Mother Nature may hold the key to what could be a major work day Friday at Churchill Downs.
Rain is forecast to begin overnight Thursday and continue into training hours Friday morning with more rain predicted to begin Friday afternoon and continuing through Saturday morning.
Kentucky Derby candidates scheduled to work are Major Fed and Raymond Daniels and Necker Island. Rushie may work.
Other Derby hopefuls are slated for final works on other fronts Friday: Sole Volante is scheduled to work at Palm Meadows, Shirl’s Speight is scheduled to work at Woodbine; and Ny Traffic is scheduled to work at Saratoga. Also slated to work at Saratoga are Derby possibles Dr Post and Money Moves.
ART COLLECTOR – Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector made his first reappearance over the Churchill Downs surface Thursday morning and galloped 1 ½ miles with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in the saddle. Trainer Tommy Drury reported Art Collector will have one more local work prior to the Kentucky Derby. Hernandez will have the call.
ATTACHMENT RATE – Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s $200,000 Ellis Park Derby runner-up Attachment Rate galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Faustino Herrarte at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
“I thought his race at Ellis makes him deserve a shot in the Derby,” trainer Dale Romans said via phone from New York. “He’ll have one more work on Sunday before the Derby. It’s 2020, anything can happen.”
AUTHENTIC – Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC and Starlight Racing’s $1 million Haskell (GI) winner Authentic is scheduled to arrive Monday at Churchill Downs.
CARACARO – Global Thoroughbred and Top Racing’s $1 million Travers Stakes (GI) runner-up Caracaro is slated to have his final breeze prior to the Kentucky Derby Saturday morning, according to assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr.
Caracaro is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs Sunday.
DR POST – St. Elias Stable’s Haskell third-place finisher Dr Post appears doubtful to run in the Derby, according to trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt could target the Jim Dandy (GI) or the $1 million Preakness (GI).
ENFORCEABLE – John Oxley’s Enforceable galloped a mile and a half shortly before 6 o’clock under exercise rider Paolo Perez for trainer Mark Casse.
“He was a little fresh this morning as this was his first day back galloping after working over the weekend,” said Allen Hardy, assistant to Casse. Enforceable had worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 on Sunday and is scheduled to have his final Derby work this Sunday.
FINNICK THE FIERCE – Trainer and co-owner Rey Hernandez said Finnick the Fierce came out of his Wednesday work at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington in good shape and would ship to Churchill Downs on Monday.
“He worked well (1:00.60 for five furlongs, the best of 11 at the distance,” said Hernandez, who owns the two-time graded stakes placed gelding in partnership with Arnaldo Monge. “He worked behind another horse.”
FIRST LINE – Noda Brothers’ Saratoga maiden special weight winner First Line added his name to the possible Kentucky Derby contenders should room be available in the starting gate on the first Saturday in September.
“If they have a little room in that gate, it’s an idea we are kicking around,” trainer Orlando Noda said.
HONOR A. P. – C R K Stable’s $100,000 Shared Belief runner-up Honor A. P. is scheduled to work Saturday at 12:45 p.m. PDT at Del Mar and slated to arrive at Churchill Downs Monday.
KING GUILLERMO – Victoria’s Ranch’s King Guillermo continued his training toward the Kentucky Derby Thursday at 7:30 a.m. with an easy gallop under exercise rider Edgar Medina.
King Guillermo is slated to have his final breeze for the Derby on Saturday, according to Medina.
MAJOR FED – Lloyd Madison Farm’s $300,000 Indiana Derby (GIII) runner-up Major Fed will have his final breeze prior to the Kentucky Derby Friday morning at 5:15 with jockey James Graham in the saddle.
Major Fed, a homebred son out of the former Foley-trained mare Bobby’s Babe, had an easy one-mile jog Thursday with exercise rider Margarito Fierro in the saddle.
“He’s happy and enjoying life right now – and so are we,” trainer Greg Foley said. “It’s fun being on this ride with our owners who have stuck with us for so many years. I’m thrilled for them.”
MAX PLAYER – George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred’s $1 million Travers Stakes (GI) third-place finisher Max Player schooled at the starting gate and galloped about 1 3/8 miles at 7:30 a.m. with exercise rider Juan Vargas in the saddle.
