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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

 


Preakness Stakes Horses

Complete


 
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ALWAYSMINING
ANOTHERTWISTAFATE
BODEXPRESS
BOURBON WAR
EVERFAST
IMPROBABLE
LAUGHING FOX
MARKET KING
OWENDALE
SIGNALMAN
WAR OF WILL
WARRIOR'S CHARGE
WIN WIN WIN



ALWAYSMINING (MD)
Trainer: Kelly Rubley
Owner: Runnymede Racing
Breeder: Avla Pitts
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Stay Thirsty (Bernardini, Marozia)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): What Will Be (Anees, Che Sara Sara)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-7-9-0-0 (20) 3.44
Foal Date: March 10, 2016

$130,000 Keeneland September 2017
A gelding

JOCKEY: Daniel Centeno  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 16

He finished fourth twice and third once in his first three starts, which came at Keeneland (one start) and Churchill Downs (two starts).

In his fourth career start, Alwaysmining broke his maiden by 5 1/2 lengths in June at Laurel Park for his original trainer, Laura Wohlers, then was fifth in one start for trainer Eddie Graham before being sent to trainer Rubley.

After struggling to finish seventh over a soft turf course in the Laurel Futurity, he won by 10 lengths in the slop on Oct. 27 at Laurel. He led throughout in that one, his second start for Rubley.

In the Dec. 8 Maryland Juvenile Futurity going seven furlongs at Laurel Park, Alwaysmining went straight to the front under Daniel Centeno and stayed there to get his first stakes victory. Alwaysmining, who was sent off at 3-1, was timed in a sprightly 1:21.91 on a track rated fast. Alwaysmining was pressed by 50-1 long shot V.I.P. Ticket through a quarter-mile in 22.83 while tracked by Tremont Stakes winner Our Braintrust. James F. Lewis III Stakes winner and 3-2 favorite Scrap Copper joined the chase after a half-mile in 45.34. Centeno shook up Alwaysmining leaving the quarter pole, opening up by 3 1/2 lengths turning for home and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Our Braintrust stayed on for second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Scrap Copper, followed by Thatwouldbegrand, Sky Magician, Trifor Gold, Outofthepark and V.I.P Ticket.

Kelley Rubley: “I’ve been very happy with how he’s been training coming into this race. The last race was obviously quite impressive. I think the fun part about this horse is that he’s versatile. He’s won at a mile, he won at 5 1/2 and now seven, so the possibilities are endless. We’ll see how he comes back from this. We’re going to enjoy today.”

Daniel Centeno: “He won really good last time, and I really liked him. They asked me if I wanted to come and I said yes. I was watching the races and looking at the track, and it seemed a little fast, so we tried to get a good position. He took the lead and made it easy all the way to the wire.”

Alwaysmining won his next start, too, the Heft Stakes at Laurel Park on Dec. 29. With Centeno aboard, they again raced to the early lead and remained in front through seven furlongs on 1:22.60. Initial fractions were 22.72 and 46.10. Win Win Win finished second, 1 1/2 length back after ceding the winner about 10 lengths in the early running. It was six more lengths to the next finisher. The chart for those two says, "Alwaysmining set the pace near the inner rail, drifted wide leaving the turn, angled to the two path in upper stretch and dug in under pressure. Win Win Win broke a bit awkwardly in behind, moved up two wide on the turn, was taken to the inner rail entering the stretch, reached a striking position inside the winner in mid stretch and continued gamely."

Daniel Centeno to DRF: "We had the one hole, so I wanted to come out running. They let me go to the lead, and he held it the whole way."

Jan. 26 NOTE: Going to the Miracle Wood next. If all goes well, two turns would be next in the picture.

Feb. 12 NOTE: Alwaysmining is Triple Crown nominated. Apologies for stating otherwise earlier, and thanks to The Commish for the heads-up.

In the one-turn, one-mile Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park on Feb. 16, the 3-5 favorite Alwaysmining opened up in the stretch to win by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:35.2 7 . There was a nice ride by Daniel Centeno, who glanced back at the competition in the backstretch and who shook up his willing runner at the top of the lane. Gray Magician, who was 1-5 in the early betting and sent off at 2-1, finished second after closely pursuing the winner early with Flavien Prat in the saddle. Tybalt closed from last but flattened out in the stretch and was nosed out at the wire to finish third. Six ran. Alwaysmining's early fractions were 24.23, 47.51 and 1:11.29.

Kelly Rubley: “I thought it was brilliant. We got to go :24 for the first quarter, which was ideal. I thought we’d get some pressure today, so that was perfect. They let him get away with it and Danny felt he had a lot of horse at the end."

Daniel Centeno: "We got the inside hole again today and just wanted to break sharp and get the lead. He broke sharp and ran strong.We went to the lead and made an easy lead all the way to the wire."

March 8 NOTE: Nominated to the Private Terms Stakes set for March 16.

March 9 NOTE: Trainer Rubley said after a workout and ahead of Alwaysmining's debut at two turns, “I was very happy with the work. He went nice in 48 and one and galloped out strong, so fingers crossed. He’s definitely continuing to move forward. I think he’s starting to fill out a little bit and he’s maturing. He’s doing very well. “We’ve nominated him to a few races (including Sunland Derby). I think we’re probably likely to run in the Private Terms. This looks like the most logical spot to try it. We don’t have to ship and we get to see how he handles it in a nice, safe environment that he loves.”

Alwaysmining made it look easy while extending his win streak to five races in the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park on March 16, his first race around two turns. It was a front-running effort and resulted in 6 3/4-length win margin. Breaking from post 3 as the 1-2 favorite in a field of seven, Alwaysmining found himself on the lead with stakes-placed Joevia settling into second and Miracle Wood third-place finisher Tybalt in third through a quarter-mile in 24.38, and opening up by four lengths after a half in 48.44. Joevia closed the gap to two lengths after six furlongs went in 1:12.66, but he was unable to keep up as Alwaysmining gained separation once straightened for home. He steadily pulled clear of his rivals and completed the distance of about 1 1/16 mile in 1:42.65.

Kelly Rubley: “That’s what we were hoping we’d see. He looks like he’s galloping, just relaxed. He’s a very classy horse. My biggest concern was, it’s really a short jump to the first turn here when we go a mile and a sixteenth, and if we didn’t clear it, I wasn’t sure how our trip would play out. Obviously, he had no problem jumping out on top. I was extremely impressed with this race. Danny said he never even had to use the stick on him, which I think is phenomenal. He’s just doing it for fun. We’ll see (what's next). Every time we win we get more excited, of course.”

Daniel Centeno: The plan was like always, to try to break sharp and go to the lead. I know (Joevia) was the other speed in the race, so I was looking to see what he’d do. When we went to the first turn, I looked and he took back a little bit, and my horse was going easy on the lead all the way.”

THE NEXT DAY: Jockey Centeno said, “He’s doing better and better every race and gaining more confidence. We’re going to find out more about him when he runs against better horses, but this horse can run. He’s smart, he’s professional and he does everything right. You can pretty much do whatever you want with him, and Kelly is doing a great job keeping him sound and fit and sharp. I know the owners and Kelly are going to talk about what’s next, but no matter where he goes, I’m going to ride him and we’ll see what happens."

April 3 NOTE: Per a report at Horse Racing Nation, Alwaysmining's next target is the Frederico Tesio, and connections hope the Preakness is next. “The big thing with him being a gelding is longevity,” said racing manager Joe Cassidy.

April 7 NOTE: Trainer Rubley said after yesterday's workout, “I was impressed with him. He did it very easily. It was a very, very solid work. You’re somewhat surprised when you look at the clock, because it doesn’t look like he’s going that fast, that’s for sure. We nominated to everything to cover our bases, but I’m very happy with the path we’ve chosen for this horse. I think we’re doing the right thing by the horse. He just continues to move forward. I have no complaints. Right now, we’re looking forward to the 20th. We’ll work next weekend, and then we’re planning to enter for the Tesio if everything goes well."

April 13 NOTE: Runnymede racing manager Joe Cassidy said, “He’s such a nice horse; he just keeps on trying,” said. “We’re very excited about going to the Tesio. It’s a great race with a great history, and we’re looking forward to being there.” Rival trainer Graham Motion said, “That horse is very good. Kelly has done a great job with him. She’s been very conservative, picked her spots with him very well. It’s going to take a really good horse to step up and beat him. I think you’re probably going to see him in the Preakness, I would imagine.”

April 17 NOTE: Racing manager Joe Cassidy said, “Kelly’s very happy with the horse. The great thing about this horse is, after it’s over he switches right back off. He’s just a sweet horse to be around. He’s a lovely horse, so the Bentleys quite enjoy being able to go to the barn and pet him and give him cookies and that kind of thing. All the way around, it’s been a great experience for them. They couldn’t be happier. My gosh, I wish it was tomorrow. This is another question for him. He has to get the mile and an eighth. We don’t want to put too much in front of him. He has to get the distance. It’s always a question for these young horses. We know he’ll show up, and hopefully we’re not asking him to do more than he’s up for.”

In the April 20 Frederico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park, Alwaysmining delivered for the sixth straight time, winning by 11 1/2 lengths under Daniel Centeno. The plan was to go to the lead from the gate, but after breaking smoothly from post 2, Alwaysmining soon found himself boxed in when Bozzini took command from post 1 and Trifor Gold came over from post 4 to take second position. They went around the first turn that way, with Alwaysmining two lengths back of the pace in third. After a quarter-mile in a slow 25.00, the pace quickened and the half was recorded in 48.87 -- and Alwaysmining was four lengths behind. Centeno guided Alwaysmining to the outside and he struck the lead on the backstretch heading to the far turn as Bozzini began a retreat with six furlongs timed in 1:12.97. Soon after, the race was all but over with the only question being how far Alwaysmining would prevail as Trifor Gold chased him. Centeno showed the whip down the stretch but otherwise engaged in a steady hand ride, and Alwaysmining finished the 1 1/8 mile in 1:50.12. Trifor Gold finished second, followed by Bozzini, Dixie Drawl and Tybalt. Majid was scratched.

Kelly Rubley: "It was good to see him settle. He showed he doesn't need the lead. He'll get two or three days off. This horse loves to train. As long as we come back ok, that’s our goal. You just hate to get overconfident, but this is what I had expected to happen, so I’m really glad it came true. We’re all very excited. It’s a fabulous day. Honestly, I was glad to see that he settled and he was able to relax. It looked like it got a little tight, but Danny didn’t really think it did. Somebody had to test us sooner or later. I’m glad we got it out of the way here, and I’m confident that he handles it well. ...(W)e actually had a bit more of a challenge at the start of this race and I think that was good to see, that this horse is as versatile as we thought he is. He didn’t have a problem relaxing, and then when it was time to go, he went.”

Daniel Centeno: “The plan was to try to make the lead, but I didn’t want to chase them, so I let them go. I decided to take him back and put him behind them. He was comfortable, nice and relaxed. I put him on the outside on the backstretch and when it was time to go, he took off. (The Preakness) will be a completely different game. I told Kelly, he’ll be completely relaxed. We don’t need to put him on the lead. We can do whatever we want with him.”

April 27 NOTE: Trainer Rubley said, “He came out of the race great, honestly, He’s been back galloping this week. He’s galloping nice and relaxed and very happy with himself. He’ll breeze next weekend, and we’ll take it from there. “It’s been quiet this week. I like it. There seems to be more on with the Triple Crown but that’s OK. We’re having fun. (The owners) are great. They’re having a ball. They’ve been shopping. They’ve got their outfits picked out and everything’s looking good. He’s a great horse to be around. He’s really fun. He’s so laid back. Everybody’s happy.”

May 3 NOTE: "Trainer Rubley said, "I actually thought it was a perfect work – out in 12 and change and finished up in 11. He went a nice 49 and out in 1:01. We’re very happy. I’d say his confidence level continues to improve. My rider thought he was a bit aggressive today, which is great to hear. I’m actually very happy with that. He could easily go in 46 if we allowed it, so this was a nice, relaxed, comfortable work for him. He’s worked on the Tapeta all winter, so we’ve opted to not change anything at this point. The Tapeta seems to be a very consistent track and that’s kind of what our goal is at this point right now. The rain and the precipitation doesn’t affect it as much as the dirt, so we’re feeling confident using that.I think that was probably my favorite race so far in the fact that we did answer that question – does he need the lead,” Rubley said. “We always thought that he did not, that he would settle, so it’s finally proven to us. So we’re very happy about that. He will work one more time, but everything will stay normal and continue in his usual routine. He needs to be on the grounds by noon on Thursday before the Preakness, so our goal is to just keep everything normal in his routine and ship at the last possible minute.”

In the 144th Preakness, Alwaymining loomed into contention entering the far turn, then stopped. He finished 11th, beaten 13 1/2 lengths.

Kelly Rubley: “He appears to be fine. We’re waiting to scope and we’ll evaluate him.  He appeared to stop, and I don’t know what the reason for that is.”

Daniel Centeno: “I thought he'd run better. He had a good trip and we tried to make a move around the turn, but he just stopped.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 19, Alwaysmining 48:00 Breezing synthetic 1/16 at FAI
Jan. 26, Alwaysmining 1.01:20 Breezing synthetic 1/16 at FAI
Feb. 4, Alwaysmining 1.02:00 Breezing synthetic 3/8 at FAI
Feb. 10, Alwaysmining 48:00 Breezing synthetic 1/9 at FAI
March 2, Alwaysmining 49:20 Breezing synthetic 13/26 at FAI
March 9, Alwaysmining 48:20 Breezing synthetic 1/31 at FAI
March 30, Alwaysmining 49:60 Breezing synthetic 6/13 at FAI
April 6, Alwaysmining 1.00:00 Breezing synthetic 1/17 at FAI
April 13, Alwaysmining 49:00 Breezing synthetic 3/19 at FAI
May 3, Alwaysmining 49:00 Breezing 2/10 synthetic at FAI
May 10, Alwaysmining 48:20 Breezing synthetic 1/13 at FAI

 

 

 

ANOTHERTWISTAFATE (KY)
Trainer: Blaine Wright
Owner: Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd.
Breeder: Pursuit of Success LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Scat Daddy (Johannesburg, Love Style)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Imprecation (First Defence, Media Nox (GB))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-1-6-2-0 (16) 2.20
Foal Date: April 17, 2016

$360,000 OBS June 2018

JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 14

He debuted on dirt at Santa Anita and finished ninth of 12 going six furlongs, beaten 15 lengths. Count di Luna won that race, with Stretford End second. His trainer later said it was better than it looked. The chart says he "chased between horses then outside a rival, split foes on the turn, came three deep into the stretch and did not rally."

