- DERBY WINNER BIG BROWN JOGS AGAIN ON MUDDY TRACK
- ZITO DELAYS BREEZE BY PREAKNESS HOPE STEVIL
- BLINKERS OFF FOR PREAKNESS CANDIDATE TRES BORRACHOS
BIG BROWN HAS ANOTHER EASY DAY, GALLOP LIKELY TUESDAY – IEAH Stable and Paul Pompa Jr.’s Big Brown, a dominant winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on May 3, had another easy morning on Monday at Churchill Downs as Saturday’s bid for the Preakness (GI), the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, drew closer.
The 3-year-old son of Boundary jogged a mile over a sealed racetrack that was listed as “muddy.” Exercise rider Michelle Nevin was aboard as Big Brown turned in his light exercise under the gaze of trainer Rick Dutrow just after the break for track maintenance.
“He’s good,” said Dutrow. “He came out of the race good and he’s been training good.”
Big Brown has jogged for several days at the Louisville track because of wet weather and Nevin said the colt is getting a little bored with his limited activity. The weather forecast calls for warm and dry conditions over the next couple of days, so Dutrow hopes to let his Kentucky Derby winner to gallop on Tuesday.
“He’d rather do more, but he’s still okay with this,” Dutrow said. “Hopefully we can gallop tomorrow. If not, we’ll jog him again. I only gallop my horses when the track is good. When it’s sealed like that, I never gallop anything. So, if the track’s good tomorrow we’ll gallop him. If not, we’ll jog him. It’s not a big deal. Hopefully we can do the same thing Wednesday and then get out of here.”
Dutrow’s colt is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Wednesday for Saturday’s $1 million Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. His current plan calls for Big Brown to have one small “blowout” work after his arrival in Baltimore.
“We’ll probably do it the day of (the race) if the track’s good,” Dutrow said. “I don’t know if we’ll do it if the track’s no good. Maybe we will, maybe not. We’ll see.”
Dutrow indicated the blowout would be a quarter-mile or “something like that.” He said that is not an uncommon move for his horses.
“Yesterday we had two horses – one won and one just got beat – and I blew them out yesterday morning,” he said. “It was only because of spacing from their last breezes and stuff like that, you know? But I would like to do with him the day he’s running. It just seems to fit his schedule at this point. I’m not following what they’ve done in the past.”
The Kentucky Derby victory by Big Brown was his fourth victory in as many starts and lifted his earnings to $2,114,500. He won the Kentucky Derby by 4 ¾ lengths and has won his four races by a collective margin of 33 ¾ lengths.
STEVIL WORK DELAYED BY ZITO – A muddy track Monday morning at Churchill Downs caused trainer Nick Zito to push back a half-mile work for his Preakness hopeful Stevil until Tuesday.
“We will have a better track in the morning and one day doesn’t make a difference,” Zito said. “He’ll work an easy half tomorrow and then ship Wednesday (to Pimlico).”
Owned by Robert LaPenta, Stevil will enter the Preakness off a five-week break from his fourth-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) at Keeneland. John Velazquez has the mount in the Preakness.
“Hopefully, Stevil will make a good showing and we can go on to the next town,” Zito said, alluding to the June 7 Belmont Stakes (GI).
BLINKER EXPERIMENT OVER FOR TRES BORRACHOS – Trainer Beau Greely, John Greely IV and Phil Houchens’ Tres Borrachos galloped a mile and five-eighths after the renovation break Monday morning at Churchill Downs with Andy Durnin up.
Unlike the day before, Tres Borrachos was not equipped with blinkers.
“It was just an experiment we thought we’d try,” Beau Greely said. “It looked like it didn’t make any difference, plus he has shown speed in his races and I didn’t want to take a chance.”
Tres Borrachos is scheduled to work a half-mile Tuesday morning and ship to Pimlico on a 3:30 p.m. flight Wednesday that also will carry Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown to Baltimore.
Tyler Baze has the Preakness riding assignment.
OTHER PREAKNESS HOPEFULS BACK ON TRACK – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again jogged with a pony about a mile and a half with Kenny Bourque up Monday. Macho Again had worked a half-mile in :50.80 on Saturday and walked Sunday.
Jerry Carroll, Stan Kaplan, Ronald Plattner and Mark Guilfoyle’s Racecar Rhapsody galloped a mile and a quarter under Jose Castanon before the renovation break. The Ken McPeek trainee had worked five furlongs in 1:01 on Saturday and walked Sunday.
BARN TALK – Fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher Recaptureglory left Churchill Downs before noon on Monday headed for Arlington Park in Chicago. Lara Van Deren, assistant to trainer and co-owner Louie Roussel III, said the colt’s temperature was normal two days after a fever forced Recapturetheglory to be withdrawn from Preakness consideration.
WORK TAB – The two Kentucky Derby runners for trainer Steve Asmussen worked over a “muddy” track Monday morning at Churchill Downs. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Pyro, who was eighth behind Big Brown, worked a half-mile in :53.60, while Zayat Stables’ Z Fortune, 10th in the Derby, covered the same distance in :52.60. Also working for the Asmussen barn was reigning Horse of the Year Curlin, who worked five furlongs in 1:06; Student Council, the 2007 Pacific Classic (GI) winner, worked a half-mile in :49.60; Bashford Manor (GIII) winner and Derby Trial runner-up Kodiak Kowboy, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40; Indiana Derby (GII) and West Virginia Derby (GIII) winner Zanjero, who covered five furlongs in 1:02.40; and Noonmark, runner-up in the Grade II Churchill Downs on Derby Day, worked a half-mile in :50. … Silverton Hill Farm’s St. Joe, gearing up for a start in Saturday’s Grade III Matt Winn, worked a half-mile in :48.60, the second fastest of 37 at the distance, for trainer Darrin Miller. Bruce Lunsford’s multi-graded stakes winner Tessa Blue worked a half-mile in :49.40 for trainer Frank Brothers. …C J’s Leelee, runner-up in the 2007 Golden Rod (GII), breezed four furlongs for trainer Ken McPeek in :50.60.
2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through Sunday, May 11
Jockeys Starts 1-2-3
Julien Leparoux 92 19-13-16
Miguel Mena 71 13-9-16
Robby Albarado 61 12-6-7
Shaun Bridgmohan 55 11-8-4
Jesus Castanon 57 10-5-3
Calvin Borel 87 9-12-15
Kent Desormeaux 31 5-8-6
Jamie Theriot 51 5-4-5
Larry Sterling, Jr. 26 5-3-5
Edgar Prado 17 3-5-3
John Velazquez 15 3-3-0
Rafael Bejarano 12 3-0-2
Tom Amoss 20 8-3-4
Ken McPeek 17 7-2-1
Steve Asmussen 28 6-4-2
Eddie Kenneally 22 5-5-5
Ian Wilkes 15 5-3-2
Greg Foley 22 5-3-1
Mike Maker 16 5-2-1
Ronny Werner 14 3-4-3
Bill Mott 19 3-3-3
Nick Zito 12 3-2-1
John Fahey III 7 3-1-2
Bobby Frankel 10 3-1-1
Mark Casse 8 3-0-0