Kentucky Derby

Derby and Oaks News: Big Derby Work Day Friday, Rachel’s Valentina Works for Oaks

Rachel's Valentina - Morning Work - CD - 042816-Photo Credit: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Churchill Downs/Coady Photography


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, April 28, 2016) – With rain expected to start late Friday night and continuing into Saturday, the rush to get in final breezes for the 142nd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on a fast track shifted to tomorrow with eight horses scheduled to breeze with the possibility of another five.

Scheduled to breeze are Destin and Outwork for Todd Pletcher, Majesto for Gustavo Delgado, Mohaymen for Kiaran McLaughlin, Mo Tom for Tom Amoss, Suddenbreakingnews for Donnie Von Hemel, Whitmore for Ron Moquett and Discreetness for Jinks Fires. Horses that could move planned Saturday works up a day include Brody’s Cause and Cherry Wine for Dale Romans, My Man Sam and Shagaf for Chad Brown and Fellowship for Mark Casse.

Scheduled to work at Keeneland tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. before the first race is Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist is scheduled to leave Keeneland around noon Saturday to come to Churchill Downs and will be stabled in Barn 41.

Overnight rain in Louisville left some water on the track Thursday morning with the track condition listed as “good” before the morning renovation break and “fast” after the break.

Working at 6 a.m. for Todd Pletcher, Mo d’Amour worked a half-mile in company in :48.20. After the break, Rachel’s Valentina worked a half-mile in company in :47.80.

Also working before the break was Paola Queen, who covered six furlongs in 1:13.60.


BRODY’S CAUSE/CHERRY WINE – The Albaugh Family Stable’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Brody’s Cause galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under exercise rider Miguel Garcia for trainer Dale Romans.

Also galloping the same distance after the break was William Pacella, Frank Jones Jr. and Frank Shoop’s Cherry Wine. Faustino Aguilar was at the controls of the gray son of Paddy O’Prado who stands 25th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

CREATOR/GUN RUNNER – WinStar Farm’s Creator and Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farms’ Gun Runner both visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 ¼ miles after the renovation break for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Creator, winner of the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, was partnered by Abel Flores and Gun Runner, winner of the Louisiana Derby (GII) in his most recent start, had Carlos Rosas aboard.

DAZZLING GEM – Steve Landers Racing’s Dazzling Gem, 24th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 ½ miles under Fernando Espinoza after the break.

Trainer Brad Cox said Dazzling Gem is scheduled to work Saturday, “but I’ll be watching the weather and I could push it back to Sunday.”

DESTIN/OUTWORK – Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Destin and Repole Stable’s Outwork galloped 1 ½ miles after the break for trainer Todd Pletcher. Ovel Merida was aboard Destin, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (GII), and Hector Ramos was aboard Wood Memorial (GI) winner Outwork.

Pletcher said both colts are scheduled to work after the break Friday with Derby riders John Velazquez (Outwork) and Javier Castellano (Destin) slated to be aboard.

DISCREETNESS – Xpress Thoroughbreds’ Discreetness, 26th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, galloped after the renovation break under Paul Griffith for trainer Jinks Fires. Sixth in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Discreetness is scheduled to work Friday.

EXAGGERATOR – Big Chief Racing, Head of Plains Partners and Rocker O Ranch’s Exaggerator, who arrived at Churchill Downs at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon from Santa Anita, walked the shedrow during training hours and afterward had a schooling session in the paddock.

Julie Clark, assistant to trainer Keith Desormeaux, said Exaggerator would go to the track Friday and has a work scheduled for Saturday, depending on the weather.

Desormeaux is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Thursday. He will be at the barn Friday morning and would prefer to meet with media at 10 o’clock after training hours.

FELLOWSHIP – Jacks or Better Farm’s Fellowship, 21st on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Brian O’Leary for trainer Mark Casse.

Third in the Florida Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Fellowship is scheduled to work Saturday, a move that could be pushed forward a day.

“Like everybody else, we are watching the weather,” said Norman Casse, assistant to his father. “This weather here is driving me crazy!”

LANI – Koji Maeda’s UAE Derby (Group II) winner Lani returned to the track a day after working three furlongs in :37.40.

Going out after the renovation break with exercise rider Eishu Maruuchi aboard, Lani jogged a mile, then galloped two miles and finished up by walking one circuit of the track before walking a little more in the mile chute.

Trainer Mikio Matsunaga is expected to arrive in Louisville Monday night.

MAJESTO – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Majesto galloped before the renovation break under exercise rider J.J. Delgado as a prelude to a five-furlong work Friday.

“The rider tells me he is getting hold of the track well,” trainer Gustavo Delgado said.

Delgado has said he will wait until the weekend to confirm a rider for Majesto.

