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Churchill Trainers Favoring Derby 1-2 in Preakness
The day before the 137th running of the Preakness (Grade I), several trainers at Churchill Downs offered their opinions about who will win the second jewel of the Triple Crown and most are picking Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner I’ll Have Another or Derby runner-up Bodemeister.
Trainers in the Derby winner’s corner include Buff Bradley, Steve Margolis, Jimmy Baker, Norman Casse, Dallas Stewart and Mike Tomlinson.
“I’ll be rooting for the Derby winner,” Bradley said. “I have a few horses by Flower Alley (sire of I’ll Have Another) in training and I bred a few mares to him last year.”
“I hope I’ll Have Another wins,” Margolis said. “I think it’d be good for racing (to have a potential Triple Crown winner going into the Belmont).”
“I want to see a Triple Crown winner, so I’ll be cheering for I’ll Have Another,” Baker said.
“I’m rooting for the Derby winner,” Casse said.
“Bodemeister will be tough, but I always cheer for the Derby winner,” Stewart said.
“If I’ll Have Another gets the same trip in the Preakness that he got in the Derby then he’ll be tough,” Tomlinson said.
The list of trainers who think Bodemeister will be visiting the winner’s circle Saturday include Ron Moquett, Scooter Dickey, Eddie Kenneally, Garry Simms and Bill Connelly.
“You need luck to win the Derby, speed to win the Preakness and class to win the Belmont,” Moquett said. “Who’s going to run with Bodemeister?”
“Bodemeister will do it,” Dickey said.
“They won’t beat Bodemeister,” Kenneally said.
“I think the ‘Bode’ will win,” Simms said.
“Bodemeister will be salty in there, but I did like the way (trainer) Dale (Romans’) horse (Cozzetti) worked the other day.”
Team Valor International and Mark Ford’s Went the Day Well, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, received support from Merrill Scherer and Bill Mott’s assistant Kenny McCarthy.
“I like (trainer) Graham (Motion’s) horse,” Scherer said.
“Bodemeister is probably the horse to beat, but I didn’t like him in the Derby so I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon now. I like Graham Motion’s horse.”
Santa Anita Derby (GI) runner-up Creative Cause is being backed by trainers Paul McGee and Tom Amoss.
“I liked the top-two in the Santa Anita Derby in the (Kentucky) Derby,” McGee said. “I picked I’ll Have Another and he doesn’t owe me anything so I’m switching it up and going with Creative Cause.”
“I like Creative Cause and I’ll Have Another,” Amoss said. “If I can get 6-1 odds on Creative Cause then that’s who I’m taking.”
The wait will not be long to find out which trainers correctly picked the Preakness winner with post time in just over 24 hours on Saturday at 6:18 p.m. (ET).
ELEVEN-TIME CHURCHILL WINNER READY’S ROCKET INJURED – Deann Baer, Margaret Woodside and Tim Glyshaw’s Ready’s Rocket, who has more wins at Churchill Downs than any other horse since 1991, which is the first year detailed information was gathered by Equibase, suffered a soft-tissue injury in his right front ankle during his May 16 workout and will be out of training for six months.
“(Jockey) Calvin (Borel) worked him on Wednesday and said he went great,” trainer Tim Glyshaw said. “He walked fine after the work, but later that morning we felt some pressure in his ankle. The next morning, the ankle was still swollen and so we had it scanned and found some soft-tissue damage.”
Ready’s Rocket, a 9-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready, captured his 11th win beneath the Twin Spires on May 1. Glyshaw is hopeful Ready’s Rocket will have a full recovery and be able to go for win number 12 at Churchill Downs.
“His future racing career is uncertain,” Glyshaw said. “He’ll be at our barn for a month and then we’ll send him to a farm. We’ve been told he’ll need six months off, but in a perfect world I would wait and get him ready for next spring at Churchill. I know that will be a full-year off, but I want to bring him back at Churchill and the Fall Meet would be pushing it.”
Ready’s Rocket debuted at Churchill Downs nearly seven years ago and finished fourth in a maiden special weight. Three years later he would capture his first Churchill Downs victory on June 20, 2008 and, while all of his 20 career wins have not come for Glyshaw, the 43-year-old native of Evansville, Ind. saddled Ready’s Rocket for each of his 11 victories at the Louisville track.
