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Preakness Hope Sway Away Works Six Furlongs, Dance City Set for Sunday Move

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/05/2011 #
  • Preakness contender Sway Away galloped at Churchill Downs on April 25. (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

Batman Stable, Philip Lebherz, Cindy Olsen, Janet Sharp and Glen Wallace et al’s Sway Away completed his major training for a run in next Saturday’s Preakness with a six-furlong work in 1:13.60 over a fast track early Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.

            With exercise rider Keith Davis up, Sway Away clicked off fractions of :13.80, :26.80, :39, :50.40, 1:02.20 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.20.

            It was the third Churchill Downs work for Sway Away since finishing fourth in the Arkansas Derby. He worked six furlongs on April 30 in 1:14 under jockey BrianHernandez and last Saturday he worked in 1:11.60 under Davis.

“He went too fast with me the last time, but today he relaxed real nice,” Davis said. “The first part of it, we were kind of going at a two-minute lick and I asked him one time in the lane and he really responded for me.”

Miguel Carranza, assistant to trainer Jeff Bonde, supervised the move that was accomplished in blinkers.

“We put the blinkers on him for the first time in the Arkansas Derby and they have been on for all of his works here to make him focus better,” Carranza said. “This was a good work and I got him in 1:26 and 1 to the seven-eighths pole.”

Sway Away, with $111,500 in graded stakes earnings, did not get to run in the Kentucky Derby because of insufficient graded stakes money and it looked for a while that a similar fate might befall the son of Afleet Alex with regard to the Preakness. However, the defection of Santiva apparently clears the way for Sway Away.

“Being 21st on the money list for the Kentucky Derby was not very exciting,” Lebherz said by phone Saturday morning.

            Sway Away will walk the next two days, go to the track Tuesday and ship to Baltimore on Wednesday.

SANTIVA TO SKIP PREAKNESS; DANCE CITY TO WORK SUNDAY --Tom Walters’ Santiva, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), is no longer under consideration for the Preakness.

            “The horse is doing great, but he is not running in the Preakness,” trainerEddie Kenneally said of the sixth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby.

            One horse that is heading to Baltimore is The Estate of Edward P. Evans’ Dance City, who galloped a mile and a half after the morning renovation break with exercise rider Obed Perez up.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Dance City is scheduled to work Sunday morning, his third breeze here since finishing third in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Dance City’s previous two works at Churchill Downs have come over tracks rated as sloppy and rain is in the forecast for Louisville beginning this afternoon and running through Sunday morning.

            In other news regarding horses at Churchill Downs considered as possible or probable for the Preakness,  Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton’s Astrology, winner of the Iroquois (GIII) at Churchill Downs and runner-up in the recent Jerome (GII) at Aqueduct, galloped 1 ½ miles under Carlos Rosas.

            The Steve Asmussen-trained son of A.P. Indy worked six furlongs in the company of a stablemate in 1:12.40 last Monday and assistant trainer Scott Blasi said the colt would have one more serious training move before departing next week for Pimlico and the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

            “He had a very strong work the other day and he came out of it well,” Blasi said.  “He’ll work Monday or Tuesday, depending on the weather.”

            Zayat Stable’s Nehro, runner-up to Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom in the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), jogged under Rosas on Saturday and remains “possible” for a Preakness bid.

            “He came out of the race well, but he’s run three races in six weeks and he delivered for us in each of them,” Blasi said.  “Now we’d be asking him to come back in just two week.  It’ll probably be a game-time decision as to whether we run in the Preakness.”

            Blasi said Nehro would also work on either Monday or Tuesday, with the weather being a determining factor on which day the Mineshaft colt would work.

            Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In, eighth as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break under Stacy Prior.

           Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge’s Shackleford galloped a mile and a half after the morning renovation break with exercise rider Faustino Ramos up.

          Arnold Zetcher’s Midnight Interlude galloped a mile and five-eighths early Saturday morning under Peter Hutton, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. The 16th-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby is scheduled to work Monday morning as is Fog City Stable and George Bolton’s The Factor. The Factor galloped a mile and a half under Hutton, also before the renovation break.