MOHAYMEN – Shadwell Stable’s Mohaymen galloped a mile and three-eighths under exercise rider Miguel Jaime for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

“He will work in the morning during the 8:30 to 8:45 window,” McLaughlin said. “I would say it would be closer to 8:45 to avoid what looks like will be a rush at 8:30.

MOR SPIRIT – Michael Petersen’s Mor Spirit jogged once around after the break under exercise rider George Alvarez for trainer Bob Baffert.

It was the first day back on the track for Mor Spirit, who worked five furlongs in :59.80 on Tuesday under Derby rider Gary Stevens.

MO TOM – G M B Racing’s Mo Tom galloped after the break under exercise rider Mario Garcia and is scheduled to work Friday morning.

“Tentatively, we plan to work at 8:30 but it is a concern if a lot of horses breeze at the same time,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “We could go earlier.”

MY MAN SAM/SHAGAF – Sheep Pond Partners, Newport Stables and Jay Bligh’s My Man Sam galloped after the break under Daniel Bernardini as did his Chad Brown-trained stablemate Shagaf, owned by Shadwell Stable. Gian Cueva was aboard Shagaf.

“I am inclined to work the Derby colts on Saturday, but we are watching the weather,” Brown said, adding with a smile, “Just what is a 30 percent chance of rain here?”

OSCAR NOMINATED – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Oscar Nominated galloped 1 ¼ miles at the nearby Trackside Training Center under Joel Cano for trainer Mike Maker.

SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS – Samuel Henderson’s Suddenbreakingnews jogged a mile and galloped a mile under exercise rider Ramiro Gorostieta for trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

Runner-up in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Suddenbreakingnews was scheduled to work Saturday. However, with the forecast for rain starting Friday night, Von Hemel said the work could move up a day.

“I’d say there is a real chance that will happen,” Von Hemel said.

TOM’S READY – G M B Racing’s Tom’s Ready, runner-up in the Louisiana Derby (GII) in his most recent start, galloped 1 ½ miles after the break under exercise rider Emerson Chavez for trainer Dallas Stewart.

Stewart plans to work Tom’s Ready on Saturday or Sunday.

WHITMORE – Robert LaPenta, Harry Rosenblum and Southern Springs Stable’s Whitmore galloped a mile and three-eighths after the break under Laura Moquett.

Third in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Whitmore is scheduled to breeze Friday morning with trainer Ron Moquett saying track condition would determine what time the gelding would work.


CARINA MIA – Three Chimneys Farm’s Carina Mia, 17th on the Oaks leaderboard, galloped after the break under Penny Gardiner for trainer Bill Mott.

DREAM DANCE – Stoneway Farm’s Dream Dance galloped a mile and three-eighths before the break under exercise rider Joel Dominguez for trainer Neil Howard.

Runner-up in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), Dream Dance is scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday.

GO MAGGIE GO – Mike Tarp’s Go Maggie Go galloped 1 ½ miles after the break under Tammy Fox for trainer Dale Romans.

Winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) in her most recent start, Go Maggie Go is scheduled to work Saturday, a move that could move to Friday given the weather forecast.

LEWIS BAY – Alpha Delta Stables’ Gazelle (GII) winner Lewis Bay galloped at 7 o’clock under exercise rider Gian Cueva for trainer Chad Brown.

Brown plans to work Lewis Bay Friday morning.

MARQUEE MISS – Joe Ragsdale’s Marquee Miss, 18th on the Oaks leaderboard, was scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs early Thursday afternoon from Keeneland. Ingrid Mason trains Marquee Miss.

MO D’AMOUR/RACHEL’S VALENTINA/THRILLED – Trainer Todd Pletcher put his Kentucky Oaks hopefuls through their final major works for next Friday’s race with works Thursday morning.

First to go at 6 o’clock was King of Prussia Stable’s Mo d’Amour. With Amy Mullen aboard and working in company with Noble and True, Mo d’Amour clocked a half-mile in :48.20. Fractions for the work were :13, :25, :36.60, :48.20 and a five-eighths out time of 1:00.60 and six furlongs in 1:13.60. The move, over a track labeled as “good,” was the seventh fastest of 22 at the distance.

Next up at 6:40 was Michael Tabor’s Thrilled, who worked in company with Grade I winner Curalina. With Ovel Merida aboard, Thrilled covered five furlongs in 1:00.20 with fractions of :13.20, :25.20, :36.60, :48.20 and out six furlongs in 1:14.20. The move was the second fastest of 12 at the distance.

After the break, Stonestreet Stables’ Rachel’s Valentina, working in company with Caribbean, clocked a half-mile in :47.80 over a track that was upgraded to fast.

With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Rachel’s Valentina posted fractions of :12.80, :24.80, :36.40, :47.80 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.80 and six furlongs in 1:14.20.

