KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2013
BLACK ONYX – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx (No. 12) beat the rain Wednesday morning, galloping 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Aurelio Gomez shortly after 6 o’clock.
Trainer Kelly Breen is expected to return to Louisville on Friday and the winner of the Spiral (Grade III) is expected to work Saturday or Sunday.
CHARMING KITTEN / OVERANALYZE / PALACE MALICE / REVOLUTIONARY / VERRAZANO / WINNING CAUSE – With Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy being taken out of Derby consideration, Winning Cause, winner of the Lexington (GIII) on Keeneland’s Polytrack, moved to No. 20 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” Leaderboard. A decision regarding his Kentucky Derby status is not likely to come soon.
“We’re going to see how he trains this week and I’m considering breezing him on Sunday,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “We won’t make any sort of decision until then.”
Winning Cause and Charming Kitten (No. 19) galloped Wednesday morning prior to the renovation break when the track was listed as “fast.” Following the renovation break, Verrazano (No. 2), Overanalyze (No. 5), Revolutionary (No. 6) and Palace Malice (No. 13) galloped in the rain over a sloppy track.
“I contemplated training them earlier to beat the rain, but I decided to continue to take advantage of that 15-minute window (reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders). I also wanted to see what they looked like in the slop.”
Pletcher added that he was pleased with the way his horses went over the off track. He also said he is still sorting out plans on how to work as many as six Kentucky Derby contenders on Sunday.
“I haven’t decided yet exactly how we’re going to do it,” Pletcher said. “We’ll be watching the weather and it looks like there is potential for more rain on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll monitor that and see. We might have to shuffle some days around, but assuming they all breeze on Sunday, I would say a couple would go earlier and most would go during the 15-minute break.”
CODE WEST/GOVENOR CHARLIE/POWER BROKER - Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie (No. 11) galloped 1 3/8 miles after the renovation break over a sealed track with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez up.
Gary and Mary West’s Code West (No. 21) and Power Broker (No. 24) returned to the track to jog following a day off and working Monday. Power Broker went to the track before the break with Alvarez up and Code West after the break with Peter Hutton up.
Trainer Bob Baffert plans to be in Louisville Saturday with works scheduled Sunday or Monday.
FALLING SKY – Newtown Anner Stud, James Covello and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky (No. 18) galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Cassie Garcea aboard shortly before 8 o’clock and the break.
Trained by John Terranova, Falling Sky is scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday.
FRAC DADDY/JAVA’S WAR – Charles Fipke’s Java’s War (No. 4) galloped 1 ½ miles on the sealed track after the break with exercise rider Marvin Abrego up. Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy (No. 15) galloped the same distance after the break with exercise rider Hugo Garcia up.
Trained by Ken McPeek, both colts are scheduled to work Saturday.
GOLDEN SOUL – Charles Fipke’s Golden Soul (No. 23) was on the track at 6 o’clock to gallop 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.
Trainer Dallas Stewart, who needs three defections from the list of intended Kentucky Derby entrants to make the field, plans to work Golden Soul on Friday. Stewart said he had not confirmed a rider for the Derby, but had one in mind.
MYLUTE – Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Mylute (No. 16) was on the track shortly after it opened at 5:45 Wednesday morning and galloped under regular exercise rider Maurice Sanchez.
NORMANDY INVASION – Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion (No. 14) galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Javier Herrera before the renovation break.
ORB – Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb (No. 1) made his first appearance on the track a little after 6 o’clock with regular exercise rider Jennifer Patterson up. Orb stood for five minutes before jogging three-eighths of a mile and galloping a mile.
Trainer Shug McGaughey said Orb would train early the next couple days and then go after the break during the time reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.
“There was not a whole lot to look at when he was at Payson (Park),” McGaughey said. “There’s no lights, no grandstand and not a lot of activity. There you have deer and you can hear the cows move. He’ll go early the next couple days to get used to things.”
Orb, who will be ridden in Kentucky Derby 139 by Joel Rosario, enters the Run for the Roses on a four-race win streak, a run of success matched only by Verrazano. In his past two starts, Orb won the Fountain of Youth (GII) and the Florida Derby (GI).
“He gained weight between the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby,” McGaughey said. “He was a totally different horse in looks and demeanor.”
Orb is scheduled to work Monday.
OXBOW/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Calumet Farm’s Oxbow (No. 17) galloped 1 ½ miles over a fast track shortly after the track opened with exercise rider Rudy Quevedo up for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
After the break and on a sealed track, Willis Horton’s Will Take Charge (No. 9) had a similar activity with Quevedo up.
VYJACK – Pick Six Racing’s Vyjack (No. 8) beat the rain and galloped 1 ½ miles shortly after the track opened for training with trainer Rudy Rodriguez up.
“He was nice this morning and on his toes,” said Rodriguez, who plans to work Vyjack on Friday or Saturday. “I am trying to dodge the weather. We’ll see. Probably one of those two days.”
KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2013
CLOSE HATCHES/FLASHY GRAY – Juddmonte Farms’ Close Hatches (No. 5) and West Point Thoroughbreds and Tom Keithley’s Flashy Gray (No. 6) visited the paddock and then galloped over the sealed track after the renovation break for trainer Bill Mott.
Joanna Trout was on Close Hatches and Penny Gardiner was on Flashy Gray.
DREAMING OF JULIA / PRINCESS OF SYLMAR / SILSITA / UNLIMITED BUDGET – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s quartet of Kentucky Oaks contenders galloped at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning.
Dreaming of Julia (No. 4), Princess of Sylmar (No. 7) and Silsita (No. 10) went out prior to the morning renovation break and Unlimited Budget (No. 3) galloped during the special Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks training window at 8:30.
The four fillies are scheduled to work Saturday.
MIDNIGHT LUCKY – Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Midnight Lucky (No. 8) jogged under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez early Wednesday morning before the rains came.
PURE FUN – Magdalena Racing’s Pure Fun (No. 11), back at Churchill Downs where she romped to a 9 ¼-length victory last November, galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under exercise rider Jose Cano.
Pure Fun, who will be ridden in the Oaks by Julien Leparoux, arrived Tuesday at Churchill Downs from Keeneland, where she had run seventh on Saturday in the Lexington (GIII).
ROSE TO GOLD – Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centrofanti’s Rose to Gold (No. 2) galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under Denis Roberson.
Rose to Gold is scheduled to work Friday with Calvin Borel slated to be aboard.
SEANEEN GIRL – Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl (No. 10) did not have the best of mornings for trainer Bernie Flint.
“It was probably my fault. She is a fresh filly and wants to do something and there is nothing wrong with that. I like that,” Flint said. “But we were trying to beat the rain. The reins were wet and she ran off with the boy. She was timed in 1:06 and 1 (for five furlongs).”
Flint said he would try for another work in a few days.
“I want to let this weather get out of here and give her a couple of days and then work,” Flint said.
Seaneen Girl, who began her career in Canada, won the Golden Rod (GII) here last fall to close out 2012 and then ran third behind probable Oaks rivals Unlimited Budget and Flashy Gray in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) in her first start of 2013.
Flint has not confirmed a rider for the Oaks.