we know he’s been in big fields and we know he’s fit and doing well. If you went down your list of concerns, you can check every one of them off because they are not concerns.”
While there is a strong lack of doubt about Brody’s Cause’s ability to perform on the first Saturday in May, this is not to say that Romans feels more relaxed going into the race.
“I’m a little more stressed,” Romans said. “The others weren’t as highly regarded, the others had something to be concerned about, this one doesn’t have any in my opinion, and that makes me more stressed because it doesn’t give me any excuse.”
Also breezing for Romans was Cherry Wine, third to stablemate Brody’s Cause in the Blue Grass. The son of Paddy O’Prado breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 in fractions of :11.80, :23.40, :35.60, :47.60, galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven furlongs 1:27.60. He is No. 25 on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 25 points.
“If Cherry Wine gets in, he will be a contender. He worked that good. Otherwise, Preakness,” Romans said.
CREATOR/GUN RUNNER – Creator and Gun Runner galloped a mile and half Saturday morning after the renovation break. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi was pleased with how both colts exercised. "Great, both of them,'' Blasi said. "Good energy. Traveling nice.'' Trainer Steve Asmussen was "working babies'' at Keeneland on Saturday morning, Blasi said.
Creator and Gun Runner are scheduled to have their final pre-Derby workouts Monday.
DANZING CANDY – Danzing Candy put in his final workout for the Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong breeze going :59.80 at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center with exercise rider Rolando Quinones in the irons. Danzing Candy, a winner of the March 12 San Felipe at Santa Anita two starts ago, will give Sise his first Kentucky Derby starter.
“He worked very good and breezed very nice,” trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said following the work. “I was looking for 1:01 but the horse just did it so nicely, and he galloped out very, very good in 1:12.60. It’s going to be very exciting for us. I don’t think it’s really going to hit us until the walkover though.”
DAZZLING GEM – Dazzling Gem impressed his trainer Brad Cox with his work Saturday morning, but now the waiting game begins to see if he will draw into the 20-horse field. The Misremembered colt, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 shortly after the track opened, is sitting 24th on the list of potential starters and would need four defections to get in. His work was the ninth fastest of 55 at the distance.
“He worked super good,” Cox said. “He couldn't have worked any better. He seems to have cooled out good. I'm super encouraged by it. Hopefully, we'll draw in. Fitness certainly won't be a problem. He's had two 1 1/8-mile races. We just have to see what happens.”
Cox said if Dazzling Gem doesn't draw into the Kentucky Derby, he'll be considered for the Preakness Stakes May 21 at Pimlico or the Peter Pan Stakes May 14 at Belmont Park. However, he has no fears about taking their chances in the Derby if they luck out.
DESTIN/OUTWORK – The Kentucky Derby-bound tandem of Destin and Outwork jogged a mile and visited the starting gate during the Derby/Oaks special training period between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. Saturday at Churchill Downs. They both had put in their final works for the classic Friday, each going five furlongs (Destin: 1:01.20; Outwork 1:01) at the Louisville oval. Ovel Merida handled Destin, while Hector Ramos was aboard Outwork Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher.
While the majority of horsemen will standardly walk their horses the day after a workout, Pletcher prefers to put most of his workers on the track the next morning.
“I like to see how they are moving,” Pletcher said. “I get a better sense of how they came out of their works that way. Besides, with the way the rain is projected for today and tomorrow, the track tomorrow might not be the best. If that’s the case, this gives me the option to walk them tomorrow morning.”
Pletcher has Javier Castellano lined up to handle Tampa Bay Derby winner Destin in the Run for the Roses, while Wood Memorial hero Outwork has been assigned to Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
DISCREETNESS – Discreetness walked the shedrow at trainer Jinks Fires’ barn a day after working five furlongs in 1:00.40. Sixth in the Arkansas Derby in his most recent start, Discreetness is 26th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and in need of six defections to make the Derby field.
“It looks like it will be the Pat Day Mile,” Fires said, adding with a laugh, “but I am keeping the (Derby) saddle towel until the fat lady sings.”
EXAGGERATOR – The Desormeaux Boys worked together Saturday morning at Churchill Downs getting their Kentucky Derby runner Exaggerator through his final major prep for next Saturday’s 142nd Run for the Roses. They got it done at 8:30 with a steady 1:02.60 for five furlongs, beating the rain that visited Louisville just a few minutes after the exercise. Churchill clockers caught the Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner in splits of :12.80, :25.20, :37.80 and :50.40 en route to his final time. They followed him on the gallop out with fractions of 1:15.60 and 1:29.60.