“I thought both Rachel’s Valentina and Mo d’Amour worked very well,” Pletcher said. “They got over the surface well, finished strong and galloped out well. I was very pleased with both.”

As for Thrilled, who is 21st on the Oaks leaderboard, Pletcher said, “She worked well, but it is probably a moot point as far as the Oaks. We will look at the ($150,000) Selene (GIII at 1 1/16 miles on May 15 at Woodbine) or the ($250,000) Black-Eyed Susan (GII at 1 1/8 miles on May 20 at Pimlico).”

MOKAT – JK Racing Stable’s Mokat jogged before the renovation break under exercise rider Martin Ruiz.

Runner-up in the Santa Anita Oaks (GI) in her most recent start, Mokat arrived at Churchill Downs at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon. Trainer Richard Baltas is scheduled to arrive in Louisville later Thursday.

NICKNAME/ROYAL OBSESSION/TAXABLE/TERRA PROMESSA – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s four Kentucky Oaks hopefuls had similar routines Thursday morning with visits to the starting gate and 1 ¼-mile gallops.

All this activity occurred before the renovation break with Carlos Rosas partnering Stonestreet Stables’ Royal Obsession and LNJ Foxwoods’ Nickname. Abel Flores was aboard Stonestreet Stables’ Terra Promessa and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Taxable.

PAOLA QUEEN – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Paola Queen, 15th on the Oaks leaderboard, worked six furlongs before the break in 1:13.60 under exercise rider J.J. Delgado.

Fractions on the move were :13, :25.40, :37.20, :49.60, 1:13.60 with gallop-out times of 1:27.20 and 1:41.

Trainer Gustavo Delgado was pleased with the move, noting the last quarter-mile in :24. “For me, that is good,” Delgado said.

VENUS VALENTINE – Rosemont Farm’s Venus Valentine walked the shedrow a day after working a half-mile in :49.40.

“She came out of the work in good shape,” trainer Tom Amoss said.

WEEP NO MORE – Ashbrook Farm’s Weep No More visited the starting gate after the break and then had an easy gallop under exercise rider Alex Gonzales for trainer Rusty Arnold.

Winner of the Central Bank Ashland (GI) in her most recent start, Weep No More is scheduled to work Sunday.


$100,000 KENTUCKY JUVENILE (Entries taken Saturday, race Thursday, May 5) – Probable: Classic Empire, Hey Mike, Lawton, Polar City, Rapa Iti.

$400,000 ALYSHEBA (GII) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Cat Burglar, Coin Broker, Departing, La Macchina, Looks to Spare, Majestic Affair, Natchez, Noble Bird, Regally Ready. Possible:  Blue Tone, Eagle.

$300,000 LA TROIENNE (GI) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Angela Renee, Curalina, Penwith, Sheer Drama.

$200,000 EIGHT BELLES (GII) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Blast, Blip n’ Th Bye, Durango, Frozen Hannah, Put Da Blame On Me, Stageplay. Possible: Cash Back.

$150,000 EDGEWOOD (GIII) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Adore, Believe in Bertie, Catch a Glimpse, Dothraki Queen, Enjoy Yourself (GB), Harmonize, Jeremy’s Legacy (IRE), Nodiac (IRE), Outsider Art, Sky My Sky. Possible: Ava’s Kitten. 

$150,000 TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT (GIII) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Billy Two Hats, Guns Loaded, Latent Revenge, Mongol Bull, Something Extra, Speightsong. Possible: Alsvid, Power Alert (AUS).

$500,000 WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC (GI) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Big Blue Kitten, Bolo, Chocolate Ride, Danish Dynaformer, Divisidero, Finnegans Wake, Grand Arch, Reporting Star, Roman Approval, Tourist, World Approval. Possible: Tepin.

$300,000 HUMANA DISTAFF (GI) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Dancing House, Kathbalu, Sarah Sis, Spelling Again, Stonetastic, Taris, Wavell Avenue.

$500,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS (GII) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Barbados, Holy Boss, Kobe’s Back, Limousine Liberal, Squadron A.

$300,000 CHURCHILL DISTAFF TURF MILE (GII) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Bureau de Change, Cash Control, Celestine, Isabella Sings, Josdesanimaux, Mississippi Delta, Rainha Da Bateria, Super Saks, Zipessa. Possible: Tepin.

$300,000 AMERICAN TURF (GII) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Airoforce, American Patriot, Azar, Camelot Kitten, Converge, Dressed in Hermes, J R’s Holiday, Surgical Strike, Two Step Time.

$250,000 PAT DAY MILE (GIII) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: American Freedom, Cocked and Loaded, Discreetness, Forevamo, Imperial Hint, Lookin for a Kiss, Sea Wizard, Star Hill, Unbridled Outlaw.

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