Anothertwistafate won his next two starts, both at Golden Gate on the synthetic. Both races were at two turns, and he was timed in 1:43.44 and 1:38.57, respectively. The first win was by four lengths, the second one by five, so he has received a lot of attention in northern California. He won both races on the lead at each call with early fractions in the maiden win of 23.96, 49.19 and 1:13.34 and in his allowance win at a shorter distance of 24.18, 49.05 and 1:13.74.

The El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 16 seemed like it was won by a pole, but it was actually a seven-length margin for 6-5 favorite Anothertwistafate, ridden by Juan Hernandez. Time for the 1 1/8 mile race on the Tapeta surface was 1:50.38. Anothertwistafate led after a quarter-mile in 23.38, a half in 49.09 and six furlongs in 1:13.78. Kingly, the 9-5 second choice, finished second under Evin Roman after pursuing the ultimate winner in second position at each call of the race. More Ice, who was sixth in the early going but never more than 2 1/4 lengths behind, finished third, beaten 9 1/2 lengths. Angelo's Pride, fourth at 48-1 odds, tracked More Ice throughout the race.

Blaine Wright, winning trainer of Anothertwistafate (No. 4): "I'm just in awe of him right now. He's been doing fabulous the past three weeks. He's got a lot of stamina, so the distance is good for him. We didn't want to take him out of his style, but if somebody really wanted to go we would have let him. There's a lot of stuff in front of us. We'll sit down and talk about what races to consider.”

Juan Hernandez: “He was ready to rock and roll. We were thinking about playing the break. He broke clean, and they let me go. The horse was comfortable in front. At the quarter pole when he changed leads, he exploded. I felt it. I asked him, and he responded right away. He broke clear, and I held him a little, but I give him a lot of credit. He did everything alone. If the other horses went too crazy, the plan was to stay behind other horses and make him relax, but they let me go and the horse was comfortable in front.”

Owner Peter Redekop: “There are a lot of races out there, and we need to get the points (for the Kentucky Derby). One race in March and one in April, and then the big one.”

Feb. 22 NOTE: Plans are afoot to run on dirt next time.

In the Sunland Derby on March 24, Cuttinng Humor won, Anothertwistafate was second, Mucho Gusto was third and Wicked Indeed was fourth. Ridden by John Velazquez, Cutting Humor stalked the early pace in fifth through the first turn. Going up the backstretch he sat fourth behind 4-5 favorite Mucho Gusto and Joe Talamo, Hustle Up and Anothertwistafate, ridden by Juan Hernandez, with a half-mile timed in a blazing 45.63. Heading into the second turn, Cutting Humor laid third with six furlongs in the books in 1:09.63, with Mucho Gusto leading a closely pursuing Hustle Up in second and Anothertwistafate only 1 1/2 length back in fourth. Leaving the far turn, Mucho Gusto was in a narrowing command, and Cutting Humor was soon on even terms with him as Hustle Up backed away. Cutting Humor led Mucho Gusto by a half-length with one furlong remaining, and Anothertwistafate had moved to third, albeit still a length-and-a-half back. Anothertwistafate made a belated charge only to come up a neck short. Mucho Gusto faded to finish third, beaten six lengths, and Wicked Indeed rounded out the superfecta, another 1 1/2 length back. Cutting Humor covered the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Derby in an eye-catching 1:46.94, eclipsing the former track record of 1:47.21 set by Oh So Regal on April 15, 2018.

April 1 NOTE: Staying put at Sunland Park, with an eye on the Arkansas Derby, probably less so the Blue Grass and Wood.

April 6 NOTE: Anothertwistafate will not enter the Arkansas Derby. He shipped into Keeneland on Friday with 30 Kentucky Derby points and connections waiting to see what happens today in the big three Derby points races. TThe Stonestreet Lexington next Saturday offers Derby points 20-8-4-2 to the top four finishers.

April 1O NOTE: Trainer Wright said, “We decided the next day to stay (at Sunland Park) because of the quarantine at Golden Gate (for equine herpesvirus-1), and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The weather was good there, and he worked well the day before we left last week. After Saturday, we’ll find out. I don’t know if I would work him in between. It depends on how he comes out of this. His races have been spaced out, and he is carrying good flesh.”

In the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13, Owendale won, Anothertwistafate was second, Sueno third and Knicks Go fourth. Hawaiian Noises, ridden by John Velazquez, and Knicks Go, ridden by Albin Jiminez dueled for the early lead through fractions of 24.33 and 48.33. Those two were still leading into the far turn, with Anothertwistafate and Javier Castellano in closest pursuit while boxed in. In the turn after six furlongs in 1:12.88, Hawaiian Noises abruptly fell back, and leaving the turn Anothertwistafate put away Knicks Go after getting through traffic. Suddenly, Owendale and Florent Geroux come wide from well off the pace and shot to the lead. Owendale quickly separated himself from the field and won by 1 3/4 length in a time of 1:44.14. Anothertwistafate was alone in second, followed 1 1/4 length back by the late-running Sueno and another five lengths to Knicks Go.

Javier Castellano: “I wish I had a better trip. I was in tight all the way, and the two horses in front stopped early. But I kept coming and saved ground. The winner got the jump, and in the meantime I was bottled up inside on the rail looking for room, and I didn’t have any room.”

POST RACE NOTE: Anothertwistafate will remain at Keeneland for now, and connections will keep an eye on the Derby leaderboard.

April 14 NOTE: Trainer Wright said, “He ate up good and cooled out fine, and that’s the main thing. He will spend a couple more days here and then go to Churchill maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. We planned to go to Churchill no matter what, so now we will take a wait-and-see approach. He did not have the best of trips. I don’t think he likes being inside. The rider tried to tip him out at the head of the stretch, but the leader drifted out, and he had to go back inside. If he doesn’t get in, we still have the Preakness. He has done a lot of shipping, and I think the best thing now would be to get to one place and settle in.”

April 23 NOTE: Trainer Blaine Wright said via text today that Anothertwistafate will be flown back to California to train at Golden Gate for the Preakness. He'll be flown to Baltimore the week of the race.

In the 144th Preakness, Anothertwistafate finished 10th, beaten 10 3/4 lengths by War of Will, after contending in second place after the first six furlongs.

Blaine Wright: “He put him in the race and we were happy about that. He said the last eighth of a mile caught up to him. He said everything else went according to plan. We’ll get back to the barn and see how he is. I’m glad we came and had an opportunity. Obviously, I’m a little disappointed with the result, but we’ll regroup and go from there.”

Jose Ortiz: “I expected a good start. I think we were about third and stayed there. I gave him a breather on the backside and then tried to win the race. But we came up short today."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 18,  Anothertwistafate 50.40 Handily 7/26 at GG
Jan. 27,  Anothertwistafate 59.40 Handily 1/79 at GG
Feb. 3,  Anothertwistafate 1:27.20 Handily 1/1 at GG
Feb. 10,  Anothertwistafate 1:02.80 Handily 32/70 at GG
March 2, Anothertwistafate 49:40 Handily synthetic 14/55 at GG
March 10, Anothertwistafate 1.01:00 Handily synthetic 3/50 at GG
March 17, Anothertwistafate 1.14:00 Handily 2/11 at GG
April 4, Anothertwistafate 46:80 Breezing 1/7 at SUN
May 4, Anothertwistafate 1.01:80 Handily synthetic 11/51 at GG
May 11, Anothertwistafate 1.14:20 Handily synthetic 1/8 at GG

 

 

 

BODEXPRESS (KY)
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
Owner: Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbred & GDS Racing Stable
Breeder: Martha Jane Mulholland
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Bodemeister (Empire Maker, Untouched Talent)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam):  Pied a Terre (CAN) (City Zip, Lady Auchamore (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-6-3-0-0 (14) 8.33
Foal Date: April 23, 2016

$45,000 RNA Keeneland 2017
$37,000 RNA Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic 2018

JOCKEY: John Velazquez  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 14

Bodexpress entered the Florida Derby a four-race maiden, all of those races maiden special weights. He took the early lead in the second of those four races but otherwise ran behind fast early fractions.

He debuted sprinting at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 24 and was beaten 15 lengths. That was followed by second-place finish, again sprinting, at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 23.

On Jan. 26, he ran in Hidden Scroll's debut race and finished fourth, beaten 18 lengths, going a mile on a sloppy track.

On Feb. 16, he finished second by a neck to Shancelot, who was racing for the first time in his career, in a seven-furlong race at Gulfstream Park.

In the Florida Derby on March 30, the other 10 horses in the field left the early speed alone, which was in the form of Maximum Security, ridden by Luis Saez. He set moderate early fractions of 24.42, 48.98 and 1:12.90, led at every call, and won the 1 1/8-mile contest in race horse time of 1:48.86. Bodexpress, a four race maiden ridden by Nik Juarez, finished second by 3 1/2 lengths at 70-1 odds. He tracked the leader throughout the carousel. Neither of those two had run two turns before. Meanwhile, Code of Honor and Bourbon War, both experienced at routing, rounded out the superfecta. Confirmed closers, they were compromised by the soft early fractions. Code of Honor settled for third under John Velazquez, beaten 6 3/4 lengths, and Bourbon War was fourth under Irad Ortiz, Jr., another three-quarters of a length back.

Nik Juarez: “It was a huge effort. I really liked him going into the race, and he impressed me the way he ran last time. He’s a young horse that can take dirt, and when he finishes, he gives it all he has. Today he did the same exact thing, we just didn’t have enough pace – it was just me and Luis. He wasn’t difficult going into the gate last time out as he was today, but you never know with big days like this, with the weather too, and his first time being in front of the crowd, he got a little nervous. You can see he’s a very talented horse despite what kind of energy he puts out first.”

THE NEXT DAY: Per a report by Mike Welsch at DRF, trainer Gustavo Delgado said Bodexpress will have two workouts at Gulfstream Park West before shipping to Churchill Downs the week of the Kentucky Derby.

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Bodexpress was in second or third for the first six furlongs but finished 14th, moved up to 13th via the disqualification of the winner, beaten 15 lengths.

Gustavo Delgado: Had no comment.

Chris Landeros: “I was able to get into a good spot after breaking that far wide. We were in a good spot in the far turn but I had to check pretty hard after the seven (Maximum Security) came out.”

The chart call: "Bodexpress angled inward after breaking alertly, was forwardly placed three wide for six furlongs, was forced to take up sharply between LONG RANGE TODDY andCOUNTRY HOUSE near the five-sixteenths, and dropped back."

In the 144th Preakness, Bodexpress lost his rider when he exited the gate.

Gustavo Delgado: “I don’t have the words to talk about that now.”

John Velazquez: “He was just not behaving good in the gate. He was not standing really well. He got me up against the wall in the gate. When the doors opened I was standing up right from the start and I kind of jumped sideways. I had my feet out of the irons and I lost my balance and I went off. I’m good, I’m good. It’s just disappointing when you come in here for a big race like this. Things like this happen with horses, but it’s disappointing.”

WORKOUTS

Jan. 5, Bodexpress 1:04.00 Breezing 15/20 at GPW
Jan. 20, Bodexpress 1:16.20 Breezing sloppy 1/1 at GPW
Feb. 9, Bodexpress 1:02.00 Breezing 7/16 at GPW
March 2, Bodexpress 1:00.40 Breezing 1/23 at GP
March 9, Bodexpress 1:02.80 Breezing 9/17 at GPW
March 20, Bodexpress 1:02.00 Breezing     1/3 at GPW
April 11, Bodexpress 1.01:20 Breezing 1/5 at GPW
April 18, Bodexpress 48:60 Breezing 1/1 at GPW
April 29, Bodexpress 1.03:15 Breezing 1/1 at GPW

 

 

 

BOURBON WAR (KY)
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Owner: Bourbon Lane Stable & Lake Star Stable
Breeder: Conquest Stables, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tapit (Pulpit, Tap Your Heels)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): My Conquestadory (Artie Schiller, Golden Artemis)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-12-12-2-0 (32) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 23, 2016

$410,000 Keeneland November 2016
$525,000 RNA Keeneland September 2017


JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz, Jr.  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 15

Bourbon War debuted with an impressive 2 1/4-length win on Nov. 14 at Aqueduct in a one-mile race moved off the turf on a track rated fast. Bourbon War, who was stabled at Belmont Park, stumbled at the start and stayed off the pace before a strong finish earned him a trip to the winner's circle.

Trainer Hennig said later, “There was a good chance for it to come off the turf, but he had a lot of turf pedigree. It was that time of year when you enter those kind of races because you’re running out of chances to get started on the grass if you want to. We weren’t alarmed that it came off."

Nov. 28 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, "He's doing well. We discussed it Tuesday morning and came to the conclusion that we'd fit with this group (in the Remsen Stakes). The timing is a little less than ideal, but he seems like he's been sharp and bright since his race, so we figured we'd take a chance. He's a horse who all along I thought would need to run and need more ground. I never anticipated that he's the horse who would run the race of his life in his first start. I think there's plenty of upside. The timing is a question mark, but he's acting like he's up to it. I think he'll be up to the challenge. I would think that he would relish more ground. I don't think distance is an issue. I don't anticipate him being on the lead. He seems like a horse who wants to settle a little bit."

In Aqueduct's Dec. 1 Remsen Stakes at 1 1/8 mile, 7-5 second choice Maximus Mischief won by 2 1/4 lengths under Frankie Pennington with Network Effect taking second with a late effort. After breaking sharply, Maximus Mischief dueled outside Gladiator King through a quarter-mile in 25.12, then gained an edge over that one while fending off Tax from his outside, posting a half-mile mark of 50.67. Tax was still there coming out of the final turn afterf six furlongs in 1:14.60, but Maximus Mischief responded to Pennington's left-handed encouragement and opened up his lead before hitting the furlong marker in 1:38.48 and the wire in a final time of 1:51.34. Network Effect was second by a half-length over Tax. The fourth-place finisher, another 6 1/4 lengths back, was Bourbon War, who was last but only four lengths off the pace after the first half-mile. More than 10 lengths further in arrears were Jungle Warrior, Gladiator King and Chinomado, in that order.

Jan. 17 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “He’s done very well since he got here. We ran him back in the Remsen. It wasn’t ideal probably, but he handled it well and he came out of it well. He’s shipped well to South Florida. I think the race was a learning experience for him for a less-than-ideal trip. I didn’t necessarily expect him to be a first-out winner. He had spotty works – kind of a typical Tapit. The interesting thing about him is that since he ran his first start, he’s been all business as a work horse, which he wasn’t before.”

In a 1 1/16-mile, entry-level allowance on Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park, 3-2 favorite Bourbon War and Irad Ortiz, Jr. registered a dominant 2 1/4-length victory over 2-1 second choice Cutting Humor, ridden by John Velazquez. Both those two came from off the pace to overtake pacesetter and 6-1 third choice Award Winner, who did a lot of early heavy lifting under Jose Ortiz with fractions of 23.93, 47.45 and 1:11.97 while taking heavy pressure from Everfast and Whitecap Bay. The race was timed in 1:43.54. Leaving the far turn, Bourbon War found a seam between Award Winner and a hard-charging Cutting Humor and split those horses before drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths. It was another four lengths back to Award Winner, and 6 1/2 more to Everfast. Archidust, Borracho, Art G Is Back, Whitecap Bay and He's a Macho Man rounded out the order of finish.

Mark Hennig: “I was glad he kind of got through that little hole. I was like, ‘Is there a hole here turning for home, or not? Don’t get stopped.’ It worked out good. I think you’d have to (point to the Fountain of Youth). We’re going to see how it stacks up, but we’ll nominate him up to all these 3-year-old races. I think he’s ready to take the step back into graded stakes company. He got some schooling in the Remsen, and I think Irad made a point of schooling him a little bit (today). I asked him if he did anything wrong today, and he said, ‘Not a thing,’ so that’s good.”

Jan. 24 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said to DRF on Jan. 21, “All and all I thought it was a good workmanlike and professional effort. He also got a lot of valuable schooling out of the race as well. Now all you can ask for is that he continues to keep moving forward. (The Fountain of Youth) is here, it’s around two turns, the timing is good, and he seems to like this track, so right now it’s the most obvious of all the choices we’ve got."

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “He has a competitive nature. But also he has a good mind. Since he ran that first time, it’s like he’s just waiting for the rider to tell him what to do next. I think Irad rode him that way. If you go back, he gave him a little extra education in the Remsen, which benefited us in the last race. We’d like to see another move forward and pick up some points in the process. That would be the goal."

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 2, Code of Honor and John Velazquez bided their time in fifth place early on, some eight lengths off the pace, but blew by pacesetter Hidden Scroll at the top of the stretch and took it on home to win in 1:43.85, prevailing by 3/4 length. Hidden Scroll, ridden by Joel Rosario, led through fast fractions of 22.80, 45.69 and 1:10.42, and it turned out to be too much for him, although he did hang on to finish fourth. Bourbon War, who was seventh, 10 lengths off the pace after the first half-mile, finished second with a monster late run while guided outside by Irad Oritz, Jr. Vekoma, with Manny Franco up, finished third by 2 3/4 lengths after being in fourth position early, challenging Hidden Scroll leaving the far turn and then narrowly outrunning that one to the wire. Hidden Scroll, fourth, was beaten three lengths. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to fifth finisher Global Campaign.

Mark Hennig, trainer of Bourbon War: “He ran very well. Irad said, ‘I don’t like that first wire.’ He said he kind of had to wait a little at the quarter pole for some room, but he said he didn’t want to ask him and have to check. So he said he waited and waited and he was just humming down the stretch. He’s going to appreciate more ground, that’s for sure.”

March 3 NOTE: Trainer Hennig told DRF Live that Bourbon War "looks great, came out it unscathed, cold and tight. He ate pretty much everything, left a little bit, but it was a hot, humid day. The way he cooled out, the Florida Derby makes sense." Hennig left room for the Wood Memorial a week later if Bourbon War needs more time.

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said,  "He's made great progress. I think that first race really woke him up a lot. He's a horse that was never really enthusiastic as a training horse prior to running. Once he ran, the light came on for him. It's been quite a wake up for him. He's a typical Tapit that was bored of all the training and was ready for some race experience. He's very relaxed. He's not in any rush. The effort (in the Fountain of Youth) didn't surprise me. The only thing that surprised me was that last sixteenth when he was really finishing very quickly. We're trying to earn points. He needs a good effort in the Florida Derby to warrant going forward. He's been happy here and trained well. The timing is good, and we get five weeks to the Derby, provided he moves on."

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “He did well. He came home in 49.88, I think they caught him in. I was looking for a little quicker than that, but the track was not real sharp this morning. I told my rider I’d rather you err on the side of too slow than too fast. The horse is fit. We just want to get him safely over there next Saturday.”

March 27 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “The gallop-out – some people put emphasis on that, and some people don’t – I thought his gallop-out (in the Fountain of Youth) was much stronger than the rest of the field. It really gave us some confidence. I know Irad has a lot of confidence. His daily gallops, he’s putting a lot into them, which is great to see. He’s matured a lot. He’s eating tremendously right now. He’s a horse that’s needed to fill out and grown up as the spring comes on, and he’s doing that. Hopefully, that keeps going as we transition to the next town and he does as well as he’s done here.”

In the Florida Derby on March 30, the other 10 horses in the field left the early speed alone, which was in the form of Maximum Security, ridden by Luis Saez. He set moderate early fractions of 24.42, 48.98 and 1:12.90, led at every call, and won the 1 1/8-mile contest in race horse time of 1:48.86. Bodexpress, a four race maiden ridden by Nik Juarez, finished second by 3 1/2 lengths at 70-1 odds. He tracked the leader throughout the carousel. Neither of those two had run two turns before. Meanwhile, Code of Honor and Bourbon War, both experienced at routing, rounded out the superfecta. Confirmed closers, they were compromised by the soft early fractions. Code of Honor settled for third under John Velazquez, beaten 6 3/4 lengths, and Bourbon War was fourth under Irad Ortiz, Jr., another three-quarters of a length back.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Hennig said, “He’s doing great. I don’t think there’s any doubt (the pace) had a large impact on us at least not being third, for sure. I’m not saying we were going to win the race or anything, but I’d like to think with a little pace we could have been a little closer. And a little better trip, too, having to go around the whole way. If you look at his trip versus Code of Honor’s, I think that made a big difference. We’d love to be able to get into the Kentucky Derby on points. If we have the points, we’d be confident going forward because he’s a horse you’d like to think leaving here would be good for him to get off a track where it’s hard to close. Right now we don’t know what that status is. It doesn’t look great, but we’re just going to stand pat and watch how the races run next weekend in the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass and Wood and see where the points stand after that. I think it’ll help indicate to us a little more about where we are.”

April 12 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, "He is doing wonderful. We're just going to kind of sit back this week and watch what happens in the Arkansas Derby and the Lexington and just see how much further we've dropped in the standings. We'll figure it out after that."

April 28 NOTE: Belmont Park public relations department says the Peter Pan is the likely next start for Bourbon War, but the Preakness hasn't been ruled out. Trainer Hennig said, We'll see how the Peter Pan and the Preakness come up. I'll talk it over and discuss it with all of our clients."

In the 144th Preakness, Bourbon War finished eighth, beaten 9 1/2 lengths by War of Will, after running eighth or 10th the first three calls.

Mark Hennig: “He looked like he was in the bridle early and I was really happy. When he went outside into the clear, he dropped the bridle and then picked it up again.”

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “No excuses. Had blinkers first time, and I tried to get him going but he's still learning."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 3, Bourbon War 1.00:86 Breezing 2/8 at GP
Jan. 10, Bourbon War 49:54 Breezing 4/13 at GP
Feb. 1, Bourbon War 48:44 Breezing 14/49 at GP
Feb. 8, Bourbon War 48:03 Breezing 5/42 at GP
Feb. 15, Bourbon War 1.02:38 Breezing 12/22 at GP
Feb. 22, Bourbon War 48:68 Breezing 15/43 at GP
March 15, Bourbon War 50:50 Breezing 29/33 at GP
March 22, Bourbon War 49:88 Breezing 19/30 at GP
April 17, Bourbon War 47:75 Breezing 2/22 at GP
April 25, Bourbon War 48:33 Breezing 9/53 at BEL
May 2, Bourbon War 49:31 Breezing 16/38 at BEL
May 9, Bourbon War 1.01:67 Breezing 3/16 at BEL

 

 

 

 

EVERFAST (KY)
Trainer: Dale Romans
Owner: Calumet Farm
Breeder: Extern Developments
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy, Take Charge Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Awesome Surprise (Awesome Again (CAN), Native Roots (IRE))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-13-12-0-0 (28) 3.67
Foal Date: Feb. 20, 2016

$47,000 Keeneland January 2017

 
JOCKEY: Joel Rosario   ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 16

Everfast won his debut at Ellis Park last summer, then lost five consecutive races, hitting the board only once. He finished 14th in the Kentucky Jockey Club in November.

In his last outing before the Holy Bull Stakes, he finished fourth in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18, beaten 12 1/2 lengths by Bourbon War.

In the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 2, two horses that weren't supposed to perform made up the exacta. Harvey Wallbanger and Everfast were sent off at 29-1 and 128-1 odds, respectively. Somehow the $2 exacta only paid $2,203.40. Epic Dreamer, sent off at 12-1, set the pace all alone under Irad Ortiz, Jr. with fractions of 23.18, 46.76 and 1:10.89 while 4-5 favorite Maximus Mischief and Jose Ortiz tracked a couple of lengths back in second. The latter one edged closer in the far turn and got to even terms with about a furlong left in the race. Meanwhile, Harvey Wallbanger and Brian Hernandez, Jr. broke slowly and were in last place, about 10 lengths off the pace the first half-mile. They just kept coming to win by a length in 1:43.69 after cutting the corner into the stretch. Everfast, ridden by Chris Landeros, didn't have any obviojus trouble but was was fifth by five lengths at the first call, third by two lengths at the second call, fourth by four lengths at the third call, still fourth and three lengths back with a furlong remaining, and then snuck in to get second, a neck in front of Maximus Mischief. Epic Dreamer held on for fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.
 
Feb. 23 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “He’s just a little push-button horse. He goes out there and takes care of business. He doesn’t wow you, but he just does things right.”
 
Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “He surprised me. He surprised me that he lost. That was the only surprise that I saw. I was disappointed coming out of it. I thought he would win. He just seems good. He acts like he’s better than the races beforehand, and I thought he’d run a big race, and he did.”
 

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 2, Everfast finished eighth, beaten 18 1/2 lengths by Code of Honor. He was 10th midway through the race and lost ground after that.

In the Florida Derby on March 30, Everfast finished ninth, beaten 15 lengths by Maximum Security, after starting out in seventh and then steadily losing ground.

In the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on May 4, Everfast finished fifth, beaten 10 1/4 lengths by Mr. Money and a time of 1:35.21.

May 15 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “It’s a wide-open field, take a shot. He jumped up and ran big in the Holy Bull. When he runs big, he runs big. We’re hoping he throws in one of those big races. Some of the top contenders are missing, so we’ll take a chance. He’s training like he did before the Holy Bull. We’re going to try to wheel him back off the sprint and see if we can get a piece of it. You’ve got a future Hall of Fame rider, so we might as well take a shot.”

In the 144th Preakness, War of Will won, Everfast was second, Owendale finished third and Warrior's Charge was fourth. Warrior's Charge set a brisk pace of 22.50, 46.16 and 1:10.56. For the first half-mile, Market King was in closest pursuit, followed by Anothertwistafate and War of Will. At the third call, Market King was starting a major retreat, Anothertwistafate had moved into second, and local hero Alwaysmining loomed on the outside in third. Warrior's Charge and Javier Castellano continued to lead through the far turn and came into the stretch well off the rail. War of Will came up the rail to take charge and led by a length with a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining had retreated. War of Will prevailed by 1 1/4 length. Longshot Everfast, sent off as the second longest shot in the 13-horse field at 29-1 odds, came up the inside behind War of Will after entering the second turn in 11th place, almost 10 lengths in arrears, to nab second with Joel Rosario aboard. Owendale and Florent Geroux finished a nose back in third after hitting that turn in ninth, almost seven lengths off the pace. Warrior's Charge hung on for fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Dale Romans: “Second in any classic is great. I thought the whole race he looked comfortable. When he wanted him to start picking up horses, he did. You could see he had the momentum. I thought we were going to win for a minute.”

Joel Rosario: “We almost had it. He ran great. We have a great shot at the Belmont.

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 6, Everfast 1:02.77 Breezing 20/28 at GP
Jan. 13, Everfast 1:03.53 Breezing 24/34 at GP
Feb. 23, Everfast 1.02:52 Breezing 30/44 at GP
March 23, Everfast 1.01:96 Breezing 20/40 at GP
April 27, Everfast 1.03:20 Breezing 36/43 at CD

 

 

 



IMPROBABLE (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt), China Horse Club (Ah Khing Teo) and Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf et al)
Breeder: St. George Farm LLC & G. Watts Humphrey Jr.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): City Zip (Carson City, Baby Zip)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Rare Event (A.P. Indy, Our Rite of Spring)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 12-9-13-0-0 (34) 4.23
Foal Date: Feb. 11, 2016

$110,000 Keeneland November 2016
$200,000 Keeneland September 2017

JOCKEY: Mike Smith  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 15

In his debut on Sept. 29 at Santa Anita, Improbable romped by 7 1/4 lengths.

