How is your favorite contender for Kentucky Derby 135 training up to the big race?  Read on...

ADVICE / JOIN IN THE DANCE / DUNKIRK – Mike McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said that Advice, winner of last Saturday’s Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Grade II) and Join in the Dance, fifth-place finisher in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I), would ship to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday and would be on the track to train Thursday morning.

Advice is owned by WinStar Farm and tentatively scheduled to work on April 27. Join in the Dance, stands 21st on the list of graded-stakes money won and would need a defection from the prospective field to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

Pletcher’s third Kentucky Derby hopeful Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk, is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs from Palm Meadows on April 28. Pletcher is scheduled in the same day. Edgar Prado has the mount on Dunkirk.

CHOCOLATE CANDY – The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy walked the shedrow at Barn 42 a day after working a mile in 1:42.

Galen May, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said the colt would return to the track in the morning. Hollendorfer is scheduled to return to Louisville on Saturday and Chocolate Candy is slated for his final pre-Derby work on Monday or Tuesday.

DESERT PARTY / REGAL RANSOM – Both of the Godolphin hopefuls for Kentucky Derby 135 went about their business before the renovation break on Wednesday.

With exercise rider Bob Chapman handling both colts, Regal Ransom galloped a mile and a quarter and then Desert Party visited the starting gate and galloped a mile and a half.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is scheduled to be in Louisville on Saturday when the final works for the colts are scheduled. A decision from Sheikh Mohammed on which horses jockeys Ramon Dominguez and Alan Garcia will ride is expected Thursday.

FLAT OUT – Oxbow Racing’s Flat Out was “good and frisky” Wednesday morning according to trainer Charles “Scooter” Dickey. Flat Out had worked five furlongs in 1:03.80 on Tuesday.

FLYING PRIVATE – Robert Baker and William Mack’s Flying Private walked the shedrow at Barn 44 a day after working five furlongs in 1:01.20 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Robby Albarado, who was aboard for the work, has the riding assignment in Kentucky Derby 135.

FRIESAN FIRE – Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire, winner of three consecutive graded stakes at Fair Grounds, is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs from keeneland on Friday afternoon.
Trained by Larry Jones and scheduled to be ridden by Gabriel Saez, Friesan Fire will be housed in Barn 45 with Monday, April 27 slated as his work day.

GENERAL QUARTERS – Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy sent General Quarters out for a mile and a half gallop before the renovation break with exercise rider Julie Sheets in the saddle.

McCarthy plans to work his Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner five furlongs in the morning at 7 o’clock (all times EDT) with Sheets aboard. 

Julien Leparoux will ride the Sky Mesa colt in Derby 135.

HOLD ME BACK – WinStar Farm’s Hold Me Back is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Wednesday from Keeneland.

Trained by Bill Mott, Hold Me Back will be stabled in Barn 19.

Kent Desormeaux, who rode Hold Me Back to a victory in the Lane’s End (Grade II) and a runner-up finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I), has the Derby riding assignment.

I WANT REVENGE – IEAH Stables, David Lanzman and Puglisi Racing’s I Want Revenge walked the shedrow at Barn 24 a day after working five furlongs in 1:01.60.

Bobby Troeger, assistant to trainer Jeff Mullins, said I Want Revenge would return to the track Thursday morning. Mullins is scheduled to return to Louisville on Saturday with I Want Revenge having his final pre-Derby work on Tuesday.

MINE THAT BIRD – Double Eagle Ranch and Bueno Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird, a midnight arrival at Churchill Downs, backtracked once around with exercise rider Charlie Figueroa up before the renovation break Wednesday morning.

Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. said that Mine That Bird would gallop the next four days and then work Monday morning with jockey Calvin Borel getting aboard for the first time.

“I just wanted him to get the kinks out from the trip this morning,” Woolley said.

Fourth in the Sunland Derby in his most recent start, Mine That Bird worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Sunland Park on Sunday before beginning his journey by van the next day to Louisville.