“If he can’t make it back then that’s okay because he’s already done so much for us,” Glyshaw said. “Honestly we wouldn’t be bringing him back for me and the owners, but we’d be doing it for him. He doesn’t know anything but the racetrack and all he wants to do is run.”
Bred in Kentucky by Nicky Kearns, Ready’s Rocket has a career record of 20-10-13 from 74 career starts with earnings of $261,636. His record at Churchill Downs stands at 11-3-3 from 26 starts.
PROSPECTIVE WORKS TOWARD MATT WINN – John Oxley’s Prospective, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (GII) and most recently 18th after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby, breezed five furlongs on the fast main track at Churchill Downs in 1:01.20 for trainer Mark Casse and is being pointed to the $100,000-added Matt Winn (GIII) on the Stephen Foster Day undercard on June 16.
The Matt Winn was won last year by Peter Callahan’s Scotus under Manny Cruz for trainer Ken McPeek. Nominations for the 15th running of the Matt Winn close Saturday, June 2.
Prospective was guided in the work by regular exercise rider Juan Bernardini and worked in company with Stealcase, third in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII). The colts started together and finished together.
“Both horses came out of their last race well and worked good today,” assistant trainer Norman Casse said. “We wanted to go 1:01 and they went in 1:01.20, so we’re happy.”
The Matt Winn would be the third start at Churchill Downs for Prospective, who finished last of 13 in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at the Louisville track last fall.
Stealcase, who also is owned by Oxley, was sixth in the Gotham (GIII) and fifth in the Vinery Racing Spiral (GIII) prior to his run in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial. The chestnut son of Lawyer Ron will be pointed to an allowance race at Churchill Downs toward the end of May.
BARN TALK – Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, third in the Kentucky Derby in his most recent start, is scheduled to work Saturday at Churchill Downs immediately after the renovation break in preparation for the $1 million Belmont (GI) on June 9. It will be the first work for the chestnut son of Even the Score since his Run for the Roses. …
Winner Silk Stable’s Smart Farda will look to break his maiden in his third career start in Saturday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs. Bred in Kentucky by Old Friends Inc. and Winner Silk Inc., Smart Farda is out of Farda Amiga, who won the Kentucky Oaks (GI) and Alabama (GI) in 2002 on her way to being named champion 3-year-old filly. …
Hurstland Farm Inc. and James H. Greene Jr.’s Heart of Destiny will be pointed to the $100,000-added Regret (GIII) on June 16 at Churchill Downs off her runner-up effort as the favorite to longshot Silver Hustler in Thursday’s eighth race. …
The first 5,000 fans through the admission gate on Saturday, May 19 will receive a voucher that entitles them to a commemorative print of the Derby winner I’ll Have Another. The colorful 18” x 24” print contains an inside-rail view of I’ll Have Another and jockey Mario Gutierrez as they crossed the finish line in their historic victory in America’s greatest race. Vouchers can be exchanged for the commemorative print following Saturday’s fourth race at a redemption center located on the first floor of the Clubhouse at the Skye Terrace elevators, near the Longfield Ave./Gate 10 entrance. The giveaway is presented by GE. …
The Churchill Downs racing program on Sunday, May 20 will be accompanied by Family Fun Day activities Presented by Kroger. Family Fun Days promise a very special day for the entire family and take place from 1-4 p.m. in the Paddock Pavilion on Sundays throughout the meet. More information is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com. …
Nominations for the ninth running of the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII) for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs, the 24th running of the $100,000-added Aristides (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the main track and the 36th running of the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) close on Saturday, May 19. …
Spots are still available for the J. L. “Buck” Wheat Memorial Golf Scramble to benefit Horsemen’s Education on Monday, June 4 at Glenmary Country Club. For more information, call (502) 992-5903 or go to www.derbymuseum.org/backsidelc.
WORKTAB – Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River, runner-up to Juanita in the La Troienne (GII) on Kentucky Oaks Day, breezed four furlongs Friday morning in :48.20 for trainer Andy Leggio Jr. The work was the fourth fastest of 40 at the distance. …
Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn’s Bourbon Courage, fourth in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII), breezed five furlongs Friday in 1:00.40 for trainer Kellyn Gorder. It was the fastest work of 17 at the distance. …
Lally Stable’s Heavenly Landing, winner of the Marshua’s River (GIII) at Gulfstream earlier this year and most recently sixth in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII), breezed four furlongs on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Friday morning in :50.60 for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
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