Improbable remained undefeated with a 7 1/4-length romp in the Street Sense Stakes on Breeders' Cup Friday at Churchill Downs. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke at 4-5 odds, Improbable tracked just off the early lead that was shared by Trophy Chaser and Manny Wah. At the half-mile pole, following fractions of :22.27 and :44.96, Van Dyke tipped Improbable to the outside and rallied three wide to complete the one-turn mile in 1:35.61 over a track rated fast. Trophy Chaser stayed on for second. Manny Wah, Marquee Prince, Louder Than Bombs, Moonster, Reward the Miracle and Unionizer completed the order of finish.

Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes: “I think he’s a pretty exciting horse. He showed some talent in his debut and trained really well out in California. Hopefully this kick starts a fun weekend.”

Drayden Van Dyke: “I knew I’d be just behind some of the early pace setters. I tracked the one that I thought was the better, and when the hole opened up right after we passed the Big Board I moved him outside. He was very professional throughout the entire race."

On Dec. 8 in the 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity, trainer Baffert recorded his fifth straight and 11th overall victory of the fixture with Improbable, sent off at 1-5 odds in his two-turn debut. Mucho Gusto finished second. Improbable broke well from post 1 under Drayden Van Dyke in the field of six. They saved ground in mid-pack while Mucho Gusto and Savagery contested the very early going. Savagery blew the first turn, carrying Extra Hope out a few paths and Dueling even wider, leaving Mucho Gusto to lead in fractions of 23.25 and 47.25 with Savagery, who recovered, pressing him. At that point, Improbable was two wide in a joint third under a hold, but Van Dyke soon let him go, and Improbable caught the other two quickly. They were three abreast turning for home. Savagery dropped back in early stretch. Mucho Gusto kept trying but couldn't stay with Improbable, who won by five lengths. Mucho Gusto held second, finishing three lengths clear of Extra Hope. Savagery finished  fourth but was disqualifed to fifth for interfering with Dueling. The time was a solid 1:41.18.

Bob Baffert: “At the top of the stretch. he looked a little lost. He had to hit him a couple of times. Once he straightened out, he got into that long, beautiful stride of his. The good horses always find a way to win. He had trained like he was going to run like this. I was really excited about (Mucho Gusto). He tried very hard and just got a little tired. His race was very encouraging. We’ll just let these horses come along at their own pace and hope they stay healthy. That’s the key. Improbable has a long stride like Justify, he’s just a smaller version. I’m not saying he’s at Justify’s level yet, but he’s a really good horse.”

Drayden Van Dyke: “We were just behind the trouble on the first turn, and to be honest, we benefitted because we ended up where wanted to be, three wide behind the leaders. This is just such a cool horse. He hit another gear when we got to the stretch.”

Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm; “Bob has liked this horse all along. When Justify went to the farm from Del Mar this summer, Bob put Improbable in his stall. I loved his race today. The best thing about it was his last eighth of a mile and the way he galloped out. That gives you the hope for the future and that’s what we’re all looking for going towards the Spring Classics.”

Jan. 29 NOTE: Nominated to the UAE Derby.

March 7 NOTE: Will be shipped to Los Alamitos and will work there over the weekend.

March 10 NOTE: Improbable definite for the Rebel Stakes. The plane leaves Southern California on Wednesday. Stable mate Game Winner is also definite.

March 10 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said of Game Winner and Improbable, “We’re coming. They worked well. Everything’s good. There’s no changing between now and then. We knew the Rebel was always there, but at first we were thinking not to ship. We could come back. We hate to ship twice. It changes things a little bit, but right now we’re going through a little crisis here in Southern California. We never dreamed the day would come they would close down Santa Anita, but we’re getting through it. The main thing is that the 3-year-olds, they worked well. They’re coming up there. I think it’s very nice of them to want to split that race. That’s the key thing.”

With Jon Court riding Long Range Toddy for the first time, they ran past heavily-favored Improbable in the final yards of the March 16 Rebel Stakes, division one, to win by a neck. Galilean finished third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, followed by Extra Hope another length back. Classy John, then Extra Hope, led through fractions of 23.77, 47.58 and 1:11.97. At first, Long Range Toddy was right there with Classy John, but he and Court eased back to fifth at the next two calls, but never more than two lengths off the pace. Meanwhile, Improbable stalked the pace in the five path, and that wide trip could have cost him once he finally had a one-length lead with a furlong left in the race. Galilean pressed the pace at each call, was second to Improbable at the furlong marker, and didn't have enough left in the stretch. Extra Hope, who was three or four wide during his trip, was a head behind Galilean at the furlong marker and yielded.The winning time was 1:42.49.

Trainer Bob Baffert (Improbable):  “I would have liked to have won, but I’m very happy with both horses. They both ran well off the layoff. Thank goodness for the Cella family (owners of Oaklawn Park). We got to run both horses today. It was great racing.”

March 26 NOTE: Jose Ortiz has been named to take over from Drayden Van Dyke in the Arkansas Derby, per Elliott Walden as reported on a DRF Live post today.

April 9 NOTE: Improbable arrived at Oaklawn Park late this morning following a flight that originated earlier in the day in Southern California.

April 11 NOTE: Reportedly, trainer Baffert was on the phone for a brief interview after the post position draw, and after learning he drew post 1, he asked an Oaklawn official what post Gray Attempt drew.... Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said Improbable schooled in the gate following the first renovation break Thursday morning and added, “I was looking to see if I noticed anything this morning that was a little different than the last time I was here. He was maybe a little more relaxed than last time. Very good on the track. We do have a special time to train, so it’s quiet out there, which really helped the horsemen. You get the first 15 minutes after the break. Maybe that’s what I’m noticing, and before I had him out there with all the other horses. It’s a pretty busy racetrack. He seems more relaxed here.”

In the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 13, Omaha Beach won by a length, followed by Improbable, Country House and Laughing Fox. Omaha Beach, ridden by Mike Smith, wouldn't let Improbable and Jose Ortiz by during the stretch run and won the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:49.91 on a sloppy track. Improbable was restless in the gate at post 1 and was backed out twice, but the delay was minimal. After the bell rang, One Flew South and Jersey Agenda led the field through the first turn, but Omaha Beach was soon right behind One Flew South and passed him to take the lead on the backstretch. Heading into the far turn,  Improbable was a length behind Omaha Beach with Long Range Toddy tracking them in third. Coming out of the turn, the same two led. Country House, with Joel Rosario in the irons, and Laughing Fox, ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr. had come on around the turn to get in third and fourth place. Those four stayed in that order across the finish line, but it was a two-horse race to the wire. The third and fourth finishers were beaten by 6 3/4 and 7 3/4 lengths, respectively.

Bob Baffert: “The horse, happy with the way he ran. I was a little bit worried in the starting gate. He was acting up in there. I had a few moments there of maybe he was going to rear up or do something and get left. Luckily, they unloaded him and put him back and he left there well. I thought Jose Ortiz did a masterful job of riding him. We got beat by a good horse. They showed how these California horses are good horses.” Baffert added that he believes the colt doesn’t need blinkers.

THE NEXT DAY: Doing well today, and set to be flown to Lousville on April 15. Trainer Baffert said, “I thought he had to run first or second to have a chance, so it puts him right there in the mix. It’s a wide-open Derby this year. I just feel thankful. It could have been disastrous. Really had some anxious moments there. I think he ran a great race and he’s going to improve off this. I’ve been bringing him along, getting him ready by running him and so he’ll move forward off of it. I don’t think he needs the blinkers. I think they got him a little upset. That’s probably why he acted up in the gate.”

April 15 NOTE: Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Improbable in the Kentucky Derby.  Jose Ortiz was on board in the Arkansas Derby but will stay with Wood Memorial winner Tacitus.

April 19 NOTE: Jockey Ortiz (Irad) said, "He's a nice horse, he has a good trainer, so we'll see what happens. It's very exciting. I've got a lot of good support from the owners and trainers."

April 20 NOTE: Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said, “When you have this kind of weather, and the track is sealed, you want to go out there and take a little jaunt, and not try to do too much. He’s basically a lightly-raced horse, so he’s running him into shape. He raced at Los Alamitos in December, and went from there to the Rebel, so it’ll take him a few races just to get racing fit. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him, and he came out of Arkansas with two second-place finishes. But he could have won the first race easily if he’d had a better trip, and in the second one we were beaten by Omaha Beach, but that’s a very nice horse. I see him improving with each start.”

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was much the best but was disqualified and placed 17th by stewards. He won by 1 3/4 length in a time of 2:03.93 on a sloppy-sealed track. Country House was elevated to first. He was followed by Code of Honor, beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Maximum Security and three-quarters of a length by Country House. Tacitus was elevated to third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Maximum Security and 1 1/2 length by Country House. Improbable, who finished fifth, a head behind Tacitus, was moved up to fourth.

Bob Baffert: “I told them that was the horse to beat (Maximum Security). I told him be thankful you didn’t lose him for $16,000 or else you’d be throwing up all over you horse right now. The field never got separated they were all right there. It was like a kids’ soccer game, they were all right there. I knew the first quarter of a mile I knew I was toast. The problem is (Improbable) couldn’t get out, the six (Vekoma) wouldn’t let him out. He could not get out. I told my riders to stay clean, they don’t listen to me."

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “My horse didn’t really like the track. I asked him to keep up and he just could not.”

The chart says, "Improbable went along istriking range covered up in the two-path, idled through the far turn in traffic losing some position, shifted out in the drive and offered a mild response."

In the 144th Preakness, Improbable reared up in the gate, then got set and came out well. However, he didn't show early speed and was sixth or seventh early, advanced to fourth leaving the turn, but finished sixth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by War of Will, a nose behind fifth finisher Laughing Fox.

Bob Baffert: “When he did that in the gate (reared up) I knew that was it. His only weakness is he gets a little bit fired up. He was acting pretty well but then he got fired up. When horses do that it takes a lot of energy out. Today wasn’t his day but the winner was pretty impressive.”

Mike Smith: “His usual tactics in the gate. He got upset, He was so brilliant going in. I thought he would be nice. Actually he broke well. I had a really good trip. Actually thought I was maybe going to get on with it at the 3/8ths pole and he just didn't keep on. I wish I could tell you more but that's it."


WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 9, Improbable 38:00 Handily 2/3 at SA
Jan. 14, Improbable 49:20 Handily 20/42 at SA
Jan. 20, Improbable 48:00 Handily 6/86 at SA
Jan. 26, Improbable 1.02:00 Handily 33/46 at SA
Feb. 1, Improbable 58:40 Handily 1/35 at SA
Feb. 8, Improbable 1.15:00 Handily 13/19 at SA
Feb. 13, Improbable 1.12:80 Handily 3/9 at SA
Feb. 20, Improbable 1.13:20 Handily 7/23 at SA
Feb. 25, Improbable 1.12:00 Handily 1/9 at SA
March 4, Improbable 59:80 Handily 4/43 at SA
March 10, Improbable 59:20 Handily 6/25 at LA
March 30, Improbable 1.12:80 Handily 1/24 at SA
April 5, Improbable 1.14:00 Handily 1/8 at SA
April 22, Improbable 48:00 Breezing 4/79 at CD
April 28, Improbable 1.00:60 Breezing 9/25 at CD
May 13, Improbable 51:80 Breezing 57/67 at CD

 

 

 

LAUGHING FOX (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Alex and JoAnn Lieblong
Breeder: Chester & Anne Prince
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Union Rags (Dixie Union, Tempo)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Saskawea (CAN) (Stormy Atlantic, Saintly Angel (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-4-6-1-0 (14) 2.50
Foal Date: May 16, 2016

$120,000 Keeneland September 2017
$375,000 OBS March 2018

JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana, Jr.  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 15

Laughing Fox finished off the board in his first two starts, both at seven furlongs, at Saratoga on Aug. 11 and at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17.

He came to life in his third start, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 25 with a field of 12. Under Ricardo Santana, Jr., he tracked a moderate pace of 24.03, 48.68 and 1:14.59 in fourth or fifth for six furlongs, about three lengths back, before pouncing in the stretch and getting up to win by 3/4 length. His time was 1:45.80. The chart says he "angled to the rail in early stages tracking just off the pacesetter under light reserve, saved ground through the far turn, shifted out while being roused to advance in upper stretch, then wrested a narrow advantage in time under strong handling.

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 18, Laughing Fox won at 7-1 odds. Ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., Laughing Fox was second from last of nine early in the backstretch, some 10 lengths off the pace, started moving on the turn, and split horses entering the stretch. At the furlong marker, he led by 2 1/2 lengths, and he won by 1 1/4 length in a time of 1:44.08. Laughing Fox was probably aided a bit by hot early fractions of 22.69 and 46.29 set by Jack Van Berg, but still it was a visually impressive effort. Pole Setter, who was second at the second call, somehow hung on to finish third, but he was beaten 12 lengths.

Feb. 19 NOTE: Trainer Asmussen told DRF Live, “Laughing Fox ran three one-hundredths of a second slower than the Southwest – a very positive race from him. I would expect him to run back in the Rebel.”

In Division Two of the Rebel Stakes on March 16, Laughing Fox finished seventh of 10, beaten 12 1/4 lengths by Omaha Beach and a time of 1:42.42. He was sent off at 9-1 odds. Market King broke inward on him from the gate, pinching him back and leaving him next to last in the early going. He passed a few horses toward the end of the race.

In the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 13, Omaha Beach won by a length, followed by Improbable, Country House and Laughing Fox. Omaha Beach, ridden by Mike Smith, wouldn't let Improbable and Jose Ortiz by during the stretch run and won the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:49.91 on a sloppy track. Improbable was restless in the gate at post 1 and was backed out twice, but the delay was minimal. After the bell rang, One Flew South and Jersey Agenda led the field through the first turn, but Omaha Beach was soon right behind One Flew South and passed him to take the lead on the backstretch. Heading into the far turn,  Improbable was a length behind Omaha Beach with Long Range Toddy tracking them in third. Coming out of the turn, the same two led. Country House, with Joel Rosario in the irons, and Laughing Fox, ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr. had come on around the turn to get in third and fourth place. Those four stayed in that order across the finish line, but it was a two-horse race to the wire. The third and fourth finishers were beaten by 6 3/4 and 7 3/4 lengths, respectively.

