Derby Trail Contender Plans
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is planning on shipping Withers Stakes winner Avery Island to Fair Grounds for the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby.
“It’s good timing in between, and we feel that he wants a mile and an eighth,” McLaughlin said. “He’s forwardly placed but he doesn’t have to be on the lead, he’s pretty push button. Joe Bravo rides him and he knows the track well.”
Owned by Godolphin LLC, Avery Island currently sits at No. 11 on the Kentucky Derby points chart with a total of 14 points. He earned four points when finishing second in the Remsen Stakes and 10 winning the 1 1/8-mile Withers.
McLaughlin also said that Enticed is a candidate for the one-turn, one-mile Gotham Stakes.
Asmussen Barn Plans
Steve Asmussen discussed plans for some of his 3-year-olds that competed in last weekend’s preps on the Road to The Kentucky Derby.
In the Risen Star Stakes, Asmussen saddled Snapper Sinclair and Principe Guilherme who went in to finish a respective second and seventh in the second of three local Kentucky Derby preps.
“We’re going to reevaluate with Guilherme, we’re disappointed with his race,” Asmussen said. “Snapper came out of it in good shape and will train up to the Louisiana Derby.”
On Monday afternoon, Asmussen saddled Retirement Fund and two others in the Southwest Stakes . Retirement Fund faltered on the muddy track. The trainer is now looking at the Louisiana Derby.
“I will probably return Retirement Fund here to run with him being two-for-two here,” Asmussen said.
Combatant and Zing Zang, second and fifth in the Southwest, will be pointed to the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Dark Templar Plans
Dark Templar finished behind Derby hopefuls Retirement Fund and Principe Guilherme in some of his prior efforts, but he defeated winners in an allowance event for 3-year-olds on Monday afternoon under Florent Geroux.
“We’ve worked hard on him mentally,” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “The boys have done a good job on him just to get him to relax and he was nice (Monday). He was happy out in front and he was lobbing away. (Florent Geroux) said he never had to get that serious with him until the very last eighth or sixteenth of a mile when he turned his stick over. It’s a learning process with him and he’s responding so I think he’ll have a good year.”
Walsh discussed the possibility of running Dark Templar in the Louisiana Derby.
“It might be....” Walsh said. “We’ll see how he comes out of this and talk to the owners.”
Edited Fair Grounds release with additional content by Dick Downey