CONVEYANCE REMOVED FROM PREAKNESS CONSIDERATION – Three-time Kentucky Derby (GI)-winning trainer Bob Baffert reduced his list of Preakness prospects in half Friday morning by declaring Zabeel Racing International’s Southwest Stakes (GIII) winner Conveyance out of the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
“He’s not going,” Baffert said of the Kentucky Derby pacesetter who finished 15th in the mile and a quarter classic. “The plan now for Conveyance is to win a stake somewhere in the country with him.”
Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Lookin At Lucky, the Kentucky Derby favorite who finished sixth behind Super Saver, galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break under Peter Hutton.
"I am just taking it day by day with him,” said Baffert, who has won the Preakness four times. “He is still 51 percent (to go).”
In addition to Lookin At Lucky, eight other horses eyeing the Preakness galloped Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, owned by WinStar Farm, galloped a mile and a sixteenth under Kevin Willey. Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite galloped a mile and three-eighths under Willey and is scheduled to work Sunday. Both colts are trained by Todd Pletcher.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ two Preakness prospects, Robert Baker and William Mack’s Dublin and Westrock Stables’ Northern Giant, galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break with Arielle Witkowski handling both colts. Lukas plans to work both horses Sunday or Monday.
Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, third in the Kentucky Derby, and Donald Dizney’s First Dude each galloped 1 ½ miles for trainer Dale Romans. First Dude is scheduled to work Saturday morning with Tammy Fox in the saddle.
Robert LaPenta and Jack or Better Farm’s Jackson Bend, 12th in the Kentucky Derby, galloped a mile and three-eighths under Stacy Prior and Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Hurricane Ike, winner of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) on April 24, galloped a mile and a half shortly after the track opened at 6 a.m. Hurricane Ike is scheduled to work Monday.
APPRENTICE LENCLUD BAGS THURSDAY TRIPLE – Apprentice jockey Freddie Lenclud had an idea Thursday could be a good day at Churchill Downs.
"In the morning, I was looking at the paper and it looked like I had a couple of shots,” said Lenclud, a 23-year-old native of Lamdrecis, France. “I told my agent (Doc Danner) that three or four was a good number and he was laughing.”
When the day was done, Lenclud had three winners from seven mounts and became the first apprentice to win three races in a day at Churchill Downs since Julien Leparoux in the spring of 2006 when he won at least three races 11 times.
"To win three at Churchill Downs, that’s pretty good,” said Lenclud, who posted his first North American victory last July at Ellis Park. Lenclud rode 24 winners at the 2010 Oaklawn Park meeting, good for seventh in the rider standings, and rode five winners last month at Keeneland, good for a tie for ninth in a star-studded jockey colony.
“I’m not sure about the last time an apprentice rode three, but I am sure glad he did it yesterday,” said Danner, “because everybody was watching Churchill Downs.”
With a $947,641 Pick 6 carryover and a pool in the multiple-race wager that grew to $4,086,255, plenty of eyes were on Churchill Downs and two of Lenclud’s winners came in the Pick 6 sequence: Dabossman ($10.40) in the sixth and Quiet by Seven ($5.80) in the seventh. The latter victory on the Matt Winn Turf Course was for trainer Michelle Nihei.
"I like a lot of things about him,” Nihei said of Lenclud, whom she uses often. “He works hard. He shows up in the mornings and I feel very confident that he knows the horses.
“He tries hard and he’s hungry. He works to get it done. He’s very patient and I think he’s got a little bit of ice in his veins and that’s important.”
IROQUOIS WINNER THISKYHASNOLIMIT HEADS NOMNEES TO MAY 15 MATT WINN – Cathy and Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Thiskyhasnolimit, winner of last fall’s Iroquois (GIII) beneath the Twins Spires, heads a list of 20 nominations for the ninth running of the Matt Winn.
Scheduled for May 15, the $100,000-added Matt Winn is a seven-furlong sprint on the main track for 3-year-olds that was won last year by Capt. Candyman Can.
Idle since finishing sixth as the favorite in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) that was won by Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Thiskyhasnolimit is trained by Steve Asmussen. Asmussen has won the Matt Winn twice, scoring with Posse in 2003 and Razor in 2005.
Among the other stakes winners nominated to the Matt Winn training on the grounds are Robert and Lawana Low and Winmore LLC’s Cool Bullet and Donegal Racing’s Vow to Wager.
Cool Bullet, trained by Steve Margolis, won the Sugar Bowl this winter at Fair Grounds and in his most recent start won the Hansel at Turfway Park. Vow to Wager, trained by two-time Matt Winn winner Dale Romans, won the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in February via disqualification and ran second to Stay Put in an optional claiming race that opened the Kentucky Derby Day card.
Trainer John Sadler, who saddled Hurricane Ike to win the opening-day The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII), is pointing C R K Stable’s Privilaged to the Matt Winn. Privilaged ran third last out in the seven-furlong Swale (GII) at Gulfstream.
Entries for the Matt Winn will be taken Wednesday.
BARN TALK – Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel will be the Spring Meet’s first guest for “Get in the Game with Jill Byrne,” a regular Saturday interview and handicapping seminar hosted by the Churchill Downs racing analyst.
Saturday’s seminar is set for at 11:45 a.m. (EDT) in the paddock.