Ricardo Santana Jr.: “We had a great trip. We didn’t win, but I feel like we did because he improved so much off his last race. He’s a good horse.”

In the inaugural Oaklawn Invitational at Oaklawn Park, Proverb led through fractions of 22.87, 46.98 and 1:11.26 and led into the stretch, looking like a winner as he was in front by two lengths with a furlong remaining in the race. But Night Ops, who had stalked the pace throughout, closed in on Proverb to grab the lead inside the furlong grounds, only to be hooked by Laughing Fox. With Ramon Vazquez in the irons, Laughing Fox initially raced near the back of the field, came four wide into the stretch and got the win by a neck over Night Ops. Proverb held on for third. The final time was 1:49.78 for 1 1/8 mile.

Ramon Vazquez: “He’s a nice horse. When I asked him, he gave me everything. I had a lot of horse before the quarter pole. He’s a nice horse and was working well in the morning.”

Co-owner Alex Lieblong: “He held his weight so good. I sent Steve (Asmussen) and Darren (Fleming) both a text, I guess it was Thursday. I said, ‘Look guys, if the horse is holding his weight, fine, but if it looks like he’s tired any at all, let’s don’t go. Don’t go for my sake.’ And Steve gave the answer back, ‘Hey, I’m leaving that to you and Darren.’ I said, ‘OK, thanks.’ I came over and watched him and, if anything, I think he put on weight since the Derby.  So, we’ll just have to see how he does come bouncing out of it. But he’s a stout horse. The Preakness really had nothing to do with it. Nothing. Purse wasn’t bad. Don’t get me wrong. He fit and he was doing well. The horses that he ran behind in the Arkansas Derby, I thought were very legitimate horses in the Arkansas Derby.”

In the 144th Preakness, Laughing Fox finished fifth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by War of Will, after being 12th, 20 1/2 lengths off the pace after the first half-mile.

Assistant trainer Darren Fleming: “I thought he ran well. He got a little farther back than I expected. He made up a ton of ground. But he showed he belonged.”

Ricardo Santana Jr.: "He didn't handle the track very well at the start. He gave it a nice run in the end. I just wish he handled the track better at the start, but he showed he can run with these kind of horses. I was happy he finished strong.” 


WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 5, Laughing Fox 1:01.00 Breezing 1/30 at OP
Jan. 14, Laughing Fox 1:01.40 Breezing 8/93 at OP
Jan. 21, Laughing Fox 37.80 Breezing 7/18 at OP
Feb. 3, Laughing Fox 51.80 Breezing 72/82 at OP
Feb. 10, Laughing Fox 1:00.80 Breezing 13/54 at OP
March 2, Laughing Fox 1.00:80 Breezing 5/40 at OP
March 10, Laughing Fox 51:00 Breezing 69/93 at OP
March 25, Laughing Fox 52:00 Breezing 15/19 at OP
April 1, Laughing Fox 1.00:60 Breezing 4/18 at OP
April 8, Laughing Fox 48:20 Breezing muddy 1/22 at OP
April 24, Laughing Fox 59:80 Breezing 1/19 at OP
May 1, Laughing Fox 38:00 Breezing sloppy 2/5 at OP
May 13, Laughing Fox 51:60 Breezing 56/67 at CD

 

 

 

MARKET KING (KY)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Robert C. Baker & William L. Mack
Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Limited
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Divine Presence (A.P. Indy, Divine Proportions)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-5-11-3-0 (22) 1.59
Foal Date: Feb. 9, 2016

$550,000 Keeneland September 2017


JOCKEY: Jon Court  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 14

Market King won his first race in his fifth start, a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 9. He was timed in 1:45.90 under Jon Court. Second was Royal Mesa, and third was Jeans n' Boots.

He finished third facing winners for the first time in a six-furlong allowance at Oaklawn when Oncewewerebrothers won in 1:11.42. B P Rocket was second. Court was aboard Market King again.

At odds of 48-1, Market King finished third in division two of the Rebel Stakes on March 16, beaten 8 1/4 lengths by Omaha Beach, who edged Game Winner by a nose in a time of 1:42.42. John Velazaquez rode Market King.

D. Wayne Lukas:“I was real pleased. Real pleased. I think we're still in the learning process. I think he's still a little bit heavy. I'm trying to tighten him down and everything, but this is a step in the right direction. I was really pleased with the ride.”

In the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 6, Market King finished 11th of 14, beaten 37 1/4 lengths by Vekoma, while ridden by Jon Court at 33-1 odds. The chart says he "stalked the pace early, shifted into the four path in the far turn and was tired in the stretch drive."

In the 144th Preakness, Market King finished twelfth after pressing the pace during the first half-mile.

D. Wayne Lukas: “I think my horse wants to run a mile. I don’t think he wants this distance. We needed to find that out, though. He ran well for a mile. Some of them are adapted to a different distance, and we found that out.”

Jon Court: “He broke well, laid up in perfect position and then they started running away from him.”

WORKOUTS

Feb. 2, Market King 47.60 Breezing 2/96 at OP
Feb. 17, Market King 49.00 Breezing 16/63 at OP
March 8, Market King 1:01.20 Breezing 1/9 at OP
Feb. 17, Market King 49.00 Breezing 16/63 at OP
March 24, Market King 1:04.40 Breezing 18/21 at OP
March 31, Market King 47:20 Breezing 2/85 at OP
April 14, Market King 52.20 Breezing 3/3 at CD
April 22, Market King 48.80 Breezing 22/80 at CD
April 29, Market King 48.20 Breezing 13/40 at CD
May 7, Market King 1:00.20 Breezing 2/27 at CD
May 11, Market King 1:00.40 Breezing 3/31 at CD

 

 



OWENDALE (KY)
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Owner: Rupp Racing
Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Aspen Light (Bernardini, Zenith)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-3-4-0-0 (8) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 23, 2016

$200,000 Keeneland September 2017

JOCKEY:  Florent Geroux  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 15

Owendale was victorious in his third start, which came at at mile at Indiana Grand on Sept. 22. He was favored at 6-5 in a field of eight and prevailed over Kentucky Allstar by 1 3/4 length after getting the distance in 1:40.03. Owendale, away slowly, was last at the first call.

At Churchill Downs on Oct. 28, Owendale ran in a 1 1/16 mile allowance optional claimer while facing winnners for the first time. He finished fourth behind Roiland, :Limonite and Everfast, beaten 3 3/4 lengths.

In a first level allowance going a mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds on Dec. 22, Tackett won in 1:44.11, and Owendale was second by a neck. It was an eventful outing, but in simple terms Tackett and Owendale both stalked the pace and were set down at the top of the stretch. Those two battled to the wire with Tackett prevailing by a gritty head. Wicked Indeed, facing winners for the first time, was 5 1/2 lengths back of Owendale in third. The chart says "Tackett hit the inside of the gate at the start, saved ground on the first turn, was well placed in third position, moved out midway down the backstretch, made a bid while asked in the three path on the far turn, came four to five wide into the stretch, dueled on the outside of the runner-up under strong urging in the drive and narrowly prevailed. Owendale went three wide on the first turn, tracked the pace on the outside, made a bid in the two path on the far turn, spun three wide into the stretch, dueled on the inside of the winner under strong urging in the drive and just missed while well clear for the place."

In a one mile 70 yard allowance optional claiming race at Fair Grounds on Jan. 17, Gun It was favored at 6-5, but he faltered badly and it was Owendale, the 3-1 third choice ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, that prevailed. Frolic More, piloted by Corey Lanerie was second by 1 1/2 length, and Gun It was third, beaten 4 1/4 lengths. Cornacchia, second favorite at 3-2, was another five lengths back in fourth. Six ran. Felipe briefly held the lead, then was replaced by Gun It, but it wasn't long before the winner supplanted that one. Pace fractions were honest: 23.84, 47.05 and 1:12.53, and the final time was 1:42.54. The chart says Owendale "went  around  the  first  turn  in  the  two  path, was well placed just  off the pace, chased in the three path on the far turn, made a bid at the five-sixteenths, took the lead in the five path into the stretch, edged clear under a drive around the three-sixteenths and held under steady urging."

Feb. 14 NOTE: Trainer Cox said, “It was a very hyped field last time out (Frolic More second, Gun It third), and we’ll see how good they are. He really ran two fantastic races here. He’s training well.  He’s a little different because we had Golden Mischief and some others that have been decent. We’ve had other Into Mischiefs that have been similar. He’s kind of a big, plain brown horse. Sometime they can have some flash and chrome to them, but he’s just a strong and plain horse. To look at him, you could think that he’s a mile and a sixteenth, mile and an eighth type of horse.”

In the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 16, Owendale finished eighth, beaten 10 lengths by War of Will. He was eighth early, fell back, and then recovered to be eighth again under Shaun Bridgmohan. The chart says of his trip, "Owendale was hustled early, went four wide on the first turn, was urged along while off the pace, raced four wide on the far turn, came six wide into the stretch and failed to threaten."

In the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13, Owendale won, Anothertwistafate was second, Sueno third and Knicks Go fourth. Hawaiian Noises, ridden by John Velazquez, and Knicks Go, ridden by Albin Jiminez dueled for the early lead through fractions of 24.33 and 48.33. Those two were still leading into the far turn, with Anothertwistafate and Javier Castellano in closest pursuit while boxed in. In the turn after six furlongs in 1:12.88, Hawaiian Noises abruptly fell back, and leaving the turn Anothertwistafate put away Knicks Go after getting through traffic. Suddenly, Owendale and Florent Geroux come wide from well off the pace and shot to the lead. Owendale quickly separated himself from the field and won by 1 3/4 length in a time of 1:44.14. Anothertwistafate was alone in second, followed 1 1/4 length back by the late-running Sueno and another five lengths to Knicks Go.

Assistant trainer Ricky Giannini: “I wish I could tell you (what happened in the Risen Star). Last race, we felt like he ate too much dirt, and he kind of backed out down the backside and then had too much to do. Today, he ate the same amount of dirt. I think he’s just maturing and turning into a good horse.  He’s always trained like it, and today he put it all together and got the job done.”

Florent Geroux: Did you lose ground? "A little, but gained momentum. The horse was running really quick, and it was time to go. I just tipped him out, tapped him twice. (The plan) changed a lot when the gates opened. He didn’t break so well, (Knicks Go) went out and (Zenden) looked at me. Things change a lot – sometimes you need to go to Plan B very quick. He ran a very good race.”

In the 144th Preakness, War of Will won, Everfast was second, Owendale finished third and Warrior's Charge was fourth. Warrior's Charge set a brisk pace of 22.50, 46.16 and 1:10.56. For the first half-mile, Market King was in closest pursuit, followed by Anothertwistafate and War of Will. At the third call, Market King was starting a major retreat, Anothertwistafate had moved into second, and local hero Alwaysmining loomed on the outside in third. Warrior's Charge and Javier Castellano continued to lead through the far turn and came into the stretch well off the rail. War of Will came up the rail to take charge and led by a length with a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining had retreated. War of Will prevailed by 1 1/4 length. Longshot Everfast, sent off as the second longest shot in the 13-horse field at 29-1 odds, came up the inside behind War of Will after entering the second turn in 11th place, almost 10 lengths in arrears, to nab second with Joel Rosario aboard. Owendale and Florent Geroux finished a nose back in third after hitting that turn in ninth, almost seven lengths off the pace. Warrior's Charge hung on for fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Brad Cox: “(Owendale) ran great. I need to watch a replay, but it looks like he maybe got stuck in behind some horses. He’s a big horse, probably needs to be more out in the open, clear running where he can keep his motor rolling. He took a little while to get going but ran a great race and I was very proud of both of them.”

Florent Geroux: “I tried to save ground most of the time. I wish I could’ve saved a little more ground. It probably cost us a length or two at the end.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 3, Owendale 47.80 Breezing Sloppy 3/50 at FG
Jan. 10, Owendale 47.80 Breezing 3/50 at FG
Feb. 2, Owendale 48:80 Breezing 35/169 at FG
Feb. 9, Owendale 1.01:00 Breezing 9/61 at FG
March 3, Owendale 49:00 Breezing 31/143 at FG
March 17, Owendale 49:00 Breezing 38/121 at FG
March 23, Owendale 59:60 Breezing 1/21 at FG
March 29, Owendale 48:40 Breezing 8/27 at CD
April 6, Owendale 59:80 Breezing 1/31 at CD
April 27, Owendale 50:20 Breezing 67/78 at CD
May 4, Owendale 1.02:80 Breezing 20/25 at CD
May 11, Owendale 59:20 Breezing 1/31 at CD

 

 

 

SIGNALMAN (KY)
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Owners: Tommie M. Lewis, Steve Crabtree, Dean Demaree David A. Bernsen, Jim Chambers & Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek)
Breeder: Monticule
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): General Quarters (Sky Mesa, Ecology)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Trip South (Trippi, Summer Sweethear)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-6-5-0-0 (12) 3.80
Foal Date: March 21, 2-016

$32,000 Fasig Tipton October 2017

JOCKEY: Brian Hernandez, Jr.  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 14

On Sept. 1 at Saratoga, Signalman broke his maiden at second asking in a seven-furlong maiden special weight. He bested Lion Dance and Limonite by a nose and and a neck while ridden by David Cohen in a time of 1:23.89. The chart says he "rated along stalking the leader from path two, issued a challenge nearing the three-sixteenths pole, forged to the front after a few additional strides, felt a duo in the final stages, but held sway, kept to the task at hand."

On Oct. 6, Knicks Go won the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at 70-1 odds. Under Albin Jiminez, he set a comfortable pace -- without much pressure -- and led throughout before prevailing by 5 1/2 lengths. Signmalman was second after lagging behind in sixth during the early going and then having some momentum-costing trouble leaving the turn. Standard Deviation was third after closing from 11th of 13, beaten 6 1/4 lengths. Sombeyay, fourth and beaten 7 3/4 lengths, saved ground and tracked Knicks Go around the first turn, down the backstretch and around the far turn when he was jammed on both sides before breaking free.

