“Everything’s good here,” trainer Rick Dutrow said Thursday morning after Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, winner of the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) was back in Stall 12 at Barn 22 on the Churchill Downs backstretch.
With Michelle Nevin up, Big Brown went to the track before 7 o’clock and jogged a mile.
“It was drizzling and the track was sloppy, so he just jogged today,” Nevin said.
Heavy overnight rain in the Louisville area left the track listed as “muddy” during Thursday morning training hours. Big Brown completed his activity well before heavier rain hit during the final hour of training.
Owned by IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr., Big Brown is scheduled to ship to Pimlico next Wednesday. Dutrow plans to take Big Brown to New York right after the Preakness.
“He will go to Belmont after the Preakness,” Dutrow said. “I’ll let him hang out at (Bobby) Frankel’s barn instead of Aqueduct. I think he should be training at Belmont. Pat Reynolds had him there (last year) and said he really liked the track there.”
RECAPTURETHEGLORY PIMLICO-BOUND SATURDAY NIGHT – Ronald Lamarque and Louie Roussel III’s Recapturetheglory, winner of the Illinois Derby (GII), jogged a mile and galloped a mile shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday over a muddy Churchill Downs racing surface.
Lara Van Deren, assistant to trainer Roussel, was aboard Recapturetheglory, who finished fifth 11 ¾ lengths behind Big Brown in last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
“He is leaving here Saturday night for Pimlico,” Van Deren said. “He will train here the next two mornings.”
E.T. Baird, who never has ridden in the Preakness, retains the mount on Recapturetheglory.
RACECAR RHAPSODY TO WORK SATURDAY – Trainer Ken McPeek sent Racecar Rhapsody out for a mile and half gallop under Jose Castanon before the renovation break Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.
McPeek, who has had two previous Preakness starters (Harlan’s Holiday in 2002 and Tejano Run in 1995), said Racecar Rhapsody would work five furlongs Saturday morning with Castanon likely handling the work.
Owned by Jerry Carroll, Stan Kaplan, Ronald Plattner and Mark Guilfoyle, Racecar Rhapsody finished fourth in the Coolmore Lexington (Grade II) at Keeneland in his most recent start on April 19, a finish that did not net enough graded stakes earnings to make the Kentucky Derby field.
McPeek was asked if the Preakness became an immediate target after Racecar Rhapsody finished two lengths in back of Lexington winner Behindatthebar.
“Not really. We were in no rush,” McPeek said. “But the horse is doing well and the extra distance is an interesting factor.”
Robby Albarado has the mount.
STEVIL WORK SLATED FOR MONDAY – Robert LaPenta’s Stevil, fourth in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) at Keeneland in his most recent start, galloped a mile and a half under Dylan Armstrong Thursday morning at Churchill Downs as he continued his preparation for a planned run in the Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Trainer Nick Zito plans to work Stevil under the Twin Spires on Monday morning and ship to Pimlico for on Tuesday or Wednesday.
John Velazquez has the Preakness mount on Stevil.
TRES BORRACHOS FINE AFTER WORK – Beau Greely, John Greely IV and Phil Houchens’ Tres Borrachos walked the shedrow at Barn 41 at Churchill Downs on Thursday morning, a day after working five furlongs in :59.60.
Trainer Beau Greely opted to keep Tres Borrachos at Churchill Downs after the Ecton Park gelding did not make the Kentucky Derby field because of insufficient graded stakes earnings and shoot for the Preakness rather than targeting a spot such as Saturday’s $400,000 Lone Star Derby (Grade III).
“We try to win big races,” Greely said. “(The Preakness) is a million dollar race and it’s not every day that you get a chance to try it.”
Tyler Baze, who never has had a Preakness mount, has the call on Tres Borrachos.
MACHO AGAIN REMAINS PREAKNESS POSSIBILITY– West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, winner of the Derby Trial, galloped a mile and a half over a muddy track before the mid-morning renovation break at Churchill Downs.
Jeff Lifson, a representative of West Point, said ownership is “keeping our options open for the Preakness,” adding that the May 31 Ohio Derby (Grade II) and the June 7 Woody Stephens Breeders’ Cup Stakes (Grade II) also are under consideration.
BARN TALK – Trainer Buff Bradley said that millionaire Brass Hat will return to the turf for his next start. Brass Hat, owned by Fred Bradley, worked five furlongs on the main track Wednesday morning in 1:01.40, but Buff Bradley said the $150,000 Louisville Handicap (GIII) at a mile and a half on the grass on May 24 would be up next.
“He will stay on the grass at least for the next one,” Buff Bradley said.
Just then, 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin passed by on his way back to the barn.
“…Or, I could run for second against him in the Stephen Foster (on June 14), which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing,” Bradley said.
In his most recent start, Brass Hat ran third in the Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes (GII) at a mile and a half on the grass at Keeneland on April 25. He finished second to A. P. Arrow in last fall’s $500,000 Clark Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs.