Flameaway, Free Drop Billy, Promises Fulfilled
By Dick Downey
Photo by Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
This morning at Churchill Downs, three Kentucky Derby contenders put in their penultimate workouts for the Run for the Roses, including Free Drop Billy (in photo).
Flameaway, trained by Mark Casse with exercise rider Chris Garraway up, breezed in company outside of Ride a Comet, going five furlongs in 1:00.40 (12/52). His internal fractions caught by track clockers were 11.80, 23.40 and 35.20. Flameaway galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40. Ride a Comet was also timed in 1:00.40 (12/52).
“I was really happy with his breeze this morning,” said Casse's assistant trainer Nick Tomlinson. “He’s doing really well with the track at Churchill, and he recorded one of his best breezes that I’ve seen. It was truly amazing to experience the Derby training session for the first time.. It had to be one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever been a part of. These next two weeks will be really exciting.”
“He’s such a cool horse,” Casse said by telephone from Florida. “He always lays it down when it matters and tries so hard. We’re very fortunate enough to have a horse like this leading into the Kentucky Derby.” Casse said he's expected to be in Kentucky for the colt’s final breeze before the Derby next weekend.
Two Dale Romans trainees were also on the track during the time reserved for training by Derby and Oaks horses.
Promises Fulfilled breezed five furlongs in 59.20 with exercise rider Faustino Herrarte up. His splits were 11.60 and 23.00, and he galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.80.
After galloping a mile under exercise rider Juan Segundo, Free Drop Billy breezed five furlongs in 59.00 with splits of 12.20, 23.60, 35.00 and 46.80. He was out six furlongs in 1:12, seven in 1:25.40, and galloped almost to the track kitchen near the beginning of the far turn in a strong move.
“Impressive is all I can really say,” Romans said. “I’ll tell you what, both of these horses looked awesome this morning. It would definitely be a relief to win one of these things one day. These are very smart horses and are doing everything right in the lead up to the Derby.”
Romans confirmed Robby Albarado has the call on Free Drop Billy, and Churchill Downs’ perennial leading rider Corey Lanerie has the mount on Promises Fulfilled.
The workouts were scheduled to be live-streamed via four outlets; however, only the Facebook stream appeared to be working this morning.
Live streaming is scheduled to continue each morning through May 3 starting at 7:00 ET. The track is opened at 7:30 for 15 minutes to Derby and Oaks horses only.
Here are the streaming outlets, according to Churchill Downs.
Justify (six furlongs in 1:13.20) and Good Magic (four furlongs) also worked this morning at Santa Anita and Keeneland, respectively. More about those moves will be posted in a separate story.
Bravazo walked the shedrow Saturday morning following his six-furlong breeze Friday in 1:15.40 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Louisiana Derby runner-up Lone Sailor jogged one mile Saturday morning at Churchill Downs with regular exercise rider Maurice Sanchez on board for trainer Tom Amoss. The colt breezed Thursday in :57.60 at Churchill Downs.