Kenny McPeek: “We came into this really confident. He had a lot of trouble at the head of the lane. Brian explained it to us and said he got stopped. He said he might have been able to win if that hadn’t happened. This horse wants a longer stretch and he has punched his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.”

Brian Hernandez Jr.; “We had a fairly good trip up until around the quarter pole. The horse from the four path kind of sawed off a couple of them to our outside and we got slammed into the fence pretty good. It stopped our momentum and the winner was able to sneak off away from us. But the good thing about it was that our horse gathered himself up. He ran on nicely so we have to be proud of him to put in effort like he did for such a young horse.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer McPeek said, “He’ll stay here at Keeneland and probably have his workouts here to prep for the Breeders’ Cup. Small chance he’ll have one work at Churchill. It’ll be a couple weeks until we think about working him, but at this point all the partners are in on entering him and running. He came back with some scratches on his left hip from the incident at the head of the stretch, but it doesn’t look like anything we can’t handle.”

In the 1 1/6 mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 5, favored Game Winner overcame adversity to surge past longshot Knicks Go in deep stretch and score a 2 1/4-length victory. Signalman finished third after having to break from the outside, and Mr. Money ran fourth. Game Winner was timed in in 1:43.67 over a fast main track. Second-choice Complexity assumed the early lead and maintained a daylight advantage in the run down the backstretch with 40-1 shot Knicks Go in closest pursuit and Game Winner racing outside in mid-pack. Turning for home, Complexity stopped running hard and Knicks Go took command, but Rosario had Game Winner in high gear on the outside. There was a brief bump between the two at midstretch before Game Winner drew off. Knicks Go held the place by a length over the closing Signalman, with Mr. Money finishing another 6 1/4 lengths back in fourth.
 
Kenny McPeek; “I’m very pleased with his race, and we felt like from the post (14) that we needed to take back and settle and try to cut the corner, and Brian did that. We’re real pleased. He galloped out in front. Maybe there’s a race in the spring going a mile and a quarter we were thinking about.”

Brian Hernandez Jr.: Ken’s going to get one these someday. Hopefully these 2-year-olds we had today will come back and be in the winner’s circle as 3-year-olds. I loved the way he did it. He overcame the 14 post and was closing on good horses.”

Nov. 18 NOTE: Trainer McPeek said Signalman stands more than 17 hands and added, “Signalman, which was a very inexpensive purchase, is a really big, strong colt. When he drew the outside post in the Juvenile, I told Brian to just take back to find a spot at the rail. I thought he ran a very credible race with the way the track was playing and can only improve from that in the Jockey Club. Distance should definitely not be a problem for him. He’ll get a break after the Kentucky Jockey Club and point to starts as a 3-year-old in the Derby prep races.”

Nov. 21 NOTE:  Trainer McPeek said, “Distance should definitely not be a problem for him. We were really proud of his effort in the Breeders’ Cup. I told Brian (before that race) to take back and make one run after drawing post 14. He ran really well from being that far out there at the start.”

On Nov. 24 on a sloppy-sealed track at Churchill Downs, 7-2 second choice Signalman, ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr., won the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes after grabbing the lead with three-sixteenths of a mile to run.  Fourteen ran. He held off a late charge from 14-1 shot Plus Que Parfait to win by a neck, timed in 1:45.29. Signalman broke from the rail, rated in sixth down the backstretch as longshot Topper T led the field through a quarter mile in 23.12 and a fast half-mile in :46.83. As the leaders neared the final turn, Signalman showed a quick burst of speed and moved into third along the inside. Topper T, also on the rail, passed the six-furlong marker in 1:12.33 but was tiring. King for a Day briefly poked his head in front at the top of the stretch and Plus Que Parfait and Limonite were hitting their best strides after racing near the back of the pack. But it was Signalman who zipped past Topper T while between horses as Plus Que Parfait was engaging in his late challenge. Limonite, sent off at 20-1, narrowly edged King for a Day for third -- they were another 1 3/4 lengths back of the winner. Roiland, Tracksmith, Current, Topper T, Dunph, Royal Urn, 3-1 favorite Knicks Go, Mick’s Star, Blue Steel and Everfast completed the order of finish.
 
Kenny McPeek: “He was a big, strong horse when he went through the sales ring, and today he still is that type of horse. He’s taken us a long way so far, and it’s been a lot of fun. I love the way Brian rode him today; it made up for the (Golden Rod) when we thought we were a cinch (with Restless Rider). This is what we all work for. He’ll get a little rest, probably at Payson Park for about a month. Then, we’ll ease him back into things and look at races like the Blue Grass down the road. We’ll let him tell us, but obviously the big one is in May.”

Brian Hernandez Jr.: “This horse always gave me a lot of confidence. We were able to work out the best trip possible in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile from the 14-hole. Today, (from post 1) I was able to get him up into the race early and he really showed what he could do. You’re always fortunate to have the horse under you and today we did. Down the lane he was actually looking over at the TV screen. Even with the little quirks, he still shows a lot of promise. He’ll be exciting down the road.”

Dec. 28 NOTE: Being pointed to the March 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Jan. 8 NOTE: No workouts since the Kentucky Jockey Club.

Jan. 24 NOTE: Said by TDN to be in light training at Payson Park, with the Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 2 "under consideration."

Jan. 29 NOTE: Nominated to the UAE Derby.

Feb. 3 NOTE: Trainer McPeek said, “He’s doing fine. I wasn’t thrilled with the speed of that breeze yesterday. I think it was too quick, and he didn’t really need that kind of work right now. He just kind of overdid it. The short-term goal is still the Fountain of Youth. I don’t see any reason why he can’t make that one. He’s still got a month until his next start.”

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer McPeek told TDN, (In addition to Harvey Wallbanger), I’ve got another really nice colt here, Signalman, and the plan with him has been either the Fountain of Youth or the Tampa Bay Derby, but I’m probably leaning towards the Fountain of Youth with Signalman.  Signalman’s a big bull, hits the ground a little harder than Harvey (Wallbanger). Harvey really floats over the ground, but Signalman is just a powerful machine. He certainly stamps himself as a serious prospect. The problem now is to keep them separated. I had this problem years back when I’d had Harlan’s Holiday and Repent and ended up with Sarava winning the Belmont, so keeping these kind of horses separated is a good problem to have, and we’re going to try to do that. Nine-tenths of it is keeping them healthy, and then if you can make the race, you’ve got to get the lucky trip."

Feb. 16 NOTE: Trainer McPeek said, “He worked good. I was happy with it. I have to work (him and Harvey Wallganger) this weekend, but right now I’m leaning towards Signalman here (in the Fountain of Youth) and waiting with Harvey Wallbanger for the Florida Derby.

Feb. 23 NOTE: Trainer McPeek said, “It was a nice solid workout. We wanted a maintenance breeze. We didn’t want to work too fast at this point in the season. We still have a couple months for the big races. This is a prep. This will be his first race of the season. This is a nice horse. He galloped out good.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer McPeek said, “I think my colt, Signalman, is certainly the most experienced at the highest level. He’s already beaten some of them that are running back in there, and there are other ones that are unknown quantities,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “But you got to get them ready and bring them over there and get the job done. I’m pretty confident going over there, but we’ll find out Saturday. In his first race he was second going five furlongs at Churchill. For a big horse, that is a lot to overcome. He’s been a nice horse from the beginning. When he broke his maiden at Saratoga, we knew we were on to something. Since then, since we’ve stretched him out, he’s done everything right.”

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 2, Signalman finished seventh, beaten seven lengths by Code of Honor. He was ninth by 12 lengths after the first half-mile with a fast pace, but he didn't have the kick to make up any more than five lengths after that.

March 4 NOTE: Trainer McPeek says Signalman lost a shoe during the Fountain of Youth and that he didn't scope all that well after the race.

March 21 NOTE: Signalman will be shipped from Florida to Kentucky on April 2.

April 3 NOTE: Trainer McPeek said, “He is a horse that can lay midpack or right off speed and I’m pretty sure we’ll ask him to do that. How it all unfolds is hard to say, but from the 3 hole,  it is relatively easy and we’ll let him run into the first turn.”

In the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 6, Vekoma won, Win Win Win was second, Signalman was third and Somelikeithotbrown finished fourth. Somelikeithotbrown led through fractions of 23.26, 47.03, 1:11.55 under Tyler Gaffalione, with Vekoma and Javier Castellano hounding him every step of the way in the clear from the outside. Coming out of the second turn, Vekoma passed a tiring Somelikeithotbrown and led by 3 1/2 lengths with an eighth of a mile left in the race. He kept on running to win by that margin in a time of 1:50.93.  Signalman and Brian Hernandez, Jr, who were close by in fourth or fifth while saving ground throughout the early stages of the race, advanced to third entering the far turn and got by Somelikeithotbrown inside the furlong marker to be second between calls. Win Win Win, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., was in 11th place, 7 1/4 lengths off the pace after the first half-mile, and he was back in fifth at the furlong marker. He advanced on the tiring Signalman and nosed him out for second. Somelikeithotbrown finished fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths.

Brian Hernandez Jr.: “We've been fortunate enough to work out some really good trips today; hopefully it’s all a building block on the first Saturday in May. It looks like we have enough points now to get in, so we’re excited about it. The Lewises (co-owners) are really excited, since this will be their first Derby, and it looks like we’re going in there with a live horse. (The Derby) will be his third race already in his 3-year-old career, so you’ve gotta be excited. The race track has been playing speedy all day, and horses that have been close have been holding on, so we had to use our horse a little more than he may like, but he still held on for a good third.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer McPeek said, “If he can’t make the Derby on points, then we will go to the Preakness. It is a high-level problem to have. (He) ran well.... It was a good day overall.”

In the 144th Preakness, Signalman finished ninth, beaten 10 1/2 lengths by War of Will, after running 10th early, making a brief move into the far turn and then fading.

Kenny McPeek: “There were eight horses faster than him. Brian rode him good. He said he put him in position. He was only about four or five off of them when he was in the middle of the turn, and they ran away from him. I don’t have a major excuse. I’m going to scope him. But right now we are planning on going to the Belmont.”

Brian Hernandez Jr.:”We broke good but went wide around the first turn. We saved ground around the second turn and then he just evened out.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 26, Signalman 39:80 Breezing 11/12 at PAY
Feb. 2, Signalman 46:63 Breezing 2/73 at GP
Feb. 9, Signalman 49:58 Breezing 51/81 at GP
Feb. 16, Signalman 1.00:11 Breezing 3/37 at GP
Feb. 23, Signalman 1.01:75 Breezing 15/44 at GP
March 16, Signalman 59:46 Breezing 1/54 at GP
March 23, Signalman 1.00:76 Breezing 7/40 at GP
March 30, Signalman 59:84 Breezing 1/59 at GP
April 20, Signalman 59:60 Breezing 1/10 at CD
April 27, Signalman 1.00:00 Breezing 6/43 at C
May 4, Signalman 59:60 Breezing 2/25 at CD
May 11, Signalman 47:60 Breezing 5/49 at CD

 


 

WAR OF WILL (KY)
Trainer: Mark E. Casse
Owner: Gary Barber
Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Limited
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): War Front (Danzig, Starry Dreamer)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Visions of Clarity (Sadler's Wells, Imperfect Circle)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-8-17-4-0 (34) 1.72
Foal Date: April 17, 2016

$175,000 Keeneland September 2017
$298,550 Arqana May 2018
His dam is a half-sibling to multiple grade I winner Spinning World


JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 14

War of Will didn't win in his first four starts, but he was competitive in stakes company.

After finishing third in a Woodbine maiden special weight, on Sept. 15 he finished second to by less than a length to Fog of War after having a stretch lead in the Grade I Summer Stakes.

He was shipped to Kentucky, and on Oct. 7 he ran fourth in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes won by Current, with Henley's Joy and Salvator Mundi getting second and third.

He finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf as a maiden.

Then, on Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs, he broke his maiden in his fifth start going 1 1/16 mile on a sloppy sealed track under Tyler Gaffalione. Eleven ran. His time was 1:45.45. He engaged in a stalking trip and cleared the field going away by five lengths under a hand ride. The chart says he "stalked the pace early, shifted into the three path in the far turn then drew off down the lane while ridden out to the wire."

Jan. 16 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, “He’s a horse that we loved as soon as my brother (Justin Casse) bought him. Our assistant Jamie Begg had him for about two weeks at Belmont and said that he was special. We kind of rushed him into his maiden race and I thought he would have a good chance to win the Summer Stakes. Finally, in the Breeders’ Cup, he had a really wide trip so he ran an exceptionally well fifth considering the hand that was dealt to him. Early on, we felt like he needed to stay on grass, but he trains as good as a horse can train on the dirt. I personally don’t think he could’ve won any more impressive and it was a solid field. He ran ten one hundredths of a second slower than the Kentucky Jockey Club. Tyler geared him down in the last sixteenth, so no doubt he could’ve run faster than the Kentucky Jockey Club. All that said, we like our chances. Weather could play a factor (in the LeComte) even though I think a little moisture in the track won’t hurt our feelings. This is a heck of a race, it’s going to be a trip. It’s a mile and 70 yards with a big field and quick run to the first turn. You’re going to need luck, and it can’t be bad.”

Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, 8-5 favorite War of Will stalked, pounced and drew off to win the LeComte Stakes on Jan. 19 going a mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds in a field of 12. He got home in a time of 1:43.44 on a track rated fast, which is 1.9 second faster than Needs Supervision won the Silverbulletday one race prior. Hog Creek Hustle closed from eighth, four or five lengths off the early pace, to finish second. Third was Manny Wah, who was hustled from the far outside post by Channing Hill to grab the lead while dueling with Maplpais going up the backstretch, the half-mile going in 49.22. Manny Wah easily shook off Malpais in the far turn but was immediately engaged by the three-wide War of Will, who was never more than 1 1/2 length off the pace. War of Will hit the six-furlong mark barely in front in 1:14.63. In the stretch, War of Will got away from Manny Wah, and Hog Creek Hustle came by too. War of Will beat that one by four lengths going away, with Manny Wah another two lengths back in third. Wicked Indeed finished fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths, and a head in front of Plus Que Parfait, who was a neck in  front of Chase the Ghost.