“The track was a little loose, but he had a good work,” said a slightly breathless Kent Desormeaux, who jumped off the Curlin colt and into a car for a dash to the airport and a 9:30 flight back to his California base where he was scheduled to ride Saturday afternoon at Los Alamitos. Kent had jetted in from California Friday night and crashed on brother Keith’s couch in Louisville. They spoke by phone Saturday after the work as Kent was airport bound.
“Kent told me he thought the track was a little loose and that the horse labored just a bit getting started,” the older Desormeaux brother said at Barn 25 afterward. “But he also said he got into a good rhythm and he finished up very strong. He said he never asked him but that the colt had good energy from the eighth pole to the seven-eighths; that he did it all on his own. Then he galloped out well and finished up the way you’d like him to.”
Keith likened the drill to a similar one his charge had just prior to winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
“He worked at Santa Anita in a similar time (1:02.80) and fashion before winning their big race,” he said. “That tells me he’s still at least at the level he was before his big effort in that one. I don’t work my horses fast; I prefer to go the stamina route. I know that goes against the general grain, but that’s what I prefer to do. I want them to go on and I train them that way. I think he’s in a good place right now and I’m glad to have this last done.”
Exaggerator, a winner of four of nine starts and more than $1.6 million in purses, figures to be one of the favorites for the May 7 Derby. That will be the next time the Desormeaux Boys will work together again.
FELLOWSHIP – Fellowship, No. 21 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, walked the shedrow at trainer Mark Casse’s barn a day after working a bullet half-mile in :47. Norman Casse, assistant to his father, said Fellowship probably would jog with the barn’s first set shortly after the track opens Sunday morning.
LANI – Lani, with exercise rider Eishu Maruuchi aboard, returned to the track after a day off Friday with his usual routine of jogging a mile, galloping two miles and then making another leisurely circuit of the track before walking for a time in the mile chute.
Keita Tanaka, the agent for the owner and serving as spokesman for the entourage, said Lani did some looking around early in his exercise as runners for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon ran through the infield. Tanaka said Lani, winner of the UAE Derby in his most recent start, may visit the starting gate Sunday as part of his morning routine.
MAJESTO – Majesto walked the shedrow at trainer Gustavo Delgado’s barn a day after working five furlongs in 1:01.40. Delgado still was waiting on the owner’s OK to name a rider for Majesto.
“I called him (Alejandro Ceballos) last night, and he hasn’t made up his mind,” Delgado said. “Right now I have no rider for Majesto or for Paola Queen (in the Kentucky Oaks) or Grand Tito (for the Woodford Reserve).”
MOHAYMEN – Mohaymen walked the shedrow at trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn a day after working a half-mile in :47.40.
“He’s good this morning and ate up everything,” said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother. “He’s out there now grazing before the rain starts.”
MOR SPIRIT – Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, aboard the barn's trusted stable pony Smokey, led Mor Spirit to the track to gallop 1 ½ miles under George Alvarez during the special 8:30 a.m. training time. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is due to arrive in Louisville tonight.
MO TOM – Mo Tom, with exercise rider Mario Garcia aboard, jogged once around the Churchill Downs track and schooled in the paddock Saturday morning, a day after working a half-mile in :48.60.
Trainer Tom Amoss said he typically doesn't send horses to the track on the day after they work. "I wouldn't do it with an ordinary horse, but I want to accomplish some things schooling-wise, and I want to do it on a day when he doesn't do much,'' Amoss said. "It doesn't hurt a horse like him. He can handle a lot.''
MY MAN SAM/SHAGAF – Both of trainer Chad Brown’s top 3-year-old colts – My Man Sam and Shagaf – walked the shedrow at Barn 42 a day after putting in their final timed workouts in advance of Kentucky Derby 142. Brown said he was satisfied with the breezes, which he said were exactly what he would expect from them.
My Man Sam was timed going a half-mile in :49.60 by Churchill Downs clockers. “I had him a little better,” Brown said. “I got him in 48 and change. He went very well and came out of the work good so far.”
Shagaf worked later in the morning and was given an official time of :47.80 with a five-eighths gallop-out in 1:00.20.
“He galloped out very well,” Brown said. “He continues to really train well over Churchill’s surface. I’ve been very impressed with this horse and how he’s handling Churchill’s track. He just tends to be the best work horse out of the three (including Kentucky Oaks contender Lewis Bay). He tends to work a little bit faster in the mornings. It’s normal for him and what we saw was the norm for both horses.”
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., the nation’s third-leading rider by wins and earnings, was the regular rider for both horses before they ran in separate prep races on April 6. Ortiz elected to stick with the more-accomplished Shagaf that day, but subsequently elected to ride My Man Sam in the Derby.
“I left it up to him and his agent what they wanted to do,” Brown said. “In their opinion, for this particular race, they chose My Man Sam because his prep race was better. That’s the way they explained it to me. I don’t factor that in at all as far as my feelings for Shagaf. As his trainer I can tell you the horse is training better than ever. He’s undefeated on a dry track. I don’t think it was an easy decision for the jockey and agent. I don’t think one is flourishing over the other. They are well aware that Shagaf could very well win the race, and they understand that and accept that.”