Woolley, a former quarter horse trainer, is hobbling around on crutches, the result of a motorcycle mishap.

“I’ve got a plate and 12 screws in there,” Woolley said of his right leg that sustained multiple fractures. “I was riding my chopper and hit some gravel and took a spill. I’ve been on crutches for two months and have another two months to go.”

Woolley attended the Kentucky Derby as a spectator in the 1980s.

“I said I would never come back to the Derby unless I had a horse,” Woolley said. “I left the decision to the owners (about the Derby) and I was really hoping they would come.

“You dream all your life of getting here and I will make that walk (with the horses to the paddock for the Derby).”

MR. HOT STUFF – WinStar Farm’s Mr. Hot Stuff is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs from his Southern California base Monday, April 27.

Trained by Eoin Harty, Mr. Hot Stuff worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 at Santa Anita on Monday and is scheduled to work again on Sunday, April 26 at the Southern California track before he heads to Kentucky.

MUSKET MAN – Eric Fein and Vic Carlson’s Musket Man galloped a mile and five-eighths shortly after the track opened at 6 a.m. Wednesday with exercise rider Salvador Dominguez up.

Trained by Derek Ryan, Musket Man is scheduled to work Saturday.

PAPA CLEM – Bo Hirsch’s Papa Clem galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break with exercise rider Nate Quinonez up.

Rafael Bejarano, who rode Papa Clem to victory in the Arkansas Derby (Grade II) has the Kentucky Derby assignment. Trained by Papa Clem is scheduled to work Saturday.

PIONEEROF THE NILE – Zayat Stables’ Pioneerof the Nile walked the shedrow at Barn 33 on Wednesday morning, a day after working five furlongs in 1:00.80.

“He is doing great this morning,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He will jog in the morning and stand in the gate."  Garrett Gomez has the mount on Pioneerof the Nile.

QUALITY ROAD – Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, winner of the Fountain of Youth (Grade II) and Florida Derby (Grade I), is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on April 28.

SQUARE EDDIE – J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, a Tuesday afternoon arrival at Churchill Downs, made his first appearance on the Churchill Downs track, jogging once around accompanied by a pony shortly before 7 a.m.

Exercise rider Tony Romero was aboard Square Eddie, who arrived from Keeneland on Tuesday afternoon. Leandro Mora is overseeing Square Eddie’s preparation for trainer Doug O’Neill, who is scheduled to come to Louisville on Sunday.

“Square Eddie will gallop in the morning and will work Saturday or Sunday,” Mora said.

Corey Nakatini has accepted the mount on Square Eddie, who ran third in last Saturday’s Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Grade II) at Keeneland.

SUMMER BIRD – K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Summer Bird arrived at Churchill Downs at 4:30 Wednesday morning after an all-out van ride from Oaklawn Park and set up shop in Barn 42, Stall 11.

After the renovation break, trainer Tim Ice led the son of Birdstone to the track to jog a mile under jockey Chris Rosier.

“We left Hot Springs about 3 yesterday afternoon, so it took us 12 ½ hours,” Ice said. “He is going to work Friday after the break. He will go six furlongs and the owners will be here.”

A former assistant to Cole Norman and Morris Nicks, Ice is no stranger to Churchill Downs.

“The last time I was here was 2003 with Beau’s Town for the Aristides,” Ice said. “We just got nipped at the wire by a Steve Asmussen horse, Mountain General.

“It is pretty exciting to be here and pretty exciting to have a Derby horse in my first year of training.”

WEST SIDE BERNIE – George and Lori Hall’s West Side Bernie galloped a mile and three-quarters before the renovation break with trainer Kelly Breen aboard.

Breen plans to work the Wood Memorial (Grade I) runner-up on Saturday.

WIN WILLY – Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, winner of the Grade II Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 14 and most recently fourth in the Arkansas Derby (Grade II), is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Thursday.

Trained by Mac Robertson and scheduled to be ridden by Cliff Berry, Win Willy will be stabled in Barn 45.

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