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. will have the call in the Derby.
MONEY MOVES – Robert LaPenta and Bortolazzo Stable’s two-time winner Money Moves is scheduled to arrive Sunday at Churchill Downs for trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt has minor Derby consideration but is nominated to the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GII).
NECKER ISLAND – Raymond Daniels and Wayne Scherr’s Necker Island jogged twice around under Hillary Hartman at 6 o’clock.
Trained by Chris Hartman, Necker Island is scheduled to work Friday morning at 7:30 with jockey Miguel Mena slated to be aboard. Hartman said the Hard Spun colt would go a half-mile or five-eighths and would work in company.
Ny TRAFFIC - Ny Traffic is scheduled to work at Saratoga Friday and arrive at Churchill Downs Sunday, according to trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.
RUSHIE – Jim and Donna Daniell’s Rushie galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Osman Cedeno after the 9 o’clock renovation break.
Trainer Michael McCarthy said Rushie may work Friday morning.
“I am thinking about it,” said McCarthy, who arrived in Louisville Wednesday night from California. “It will be a game-time decision as is often the case.”
Rushie, who would have to be supplemented to the Derby in order to run, also is under consideration for the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU to be run Sept. 5.
“We are still on the fence (about the Derby),” said McCarthy, who brought seven horses to Churchill Downs. “(The work) could impact the decision and I will speak with Mr. Daniell and get his thoughts.”
SHIRL’S SPEIGHT – Charles Fipke’s $100,000 Marine Stakes winner Shirl’s Speight’s travel plans remain fluid but the colt is tentatively scheduled to van from Woodbine to Churchill Downs Sunday or Monday.
SOLE VOLANTE – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Andie Biancone’s $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (GII) runner-up Sole Volante is scheduled to van from his South Florida base to Churchill Downs Sunday, according to senior director of the stable area Steve Hargrave.
STORM THE COURT – David A Bernsen LLC, Exline-Border Racing LLC, Dan Hudock and Susanna Wilson’s 2-year-old champion Storm the Court is slated to arrive at Churchill Downs Sunday on a flight from San Diego to Louisville. He is scheduled to work Saturday at Del Mar.
Julien Leparoux has the call in the Derby.
THOUSAND WORDS – Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Shared Belief Stakes hero Thousand Words is scheduled to arrive Monday with stablemate Authentic to trainer Bob Baffert’s Barn 33 at Churchill Downs.
Florent Geroux has the call in the Derby.
“Like so many of Bob Baffert’s horses, he showed good speed in his last start,” Geroux said. “I think he could be up in the race but we’ll discuss the plan with Bob when things get closer to the race.”
TIZ THE LAW – Sackatoga Stable’s Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law is scheduled to breeze Saturday or Sunday at Saratoga before his Monday arrival at Churchill Downs.
WINNING IMPRESSION – West Point Thoroughbreds’ and Pearl Racing’s graded stakes placed Winning Impression galloped 1 ½ miles Thursday at 6 a.m. under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.
Trainer Dallas Stewart reported Winning Impression will have his final breeze prior to the Derby Monday morning at Churchill Downs. Joe Rocco Jr. will have the mount in the Derby.
“It’s starting to get exciting,” Rocco said. “You’ve got to be in the gate to have a chance to win. We’ll see what happens.”
SHAPING UP THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Likely starters in the 146th running of the $3 million, Grade I Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, in points order:
Tiz the Law (jockey Manny Franco); Authentic (John Velazquez); Art Collector (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Honor A. P. (Mike Smith); Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez); King Guillermo (Samy Camacho); Thousand Words (Florent Geroux); Caracaro (Javier Castellano); Max Player (Ricardo Santana Jr.); Enforceable (Adam Beschizza); Major Fed (James Graham); Storm the Court (Julien Leparoux); Attachment Rate (Joe Talamo); Sole Volante (Luca Panici); Finnick the Fierce (Martin Garcia); Winning Impression (Joe Rocco Jr.); Necker Island (Miguel Mena); Shirl’s Speight (Corey Lanerie).
Possible: Dr Post (Tyler Gaffalione); Rushie (TBA); Money Moves (TBA); First Line (TBA).