BAFFERT DERBY DUO, DUBLIN RETURN TO THE TRACK – Kentucky Derby favorite Lookin At Lucky and stablemate Conveyance were back on the track Thursday morning for the first time since last Saturday’s “Run for the Roses” with both colts galloping 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under Peter Hutton.
`“He looks good,” trainer Bob Baffert said of Lookin At Lucky, who finished sixth as the tepid favorite in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. “He’s got a swagger to him. They both looked good.”
Throughout the week, Baffert had called Preakness participation for both colts a “50-50” proposition. That changed a tiny bit Thursday morning.
“He’s 51,” Baffert said of Lookin At Lucky, owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman. “This one (Conveyance, owned by Zabeel Racing International) is 50.”
Also returning to the track for the first time since Saturday’s Derby was Robert Baker and William Mack’s Dublin. The son of Afleet Alex jogged a mile shortly after 6 o’clock under exercise rider Arielle Witkowski.
“He’s doing excellent; sharp as a tack,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “You’d never know he ran.”
Dublin, who ran seventh in the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to van to Pimlico on Tuesday where he will attempt to give Lukas a sixth Preakness victory.
Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, owned by WinStar Farm, jogged a mile for the second consecutive day under exercise rider Kevin Willey.
Other Thursday morning activity for Churchill Downs-based Preakness hopefuls included Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite galloping 1 ¼ miles, Robert LaPenta and Jacks or Better Farm’s Jackson Bend galloping a mile and a quarter, Ike and Dawn Thrash’s The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) winner Hurricane Ike jogging a mile and the Dale Romans-trained duo of Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado and Donald Dizney’s First Dude galloping a mile and a half each.
PURE CLAN HEADED TO ROOD & RIDDLE – What was supposed to be a routine work day turned out to be anything but that when Lewis Lakin’s star turf mare Pure Clan demonstrated that she wanted no part of a scheduled five-furlong work under regular exercise rider Steve Schmelzel.
“She didn’t want to work,” trainer Bob Holthus said. “There is possibly something wrong with her left front foot and we are going to try to get her in today at Rood & Riddle (clinic in Lexington).”
Pure Clan has not raced since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) last November at Santa Anita.
“She bruised the bottom of her feet when she was turned out, just like last year,” Holthus said. “Physically, she has filled out a lot.”
Holthus was plotting a 2010 campaign similar to that of 2009 when Pure Clan began the year in the Early Times Mint Julep (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course and concluded with a Breeders’ Cup run.
“If she runs five times and as good as she did last year, I’ll be happy,” said Holthus, who counts Pure Clan among the best horses he has trained in the company with Proper Reality and Lawyer Ron.
In three seasons of racing, Pure Clan has compiled a record of 8-4-3 in 16 races with earnings of $1,987,498. Included in that record are Grade I victories in the American Oaks Invitational and Flower Bowl and three graded stakes triumphs at Churchill Downs.
RAVI’S SONG RETURNS WITH STYLISH VICTORY-- If one wants to draw a smile from trainer Carl Bowman, just mention Ravi’s Song.
The smiles have been plentiful since last Friday when Ravi’s Song returned to the races after a 7 ½-month layoff because of an injury. Ridden by Francisco Torres, Ravi’s Song swept past seven rivals in the stretch to win a seven-furlong allowance test by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:22.85.
“She was pretty impressive, wasn’t she,” Bowman said. “She just has an incredible turn of foot and when she kicks it in, wow!”
The 4-year-old filly by Unbridled’s Song is a daughter of Lu Ravi, who was trained by Bowman. A five-time graded stakes winner and three-time runner-up in Grade I races, Lu Ravi compiled a record of 26-11-8-3 in five years of racing for earnings of $1,819,781.
Lu Ravi’s best running came in routes and Bowman expects the same from Ravi’s Song.
“She is much better going two turns,” Bowman said. “I would prefer to find a non-winners of three other than going a mile and a sixteenth and after that look at stakes. I don’t like grass and I don’t like synthetics, so she will stay on dirt.”
SELVA HEADS FIELD OF EIGHT FILLIES AND MARES FOR SATURDAY’S UNBRIDLED SIDNEY – Helen Alexander and Helen Groves’ Selva, winner of the 2009 Mardi Gras on turf at Fair Grounds and runner-up in her 2010 debut in the Bienville on grass, tops a field of eight fillies and mares entered for Saturday’s $62,000-added Unbridled Sidney at five furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
Trained by David Carroll, Selva will be ridden by Robby Albarado, who was aboard for the Mardi Gras triumph.
The field for the Unbridled Sidney, from the hedge out, is Ivory Empress (Julien Leparoux, 118 pounds), Knockout Bertie (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Tirbracken Lily (Leandro Goncalves, 112), Pina Colada (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Selva (Robby Albarado, 118), Trusty Temper (Corey Nakatani, 118), Valentine Fever (Francisco Torres, 118) and Candy Cane (Garrett Gomez, 118).
WORK TAB (Track: FAST) – Miner’s Reserve, seventh in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial for trainer Nick Zito, breezed four furlongs in :49.40 … (Turf: FIRM – dogs up) – Veteran turf star Silverfoot breezed four furlongs on turf in :50.20. Trainer Dallas Stewart’s three-time winner of the Louisville Handicap (GIII) is now 10 years old … Regret (GIII) winner and Mrs. Revere (GII) runner-up Keertana breezed three furlongs on turf in :36 for trainer Tom Proctor.