Mark Casse: “This was about a month ago, but I had some friends over and I said ‘We have a big chance to win the Derby this year.' I don’t usually say things like that, so that tells you what I think of him. I’ll talk to Gary, but (the Risen Star Stakes) would make the most sense, it’s why we’re here. We love this place, and it’s a great place to get a horse ready. I don’t know that there would be a real reason to leave.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “My horse broke sharp. It looked like (Manny Wah) had a little more speed going into the turn, and I took him back and went to his outside to try and get the best trip possible. He relaxed for me on the backside and when they came down to run, he really turned it on.”

Jan. 21 NOTE: Trainer Casse told DRF.com on Jan. 20: “He acts like he didn’t even really run. What I didn’t notice right away was his gallop-out yesterday, which was really strong. He ran to his works and his gallops. He’s an impressive horse to watch train.”

Jan. 24 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, "He's doing extremely well. I can't say enough great things about him, and I think he's an absolute superstar. I think he's a better dirt horse, although with a better trip in the Breeders' Cup, he could have been a Breeders' Cup winner. But it was probably a blessing because had he won the Breeders' Cup, it would have been much tougher to try him on the dirt. Sometimes things happen for a reason."

Feb. 10 NOTE: Trainer Casse said on Feb. 9, “I don’t think that he could have worked any better, so that was good. It’s pretty well the same bunch that he’ll be up against (in the Risen Star). Obviously the post is outside, but we’d rather be out there than inside. He’s got enough speed so he’ll get over and if he’s as good as we think he is, it shouldn’t matter.”

Feb. 14 NOTE: Bloodstock agent Justin Casse, brother of trainer Casse, said “I always call Gary (Barber) when I find something that I like. I didn’t really run it by Mark because he trusts me, so I called Gary because one of the first horses I bought for him was Jack Milton, who also was by War Front. I bought him two other stakes horses by War Front, so he knew that the sire worked. I called him only 30 minutes before he went through the ring. Told him he’d be reasonably priced. He breezed well at the sale, he was a good mover, had a good turn of foot and speed for his size. The rest is history, Gary got him. He didn’t look like a dirt horse, but he didn’t strike you as one that’s all turf either. He was just a real good looking horse, but I didn’t really classify him as one or the other. In pedigree, he’s instantly classified as turf because of who a lot of his relatives are, but if you look deeper into his pedigree he’s related to horses like Tacticus and Aldebaran. The horse that beat him in the Summer is debatably the best now 3-year-old turf male, Fog of War. To run second to him in only his second start in a Grade I spoke volumes for him. Obviously everyone was buzzing about how he worked on the dirt. With horses that I buy, I feel like I own a piece of them because I get really excited and get really into it. I feel like they’re my own to a certain extent, and to be there with my brother, family and girlfriend would be special too. Trying to take it one step at a time and appreciate having such a nice horse. It’s hard to not get caught up thinking about the Derby and it’s fun to daydream. There are too many things that can happen between today and tomorrow.”

In the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 16, War of Will won, Country House was second, longshot Roiland third and Hog Creek Hustle fourth. War of Will broke well from post 13 and pursued front-runner Gun It -- who broke from post 14 -- and Dunph leaving the first turn, and the first quarter-mile run in 23.71. Up the backstretch, Gun It continued to lead the way, with War of Will in closest pursuit, followed by Dunph, Mr. Money and 10 others and the half-mile  gone in 47.36. Far back of those four were Country House, Roiland and Hog Creek Hustle. Into the far turn, War of Will took charge and led with six furlongs timed in 1:12.20 with Gun It, Mr. Money and Dunph about to fall away. War of Will opened a clear lead in the stretch. Country House, ridden by Luis Saez, came on strong to finish 2 1/4 lengths back of the winner after being in 11th position, almost 10 lengths off the lead, after the first half-mile and ninth on the far turn. Roiland, third by a total of 3 3/4 lengths under James Graham, was able to accomplish that at 69-1 odds when he came from dead last, 16 1/2 lengths off the pace, at the second call. Hog Creek Hustle ran his second straight credible two-turn race to come fourth, 2 1/4 lengths behind Roiland. He was 13th after the first half-mile.

Mark Casse: “For a big horse, he has tremendous speed. He had to hit the gas a little to get over, so that got him a little riled up. It’s like hitting the gas and trying to hit stop. They’re not as easy to stop as a car. He got him rolling and probably made the lead a little earlier than we would have liked. He’s done this a few times early on. When he gets the lead, he starts wandering. If he keeps winning there will be some big targets for him to chase. As long as he’s happy and healthy, that’s where we’ll go and then we’ll talk about it from there I think (Fair Grounds) is a wonderful place to get a horse ready for the classics. We have right now four or five Derby horses and our two major Derby horses are here right now. I think a lot of that. I have (assistant) David Carroll, who I have utmost respect for, so that’s important for me. Last year we almost won the Kentucky Oaks with Wonder Gadot, and she stabled here. It’s a great place, it’s nice and the weather isn’t bad. Horses stay happy and safe here for the most part.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “The horse broke well today. I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane, but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there. Mark and his team have done a great job. They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Feb 17 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “He looked wonderful (this morning). He cleaned up his feed last night and cleaned up his breakfast this morning.  Just had a little jog this morning and jogged beautifully. He seems very bright and not tired. We’re thrilled to death with him. He likes it here, and I don’t see Mark or Mr. Barber wanting to change anything, so as long as he stays healthy and sound it is the game plan (to stay for the Louisiana Derby). With the outside post, we needed to get a forward position, and once we did that he was on the bridle. Tyler took over a little sooner than he had liked. He said yesterday was the first time he waited on horses. Once he got after him I thought that he finished up very nice and his gallop out was very strong. I like to think there’s plenty left in the tank.”

March 2 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “We had a sealed racetrack this morning but it gives you such confidence because it’s a superior surface. It has a great bottom on it, so we were very comfortable breezing today. War of Will went beautifully. Just finished up the last eighth and galloped out on his own steam. We never did ask him for anything today, it was just nice to see him back stretching his legs. He looked as great as ever and cooled out beautifully. I don’t think he has to improve a whole lot at this stage. We know that he’s very talented, and we’re just going to keep him happy and healthy, which are the two most important things. If he’s happy and healthy, then we’ll let his talent do the talking.”

March 10 NOTE: After War of Will's workout yesterday, assistant trainer David Carroll said, “We just wanted to keep him focused and have a target today. Once he had his target and it was time to go, he just kept on going. I thought last time maybe he eased up a little bit, but today he was totally focused and Declan was very, very happy with him. He’s just a beautiful piece of work. Every time he works, it’s just that way with him. He’s very push button and is in a great place mentally and physically. The horse is just a privilege to be around and has been this way from the word ‘go’ last year.  At the end of the day, we’re all going to be respectful of the opposition regardless of who comes. Our focus is on him and him only, just making sure that he’s happy and healthy. After that, it’s up to him. Hopefully we’ll have a good couple of more weeks and get there safe and win his race.”

In the Louisiana Derby on March 23, War of Will, the 4-5 favorite, was in sixth place at each of the first three calls, and leaving the far turn he was only 2 1/4 lengths off the lead. He clearly struggled in the stretch and finished ninth, beaten a dozen lengths.

Mark Casse: “We think what happened was about four jumps out of the gate. He actually broke in front, and if you watch he buckles on his right hind. And we believe, maybe it was stumble of some sort. But when he did, we think he strained maybe a muscle or whatever. But he was significantly off after the race. He’s significantly off. I’ve just been on the phone with Dr. Robert McMartin, he’s my main guy. He thinks he might have caught his stifle or something. We feel like he’ll probably be a little better tomorrow and we’re going to further evaluate him. I would not absolutely rule him out (of the Kentucky Derby) because this is something that he can get over very quickly. We’ll see. The good news is he hasn’t broken anything. It’s a muscle strain of some sort. We’re confident of that.”

THE NEXT DAY: War of Will shipped out to Keeneland shortly. Following trainer Casse's comment yesterday that the horse was "significantly off" after the race, today Casse told Alicia Hughes he is "feeling a lot better." The Kentucky Derby hasn't been ruled out.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Casse said, “It’s amazing how much better he was today. I just feel fortunate that he’s okay first and foremost. We’re fairly certain that he probably caught his patella a little bit right at the start. So what we’ll do is we’ll do some exercising and probably laser treatment to strengthen the patella muscle. But we feel optimistic that we can still make the Derby.”

March 30 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “He got here Wednesday and had a full evaluation Thursday with X-rays and ultrasound. He got the go-ahead to train. We will jog him for a few days and ease him back into it.”

April 13 NOTE: After War of Will's workout from the gate, jockey Gaffalione sadi, “He broke sharp and had running on his mind. He did everything very easy. Mark said he wanted a good five-eighths, so I just let him do his thing. He cruised along and pulled up great and came back happy. He is really proud of himself.” Assistant trainer Carroll said, "Horses sometimes get more from working from the gate. He broke very sharp, worked beautifully and the gallop-out was tremendous. He cooled out really well, and we are very happy. He is a kind horse to be around, and in the past week he has really been on his toes and is very sharp. He told us coming into it that he is ready for a good workout. In the paddock on his way to the track, he was very playful.” Carroll said War of Will likely will have another work at Keeneland and a work at Churchill Downs in the days leading to the Kentucky Derby.

April 19 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “He trained beautifully all week, and he definitely has progressed from his last breeze. All indications were that he would go exceptionally good today, and we saw that. We couldn’t be any happier. All systems are go at the moment. Each day he seems to be getting better. He cooled out beautifully this morning. They put a good seal on the track, and it had a really good bottom on it today.”

April 19 NOTE: War of Will is scheduled to ship late this coming week from Keeneland to Churchill Downs, where he will have his final workout for the Kentucky Derby.

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, War of Will was fourth after a half-mile, stayed in contention, made a move leaving the far turn, had to check when Maximum Security came out, got going again and then flattened out in the stretch. He finished eighth, moved up to seventh via the disqualification of the winner, beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

Mark Casse; “Yeah, we got bothered too. We almost clipped heels with (Maximum Security). We got excited. The horse ducked out and that’s when we nearly clipped heels. Tyler (Gaffalione) said he felt great. He said if he could have gotten him to relax a little he thought he would finish a little better. I have to talk to Gary (Barber) about (the Preakness) but maybe.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “I really thought I was going to win the Derby. I checked pretty hard when the seven (Maximum Security) came out as far as he did.”

The chart call: "War of Will  found a good spot saving ground off the leaders under a firm hold, continued along reserved waiting for room into the far turn, shifted outside MAXIMUM SECURITY leavingthe three-eighths pole, was forced out by that rival into LONG RANGE TODDY, checked hard off heels, remained prominent in the three-path to upperstretch and weakened."

In the 144th Preakness, War of Will won, Everfast was second, Owendale finished third and Warrior's Charge was fourth. Warrior's Charge set a brisk pace of 22.50, 46.16 and 1:10.56. For the first half-mile, Market King was in closest pursuit, followed by Anothertwistafate and War of Will. At the third call, Market King was starting a major retreat, Anothertwistafate had moved into second, and local hero Alwaysmining loomed on the outside in third. Warrior's Charge and Javier Castellano continued to lead through the far turn and came into the stretch well off the rail. War of Will came up the rail to take charge and led by a length with a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining had retreated. War of Will prevailed by 1 1/4 length. Longshot Everfast, sent off as the second longest shot in the 13-horse field at 29-1 odds, came up the inside behind War of Will after entering the second turn in 11th place, almost 10 lengths in arrears, to nab second with Joel Rosario aboard. Owendale and Florent Geroux finished a nose back in third after hitting that turn in ninth, almost seven lengths off the pace. Warrior's Charge hung on for fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Mark Casse: “It was so important to win it. I just wanted him to get his chance to show everyone how good he is because he is a super horse. We thought we were going to win it two years ago (with Classic Empire) and we got beat at the wire so I kept trying to figure out where the wire was. It was exciting, just unbelievable.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “I’m just so happy for Mark and his team, they do a fabulous job. Barber has given me so many opportunities and I’m just so happy for them. I’m very happy for Mark to get his first Classic win. Very happy for the horse, he deserved it more than anything. He’s so special.”

“It really hasn’t even hit me yet. I can’t even put it into words. I can’t thank my family enough for all the support. Of course my valet down in Florida, Jay Glass, and my agent, Matt Muzikar. Great team effort, I’m just so thankful.”

“He’s got so much heart. We always knew he had the ability, we just had to get a little bit lucky and today was our day.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 5, War of Will 59.60 Breezing 2/77 at FG
Feb. 2, War of Will 52:40 Breezing 157/169 at FG
Jan. 12, War of Will 48.00 Breezing 3/145 at FG
Feb. 9, War of Will 47:20 Breezing 2/135 at FG
March 2, War of Will 50:20 Breezing good 63/87 at FG
March 9, War of Will 1.01:60 Breezing 19/48 at FG
March 15, War of Will 47:60 Breezing 3/31 at FG
April 6, War of Will 48:80 Breezing 33/106 at KEE
April 13, War of Will 59:00 Breezing gate 1/44 at KEE
April 19, War of Will 1.00:20 Breezing muddy 1/9 at KEE
April 27, War of Will 47:60 Breezing 1/78 at CD

 

 

 

WARRIOR'S CHARGE (FL)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Owner: Ten Strike Racing & Madaket Stables LLC
Breeder: Al Shaquab Racing
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Munnings (Speightstown, Le Comete)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Battling Brook (Broken Vow, Crazy Woman Creek)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-5-5-1-0 (14) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 22, 2016

NOT NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

JOCKEY: Javier Castellano  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 15

After finishing third in each of his first three races, Warrior's Charge won in his fourth start.

