John Oxley’s Illinois Derby (GIII) winner Dynamic Impact was scheduled for a workout Saturday morning in preparation for next Saturday’s Preakness, but weather forced assistant trainer Norman Casse to call an audible and scrub the work.
“I was hoping they would open the track up, but they didn’t and I totally understand why. They made the right call with all the rain,” Casse said of the sealed track. “We are prepared to go tomorrow and if not, it is not a big deal and we can go Monday.”
David Lehr, Senior Director of Track Surfaces, said Churchill Downs received 2 inches of rain after Friday’s final race that went off around 7:30 p.m.
“We were able to go around three times before the rain,” Lehr said of sealing the track. “It rained off and on all night and we got one big burst around 2:30 in the morning.”
With the work postponed, Dynamic Impact galloped 1 ½ miles instead under exercise rider Marco Cano.
“A lot of my horses didn’t go out and I am happy he at least got to gallop,” Casse said.
Two other Preakness hopefuls stabled here were on the track before the morning renovation break.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner California Chrome galloped 1 ¾ miles under exercise rider Willie Delgado.
“I wanted to go out before the track got chewed up,” assistant trainer Alan Sherman said of the colt’s earlier than usual appearance on the track at 6:30. “He has been on a ‘wet-fast’ track before, but I don’t know if he has been on a sealed track.”
California Chrome is scheduled to leave for Baltimore on Monday.
“We are supposed to load at the barn at 10 o’clock Monday morning and the plane leaves Lexington at 12:30,” Sherman said. “He will train that morning and then go.”
Ria Antonia, who finished sixth in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) in her most recent start, visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 ½ miles under Maurice Sanchez.
“She had blinkers on in the Oaks and we are going to change equipment for her next race; whatever that will be,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “She stood in the gate with blinkers off, which is required for an equipment change. We are still up in the air about the Preakness. She will work Sunday or Monday, depending on the weather.”
After the track reopened at 8:30, Bayern galloped 1 ½ miles under Jorge Alvarez and Ride On Curlin galloped two miles with Bryan Beccia aboard.
CINCO CHARLIE SHINES IN 2-YEAR-OLD TEST
B and C Racing’s Cinco Charlie broke his maiden in his debut start at Churchill Downs Friday under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 4 ½-furlong dirt contest was the first 2-year-old race of 2014 under the Twin Spires.
“He came out of the race fine,” Asmussen assistant Darren Fleming said. “He pulled up good. He had been working well. We expected him to run well and he did. As far as his next race, that will be up to Steve (Asmussen) and (Bill) Heiligbrodt to decide… but hopefully there are a couple of stakes in his future.”
Bridgmohan, who rode Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands runner-up Commanding Curve, is tied for sixth place in wins for the Churchill meet with four.
Asmussen, trainer of Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable, is second in trainer wins for the meet (five) behind Mike Maker (seven).
GOLD MEDAL DANCER IN GOOD SHAPE AFTER ALLOWANCE WIN, STAKES IN HER FUTURE
Pin Oak Stable’s homebred Gold Medal Dancer took a $58,000 optional claiming race going seven furlongs on the Churchill Downs dirt Friday. Ridden by Joe Rocco Jr. for trainer Donnie Von Hemel, this was the fifth career win for the 4-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro.
“She came out of the race in good shape,” Von Hemel said. “The future is a little unknown but she’s pretty versatile. She’s won on the turf, the dirt, the Polytrack, she’s won long and she’s won short, so we’ll get her nominated for some stakes and hopefully she gets a stakes win here in the next couple of months.”
The win marked the first of the 2014 Churchill Downs Spring Meet for Rocco, who tallied 30 victories at Churchill Downs over three meets in 2013, and first win of the meet for Von Hemel, who captured seven wins at Churchill in 2013.
Gold Medal Dancer placed second in the Remington Park Oaks and second in the Zia Park Oaks in her last two races of her sophomore campaign. She began 2014 with a win at Oaklawn in an optional claimer followed by an eighth-place effort in the Doubledogdare Stakes (GIII) at Keeneland, her last start prior to Friday’s victory. She is 11-5-3-0 lifetime with career earnings of $274,269.