            “He (Midnight Interlude) was sharp this morning,” Hutton said. “We have been fairly aggressive gallops and he finished strong this morning.”

BACK FROM INJURY, APPRENTICE PEDROZA LOOKS TO BUILD ON 2010 MOMENTUM – Apprentice jockey Marcelino Pedroza made quite a splash beneath the Twin Spires last fall, winning nine races during the Fall Meet to lead all apprentices and finishing tied for eighth overall.

The momentum carried over to the Holiday Meet at Turfway Park in which he won the first riding title of his career with 21 victories in the 17-day meet, a rapid ascent for a rider who did not win his first race until Oct. 10 at Keeneland at age 17.

The roll came to a screeching halt in late January at Turfway when Pedroza suffered a hairline fracture in his right knee in a gate accident.

         “The knee is good now,” said Pedroza, who did rehab work on the knee in his native Panama and returned to Kentucky last month. “There are no more problems.”

            Now 18, Pedroza was winless in seven mounts at Keeneland, but returned to the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs on May 12 after guiding Signature Event to victory for trainer Phil Oliver.

             Pedroza captured his second win of the meet on Friday and his agent, Julio Espinoza, believes there are many more victories to come. “He’s a good, solid rider,” said Espinoza, who is ninth all-time in wins by jockeys at Churchill Downs with 642. “He’s a natural talent.”   

             At the conclusion of the Churchill Downs meet, Pedroza will take his tack to Ellis Park and continue on the Kentucky circuit through the Churchill Downs fall meet.

Espinoza had planned to take Pedroza to New York last winter and would consider such a move to open 2012.

“Definitely I would,” Espinoza said of a Big Apple venture. “He wants to stay in Kentucky for now, but we may go New York or maybe the Fair Grounds.” 

BARN TALK – Jockey Corey Lanerie reached a Churchill Downs milestone on Friday afternoon when he won his 250th race beneath the Twin Spires. The 36-year-old native of Lafayette, La., who recorded his 3,000th career victory on Feb. 3 this year at Fair Grounds, notched the milestone victory on Barry King’s Flashy Lassie, a 2-year-old filly trained by Garry Simms. …

A race after Lanerie’s milestone triumph, trainer Tom Amoss recorded his 336thChurchill Downs victory when Gold Mark Farm’s Culotte took the fifth for 2-year-old fillies. With the victory, Amoss, a 49-year-old native of New Orleans, passed Jack VanBerg for sixth place all time in victories at Churchill Downs. Bill Mott is No. 1 all time with 641 followed by Dale Romans (521), D. Wayne Lukas (480), Bernie Flint (426) and Steve Asmussen (398).

“I had no idea I had that many wins here,” Amoss said. “My first job at the race track was as a hot walker for Jack Van Berg. It was 1975 and I was 15 years old and it was over Christmas break. It was supposed to last 13 days and I made it seven.”

 Amoss wasted no time getting victory No. 337 as L. Barrett Bernard’s Snuggs and Kisses won the sixth. …

Nominations close today for the 74th running of the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (GIII) to be run at a mile and a half on the Matt Winn Turf Course for 3-year-olds and up on May 28, and also for the eighth running of the $100,000 Winning Colors (GIII) for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track on Memorial Day, May 30. Free Fighter won the Louisville Handicap last year and Dubai Majesty took the Winning Colors.  Dubai Majesty would return to Churchill Downs in November to win the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

WORK TAB – Robert Baker and William Mack’s Dublin, winner of the Hopeful (GI) as a 2-year-old and then seventh in last year’s Kentucky Derby (GI) and fifth in the Preakness (GI) in his most start, worked three furlongs in :36, the fastest three-eighths move of 30 at the distance on Saturday morning over a fast track. D. Wayne Lukastrains Dublin and Lukas also sent out Briland Farm’s Absinthe Minded, fourth behindBlind Luck in the recent La Troienne (GII), to work a half-mile in :49. Dundalk 5 LLC’sDundalk Dust, winner of the Falls City Handicap (GII) here last fall, worked a half-mile in :49.40 for trainer Chris Block