Joel Rosario, winner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby on Orb, has picked up the mount on Shagaf. On Wednesday afternoon Rosario won his first race since being sidelined with a fractured wrist in February.
NYQUIST – Trainer Doug O’Neill almost always looks on the bright side when it comes to his racehorses. He’s shining especially brilliantly when it comes to his undefeated champion Nyquist.
“He’s just doing great,” he said Saturday morning as his colt prepared to ship from Keeneland to Barn 41 at Churchill Downs. “He could not have come out of his work (a mile in 1:41 Friday) here any better. He ate up everything in sight and this morning we put a new pair of shoes on him. He’s doing unbelievably well and we’re ready to come over and run in the Derby.”
Nyquist left Keeneland at noon for the ship to Churchill Downs.
Nyquist is seven for seven in his career thus far with five of those victories (including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) earning him an Eclipse Award as the nation’s top juvenile colt last year. Subsequently this year he has clicked in the San Vincente at Santa Anita and the Florida Derby at Gulfstream to earn him the role of likely Kentucky Derby favorite. His series of victories, which also included a special $1 million bonus for winning the Florida Derby, additionally earned him a bankroll that now reads $3,322,600 – the most purse money a horse has brought to the Run for the Roses.
Mario Gutierrez, who has handled the son of Uncle Mo in all of his outings, will once again be aboard next Saturday.
OSCAR NOMINATED – Oscar Nominated, winner of the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park this month, walked the shedrow of trainer Mike Maker’s local base at the Trackside Training Center, four miles east of Churchill Downs. The Kitten’s Joy colt vanned to Churchill on Friday for a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.80 with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard under the supervision of Maker, as well as Nolan Ramsey, the Ramseys’ grandson, who works for Maker.
“Both Mike and Nolan thought it was a good workout and said he had a lot of energy,” Ken Ramsey said. “I spoke with Julien in the afternoon at Keeneland and he liked the work and thought the horse was coming up to the race the correct way. We’re pleased with our preparations so far.”
Oscar Nominated is by Kitten’s Joy, whose progeny have been wildly successful on turf but rarely race at an elite level on dirt. Accordingly, Oscar Nominated was campaigned exclusively on the grass before earning his way into the Derby over Turfway’s synthetic Polytrack.
“It looks like he’s taken to the dirt no problem,” owner Ken Ramsey said. “Mike says that of the probably 100 or so Kitten’s Joys he’s trained over the years he likes this one on the dirt better than any of the rest of them.”
Oscar Nominated will remain at Trackside until all Derby horses are required to be at Churchill Downs on Wednesday.
SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS – Suddenbreakingnews got to spend the cloudy Saturday morning sleeping in, one day after working five furlongs in :59.60. He was walked around the shedrow of Barn 22 and likely will return to the track Sunday depending on the weather.
“He's good,” said trainer Donnie Von Hemel, who is making his first Kentucky Derby appearance since 1989. “He seems to be happy, so we're happy.”
TOM’S READY – Tom's Ready walked in the barn for trainer Dallas Stewart the day after working five furlongs in :59.40. Stewart said Tom's Ready ate well Friday night and Saturday morning and appears to have come out of the workout in good shape.
"He got better from last week to this week,'' Stewart said. "Hopefully, next week he'll make one more move forward, and I think he's got to. There are some very nice horses in here.”
Tom's Ready will jog early Sunday morning, Stewart said.
TROJAN NATION – Trainer Paddy Gallagher reported from his Santa Anita headquarters that all was well Saturday morning with his Wood Memorial runner-up Trojan Nation, who’ll attempt next Saturday to become the first maiden to win the Kentucky Derby since Broker’s Tip in 1933.
“He just went for a jog this morning,” Gallagher said. “We’re doing good.”
Trojan Nation, a Street Cry colt who shows a second and three thirds in six career starts, put in a final drill Thursday at Santa Anita with six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.60. He once again will be handled by veteran Aaron Gryder in the Run for the Roses and is scheduled to ship from California on Monday.
“I’m trying to get a plane (for myself) for either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” Gallagher said. “We’ll get there one way or another.”
WHITMORE – Both trainer Ron Moquett and his wife, Laura, Whitmore's regular exercise rider, were both extremely pleased Saturday morning with how their Pleasantly Perfect gelding exited his Friday five-furlong workout in 1:00. Weather permitting, the Arkansas Derby third-place finisher will return to the track Sunday.
“He's perfect,” Ron Moquett said. “He couldn't have come out of the work any better.”
Edited notes from Churchill Downs