Tale of Verve In, Mr. Z Out of Preakness Picture

May 10, 2015 Gary Yunt and Ryan Martin

Charles Fipke’s Tale of Verve entered the Preakness picture after a five-furlong work in 1:00.40 this morning at Churchill Downs and Zayat Stables Mr. Z, 13th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), was withdrawn from consideration by owner Ahmed Zayat.

“I’m not running,” Zayat said in a phone interview with The Courier-Journal and Daily Racing Form. “I just don’t see any merit for that. I know he didn’t have a chance to run in the Derby. I know he was in huge traffic. But I think at this juncture I need to get him confidence. I know the horse is tenacious. I know he’s all heart. I know he’s fast. I know he was in a photo finish with Dortmund and Firing Line (in the Los Alamitos Futurity). So you would argue he’s as talented as they are, at least on paper and actuality… I think I need to build his confidence back.”

Dallas Stewart trains Tale of Verve, whose work accomplished a little after 6:30 was the fifth fastest of 25 at the distance.

With exercise rider Pedro Velez aboard and working with the Fipke-owned Lemon Drop Title, Tale of Verve produced fractions of :12.60, :24.60, :36.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.

               “He is fit and fresh and we are excited to see what we have,” Stewart said after the work. “(Joel) Rosario will ride. He was on him when he broke his maiden.”

               The top three finishers from the Derby were on the track shortly after it opened following the morning renovation break.

               Zayat Stables’ Derby winner American Pharoah and Kaleem Shah’s Dortmund, third in the Derby, jogged to the starting gate at the head of the stretch where they stood and then galloped 1 ½ miles. Jorge Alvarez was aboard American Pharoah and Dana Barnes was on Dortmund.

               Trainer Bob Baffert, who got his fourth Derby win with American Pharoah, is scheduled to arrive in Louisville later Sunday from his Southern California base. His two Derby colts are scheduled to leave for Pimlico on Wednesday.

               Arnold Zetcher’s Derby runner-up Firing Line had an open gallop of about six furlongs under Humberto Gomez with a similar activity scheduled for Monday according to trainer Simon Callaghan.

               Firing Line is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Wednesday.

               John Oxley’s Danzig Moon, fifth in the Derby, had a scheduled walk day at trainer Mark Casse’s barn.


MUBTAAHIJ RETURNS TO WORK TAB AFTER KENTUCKY DERBY RUNSheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Makotum’s Mubtaahij (IRE), eighth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), put in his final work over the Churchill Downs main track Sunday morning before shipping to Belmont Park on Tuesday where he will work toward a start in the Belmont Stakes (GI).

 The son of Dubawi breezed a half-mile in :49.40, the 11th fastest of 39 at the distance. Trevor Brown, assistant to Mubtaahij’s trainer Michael de Kock, said that he was pleased with the colt’s work over the track.

“This was his first piece of work since he ran, so we’re still on target for Belmont,” Brown said. “I was pretty satisfied with the work.”

Brown went on to discuss the colt’s performance in the Kentucky Derby stating that Mubtaahij was a little closer to the rail and further back than he would have preferred. The assistant to de Kock said one could expect him to be much more forwardly placed in the Belmont Stakes.

“We’ll have to be [closer],” he said. “It [Belmont] has a shorter home stretch and we’re going to have to be closer and sharper. American horses are a lot sharper out of the stalls in the first two furlongs than we are. We’ll have to sharpen up a bit. I don’t know if he handled the run on the rail; I would have liked for him to be a little more out.”

Mubtaahij will look to become the first foreign bred and based horse to win the Belmont Stakes (GI) in 25 years. Go and Go, bred and based in Ireland, was the most recent foreign horse to win the third jewel of the Triple Crown, which he won for trainer Dermot Weld in 1990.







Churchill Downs Barn Notes

Sunday, May 10, 2015

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CALHOUN RIDING HIGH WITH UNDEFEATED PROMISE ME SILVER – For trainer Bret Calhoun, it is eight down and who knows how many to go in a row for his filly Promise Me Silver who extended her undefeated record to eight in the Eight Belles (GIII) on the Longines Kentucky Oaks undercard.

Calhoun said he and owner Robert Luttrell had high hopes for the Texas-bred daughter of Silver City for a while and that she is on track to race in the Acorn (GI) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

               “Obviously we thought she was special for a long time, but I think in the Eight Belles that really proved her against a much better caliber of competition,” Calhoun said. “The water will get deeper from here. We plan on running her on Belmont Day in the Acorn. She’ll get a jump up since it’s a Grade I, but we have a lot of confidence in her.”

               Calhoun also mentioned a 2-year-old filly that he is excited about this meet, More Than Most, who like her undefeated stablemate was bred in Texas. The daughter of Indygo Mountain made her debut at Churchill Downs on the Tuesday of Derby week running fifth against a group of nine other 2-year-old fillies going 4 ½ furlongs.

               “She looks like she’s going to be a pretty nice filly,” he said. “Four-and-a-half [furlongs] is a little short for her and we knew that going in, but we just wanted to get some experience in her. She looks like she’s going to be pretty good.”


WORK TAB Regis Racing’s Shook Up returned to the work tab Sunday morning working four furlongs in :51.40. This was the daughter of Tapit’s first work since she ran second in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) behind Brereton Jones’ Lovely Maria.

               Also on the Sunday morning tab was Kaleem Shah’s Enchanting Lady, who worked a half-mile in :50.80 for trainer Bob Baffert. In her most recent start, she finished ninth in the Eight Belles (GIII) on May 1.

               At the nearby Trackside training center, Midwest Thoroughbreds’ champion sprinter of 2014 Work All Week worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 for trainer Roger Brueggemann.


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