First time out, he was third to Gray Attempt and Oncewewerebrothers going 6 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25.

At Oaklawn Park on Jan. 25 going six furlongs, he was third to Oncewewerebrothers and Breaking News.

And at Oaklawn on Feb. 18 stretched out to a mile, he was the 8-5 favorite but was beaten by Comedian and Incorrigible.

Fourth time worked out for Warrior's Charge when, on March 16 at Oaklawn he run much better to win at 1 1/16-mile by six lengths at 7-5 odds. With Jose Ortiz up, he was timed in 1:43.17. Eight ran. Rotation and Incorrigible were second and third.

In an entry-level allowance race on April 12 at Oaklawn, Warrior's Charge was sent off as the 3-2 favorite, and he won big again. Under Florent Geroux, he took charge right away and led through fractions of 23.62, 47.44 and 1:11.47 before winning by 6 1/2 lenghts in 1:42.58. Second choice Soldado finished fourth, beaten 10 lengths.

April 17 NOTE: He could go next in the Sir Barton on Preakness day at Pimlico or the Peter Pan a week earlier at Belmont Park.

May 10 NOTE: If he runs in the Preakness, a $150,000 fee will be required in addtion to entry fees.

In the 144th Preakness, War of Will won, Everfast was second, Owendale finished third and Warrior's Charge was fourth. Warrior's Charge set a brisk pace of 22.50, 46.16 and 1:10.56. For the first half-mile, Market King was in closest pursuit, followed by Anothertwistafate and War of Will. At the third call, Market King was starting a major retreat, Anothertwistafate had moved into second, and local hero Alwaysmining loomed on the outside in third. Warrior's Charge and Javier Castellano continued to lead through the far turn and came into the stretch well off the rail. War of Will came up the rail to take charge and led by a length with a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining had retreated. War of Will prevailed by 1 1/4 length. Longshot Everfast, sent off as the second longest shot in the 13-horse field at 29-1 odds, came up the inside behind War of Will after entering the second turn in 11th place, almost 10 lengths in arrears, to nab second with Joel Rosario aboard. Owendale and Florent Geroux finished a nose back in third after hitting that turn in ninth, almost seven lengths off the pace. Warrior's Charge hung on for fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Brad Cox: “Very pleased with both of them. Warrior’s Charge fought incredibly hard. He’s a nice horse. I mean, :22, :46, 1:10 2/5 going a mile and three-sixteenths, he’s a good horse. We’ll give him plenty of time to recover."

Javier Castellano: “We had a beautiful trip.”


WORKOUTS

Feb. 12, Warrior's Charge 51.60 Breezing 10/15 at OP
March 3, Warrior's Charge 49.60 Breezing 21/43 at OP
March 10, Warrior's Charge 49.20 Breezing 27/93 at OP
March 30, Warrior's Charge 49.00Breezing 15/54 at OP
April 5, Warrior's Charge 49.80 Breezing 12/19 at OP
April 27, Warrior's Charge 50:00 Breezing 65/78 at CD
May 4, Warrior's Charge 1.00:20 Breezing 4/25 at CD
May 11, Warrior's Charge 1.00:80 Breezing 9/31 at CD

 

 



WIN WIN WIN (FL)
Trainer: Mike Trombetta
Owner: Live Oak Plantation (Charlotte C. Weber)
Breeder: Live Oak Plantation
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Hat Trick (JPN) (Sunday Silence, Tricky Code)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Miss Smarty Pants (Smarty Jones, Devotion Unbridled)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-8-8-0-0 (22) 4.50
Foal Date: March 20, 2016

JOCKEY: Julian Pimentel  ARRIVAL AT PIMLICO: May 16

He broke his maiden at first asking sprinting at Laurel Park on Nov. 3. Always prominent at 5-1 odds, he wore down 24-1 pacesetter Gran City and edged Jabbar by a half-length, timed in 1:04.61. Another 4 3/4 lengths back in third was Outofthepark, the 6-5 favorite.

On Dec. 7 at Laurel Park, Win Win Win followed up that November maiden victory with another impressive performance, approaching a track record in an entry level optional claiming allowance race. Under Julian Pimentel at 2-5 odds, Win Win Win sat off pacesetter Lady’s Weekend for a quarter-mile before taking over the top spot on the far turn and opening up once straightened for home to win by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:02.30 for 5 1/2 furlongs. The final time was a tenth of a second off the Laurel course record of 1:02.20 set by 6-year-old Siralfredthegreat on Oct. 6.

The seven-furlong Heft Stakes at Laurel on Dec. 29 was next, and even-money favorite Win Win Win finished second to 5-2 third choice Alwaysmining by 1 1/2 length after breaking poorly and sitting over 10 lengths off the pace with a quarter-mile in the book. The race was timed in 1:22.60. The chart for those two says, "Alwaysmining set the pace near the inner rail, drifted wide leaving the turn, angled to the two path in upper stretch and dug in under pressure. Win Win Win broke a bit awkwardly in behind, moved up two wide on the turn, was taken to the inner rail entering the stretch, reached a striking position inside the winner in mid stretch and continued gamely."

Win Win Win, the 8-5 second choice, took the seven-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 19 from eight lengths off a fast early pace under Julian Pimentel in a sizzling 1:20.89, a new track record. It was 7 1/4 lengths back to second finisher Overdeliver, who fought for the lead and who came again again on the turn and into the stretch under Feargal Lynch before faltering. Favored Cave Run, off at 7-5, was another three lengths back in third. War Bridle was fourth. Gladiator King, who broke through the gate prematurely, was reloaded and set a contested the pace of 22.10 and 44.52 before fading to fifth and last.

Mike Trombetta:  “We’ve always liked this guy, and we’re very happy with him. They left the two inside horses in there while they were chasing the loose horse, and I think he might have fallen asleep in there. He broke flat-footed, but Julian knows him really well. He had a nice little pace to run at, and he showed what he can do.”

Julian Pimentel: “I didn’t panic, because he did the same thing last time. He’s very quick, so I just took my time and let him do his thing. I had so much horse and when I asked him to run, he took off.”

Feb. 24 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said ahead of stretching out to two turns in the Tampa Bay Derby, “He is one of those kind of horses that does what you tell him to do. If I want him to work a half-mile in 52 seconds, he does it, and if I need him to work faster than that he’ll do that, too. I’ve made several trips here to watch him work, and he is doing everything I would have hoped for going into the race. He’s very willing to do whatever you need him to do, and when you ask him to do more, he does more. We’re hoping he can get us to those distances, but I truly don’t know. He needs to show that he’s good enough to do that. They all do. There will be plenty of good horses in that starting gate as they’re all starting to converge on these bigger races, so this is the next test. We’ve been putting some nice gallops and nice breezes under him, and he is doing everything he’s supposed to, so I’m as anxious as anyone else to see what he will do.”

March 1 NOTE: Irad Oritz, Jr. was hired to replace Julien Leparoux for the Tampa Bay Derby, per a report by Marty McGee at DRF.com.

In the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby, Tacitus ran up the rail to win in 1:41.90, a stakes record and just .15 second off the track record. The race unfolded with Zenden and Samy Camacho zipping from the outside post 11 and setting fractions of 22.79 and 45.85, with Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Well Defined and Pablo Morales in closest pursuit, just a length back. Outshine, ridden by Joel Rosario, was in third, 4 1/2 lengths off the pace after a half-mile. After six furlongs in 1:09.57, the same two still led the field, but Outshine was bearing down on them. Meanwhile, Tacitus and Jose Ortiz were in seventh place, eight lengths back. In the lane, Zenden still led by 1 1/2 length after Well Defined retreated. Outshine looked like a winner as he was grinding down Zenden, but Tacitus, ridden by Jose Ortiz, had mounted a rally throughout the stretch and ran past on the inside to prevail over Outshine by 1 1/4 length. The 7-5 favorite Win Win Win, who was threatening in upper stretch under Irad Ortiz, Jr., settled for third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Zenden held on for fourth, another half-length back, at 19-1 odds.

Michael Trombetta: “I want to go back and atch the head-on of the break; Irad (Ortiz, Jr.) said it was a little bit of a tangle out of the gate. I think he was satisfied with the way that he ran. I just think if he could have gotten a little better position early, we might have had more of a favorable outcome. He finished with good energy and just couldn’t quite get it done.”

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said "Well, it's either between (the Wood Memorial in) New York or the Blue Grass. We'll make a decision soon, but we definitely want to see how he looks tomorrow morning following his breeze. He's done everything right so far. I haven't really worked with this sire before, so we're still figuring things out with him as far as how long he might want to go. He didn't have the best of trips in the Tampa Bay Derby and it was his first time racing at two turns, but I still thought he gave a valiant effort. Certainly, enough to warrant taking another shot at a Derby prep."

April 1 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said ahead of the Blue Grass Stakes, “We are leaving tomorrow and should be there Wednesday morning. It was between the Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial. I was a little concerned about the deeper track in New York. I would get to keep the same rider (Irad Ortiz Jr.) if we did the Blue Grass, and I think that track will be a little more conducive to his style. He has done very well since the Tampa Bay Derby, and we came back to Fair Hill because that’s home. I kept him at Tampa after the Pasco to keep him out of the colder weather.”

April 3 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said, “I guess that (8 post) is OK. A lot of people don’t want to be way outside and others don’t want to be stuck inside.”

In the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 6, Vekoma won, Win Win Win was second, Signalman was third and Somelikeithotbrown finished fourth. Somelikeithotbrown led through fractions of 23.26, 47.03, 1:11.55 under Tyler Gaffalione, with Vekoma and Javier Castellano hounding him every step of the way in the clear from the outside. Coming out of the second turn, Vekoma passed a tiring Somelikeithotbrown and led by 3 1/2 lengths with an eighth of a mile left in the race. He kept on running to win by that margin in a time of 1:50.93.  Signalman and Brian Hernandez, Jr, who were close by in fourth or fifth while saving ground throughout the early stages of the race, advanced to third entering the far turn and got by Somelikeithotbrown inside the furlong marker to be second between calls. Win Win Win, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., was in 11th place, 7 1/4 lengths off the pace after the first half-mile, and he was back in fifth at the furlong marker. He advanced on the tiring Signalman and nosed him out for second. Somelikeithotbrown finished fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths.

Michael Trombetta (trainer of Win Win Win): “I don’t think we necessarily have to talk about distance being a limitation for him anymore. This was only his second start around two turns, and he’s really starting to figure it out. Maybe the 1 1/4 miles in the Derby will be perfect for him.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of runner-up Win Win Win): “I didn’t win today, but I am so proud of this horse. He ran a great race. I got into a little traffic early, and when I finally got him clear, I asked him to run, and he started to really turn it on. I think he can keep improving for the Derby. He’s a really nice horse.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Trombetta said he plans to keep Win Win Win at Fair Hill until a week before the Derby with his final work coming at Fair Hill, and “That (nose) was kind of important, wasn’t it? At the quarter pole, I thought I was going to the Preakness. I was watching on the big screen by the paddock and then I watched it again on my phone last night. He got stopped on the turn pretty significantly. He had nice momentum, but that’s one of the hazards with a big field. Without that, he probably could have made it more interesting, but all in all it is probably the happiest I have ever been with a second.”

April 15 NOTE: Julian Pimentel regains the mount for the Kentucky Derby. Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode him in the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes.

April 22 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said, “He’s good. We had to postpone the work Saturday. It rained really, really hard up there, so we postponed it until yesterday and worked him yesterday morning. He worked a good five-eighths. It looks we’re going the middle of this week. I think we’re going to ship him Wednesday, and then he’ll get his final work there on Sunday. It’s cool. No one knows if we’re ever going to make it at all, and to be able to get a second crack at it is a lot of fun.” Trombetta had his first and only Derby starter in 2006 with Sweetnorthersaint, who was sent off as a long-priced favorite only to finish seventh. He ran second in the Preakness.

April 25 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said, “He left at 6 o’clock last night.They said the trip went well. He was there by 5 o’clock this morning. It was straight on through. Weather permitting, he’ll gallop tomorrow and Saturday and he’ll get his final breeze on Sunday. Julian will breeze him, to let the horse and the rider both get familiar with the environment.”

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Win Win Win was next to last after six furlongs but finished 10th, moved up to ninth via the disqualification of the winner, beaten 8 1/2 lengths.

Mike Trombetta: “No real excuses. The rider said he seemed to struggle with the kickback and climbing a little bit. But other than that, he had an OK trip. Today wasn’t his day.”

Julian Pimentel: “We broke very well from the gate. I was in a great position but I don’t think my horse handled the sloppy track. He tried to make progress but he was spinning over the ground.”

The chart call: "Win Win Win  raced four wide early, moved inward after that and failed to menace."

May 10 NOTE: Win Win Win is confirmed to run in the Preakness Stakes.

In the 144th Preakness, Win Win Win finished seventh, beaten 5 1/2 lengths by War of Will, after being sixth, seventh and eighth at the first three calls.

Michael Trombetta: “I thought he ran OK. We would have all loved to have done a little better but he was in it for a fight and I can’t get mad at him. He gave it a good effort.”

Julian Pimentel: “We were closer this time around. But in the second turn, I had to go wide. I thought he still ran well.”


WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 12, Win Win Win 50:00 Breezing synthetic 5/15 at FAI
Feb. 2, Win Win Win 51:80 Breezing 60/64 at TAM
Feb. 9, Win Win Win 1.02:60 Breezing 16/29 at TAM
Feb. 16, Win Win Win 1.13:40 Breezing 1/3 at TAM
Feb. 24, Win Win Win 59:20 Breezing 1/33 at TAM
March 3, Win Win Win 47:00 Breezing 1/75 at TAM
March 23, Win Win Win 48:00 Breezing 1/14 at FAI
March 30, Win Win Win 1.01:60 Breezing synthetic 6/15 at FAI
April 21, Win Win Win 1.01:00 Breezing synthetic 3/6 at FAI
April 28, Win Win Win 47:60 Breezing 4/76 at CD

 

 

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