Kentucky Derby

Derby and Oaks News: Exaggerator, Brody’s Cause Post Five-Furlong Drills for Derby 142

Exaggerator - Morning Work - CD - 043016-Photo Credit: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, April 30, 2016) – As a little drizzle began to fall, major Kentucky Derby contenders Exaggerator and Brody’s Cause turned in five-furlong works to complete their major preparation for next Saturday’s $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).

Big Chief Racing, Head of Plains Partners and Rocker O Ranch’s Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 with three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard for his brother, trainer Keith Desormeaux.

Albaugh Family Stable’s Brody’s Cause, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI), worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 under Tammy Fox for trainer Dale Romans.

Working shortly after the track opened at 5:45, Steve Landers Racing’s Dazzling Gem, 24th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40.

Ashbrook Farm’s Weep No More, winner of the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (GI) in her most recent start, worked a half-mile in :49.60 before 6 o’clock with jockey Corey Lanerie aboard for trainer Rusty Arnold.


BRODY’S CAUSE/CHERRY WINE – Albaugh Family Stable’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Brody’s Cause put in his final serious work for the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) going five furlongs in 1:00.20, which was the fourth best of 57 workouts at the distance. Churchill Downs’ clockers caught the son of Giant’s Causeway in eighth-mile splits of :11.60, :23.40, :35.40, :50.40, galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.60 and seven furlongs in 1:29.60.

“I think Brody’s Cause worked great,” trainer Dale Romans said following the work in which Tammy Fox was in the saddle. “He came back great and looked like he had never done anything. It’s a great sign, he’s ready. All the heavy lifting is over. We just have to keep him happy and fresh until next weekend. This is what we were looking for this morning. He galloped out nice and relaxed and went fast even though he was relaxed and came back like he had never done anything.”

Romans has had six Kentucky Derby contenders in previous years, all of which had “at least a little question mark to be concerned about.” Brody’s Cause, however, is an exception.

“I’ve had a lot of good horses going into the Derby and they proved to be good horses even after the Derby, but no one has come into the race that really didn’t have any question marks,” Romans said. “We know that he likes the racetrack, we know he can get the distance, we know he’s been in big fields and we know he’s fit and doing well. If you went down your list of concerns, you can check every one of them off because they are not concerns.”

While there is a strong lack of doubt about Brody’s Cause’s ability to perform on the first Saturday in May, this is not to say that Romans feels more relaxed going into the race.

“I’m a little more stressed,” Romans said. “The others weren’t as highly regarded, the others had something to be concerned about, this one doesn’t have any in my opinion, and that makes me more stressed because it doesn’t give me any excuse.”

Also breezing for Romans was William Pacella, Frank L. Jones Jr. and Frank Shoop’s Cherry Wine, third to stablemate Brody’s Cause in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes last time out. The son of Paddy O’Prado breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 in fractions of :11.80, :23.40, :35.60, :47.60, galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven furlongs 1:27.60. He is No. 25 on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 25 points.

“If Cherry Wine gets in, he will be a contender. He worked that good. Otherwise, Preakness,” Romans said.

CREATOR/GUN RUNNER – WinStar Farm’s Creator and Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner galloped a mile and half Saturday morning after the renovation break.

Assistant trainer Scott Blasi was pleased with how both colts exercised. “Great, both of them,” Blasi said. “Good energy. Traveling nice.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen was “working babies” at Keeneland on Saturday morning, Blasi said.

Creator and Gun Runner are scheduled to have their final pre-Derby workouts Monday.

DANZING CANDY – Halo Farms, Jim and Dianne Bashor’s Danzing Candy put in his final workout for the Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong breeze going :59.60 at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center with exercise rider Rolando Quinones in the irons.

“He worked very good and breezed very nice,” trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said following the work. “I was looking for 1:01 but the horse just did it so nicely, and he galloped out very, very good in 1:12.60.”

Danzing Candy, a winner of the March 12 San Felipe (GII) at Santa Anita two starts ago, will give Sise his first Kentucky Derby starter.

“It’s going to be very exciting for us,” Sise said. “I don’t think it’s really going to hit us until the walkover though.” 

DAZZLING GEM – Steve Landers Racing LLC’s Dazzling Gem impressed his trainer Brad Cox with his work Saturday morning, but now the waiting game begins to see if he will draw into the 20-horse field. The Misremembered colt, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 shortly after the track opened, is sitting 24th on the list of potential starters and would need four defections to get in. His work was the ninth fastest of 55 at the distance.

“He worked super good,” Cox said. “He couldn’t have worked any better. He seems to have cooled out good. I’m super encouraged by it. Hopefully, we’ll draw in.”

Cox said if Dazzling Gem doesn’t draw into the Kentucky Derby, he’ll be considered for the Preakness Stakes (GI) May 21 at Pimlico or the Peter Pan Stakes (GII) May 14 at Belmont Park. However, he has no fears about taking their chances in the Derby if they luck out.

“Fitness certainly won’t be a problem,” Cox said. “He’s had two 1 1/8-mile races. We just have to see what happens.”

DESTIN/OUTWORK – The Kentucky Derby-bound tandem of Destin and Outwork jogged a mile and visited the starting gate during the Derby/Oaks special training period between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. Saturday at Churchill Downs. They both had put in their final works for the classic Friday, each going five furlongs (Destin: 1:01.20; Outwork 1:01) at the Louisville oval. Ovel Merida handled Destin, while Hector Ramos was aboard Outwork Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher.

While the majority of horsemen will standardly walk their horses the day after a workout, Pletcher prefers to put most of his workers on the track the next morning.

“I like to see how they are moving,” Pletcher said. “I get a better sense of how they came out of their works that way. Besides, with the way the rain is projected for today and tomorrow, the track tomorrow might not be the best. If that’s the case, this gives me the option to walk them tomorrow morning.”

Pletcher has Javier Castellano lined up to handle Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Destin in the Run for the Roses, while Wood Memorial (GI) hero Outwork has been assigned to Hall of Famer John Velazquez.

DISCREETNESS – Xpress Thoroughbreds’ Discreetness walked the shedrow at trainer Jinks Fires’ barn a day after working five furlongs in 1:00.40.

Sixth in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Discreetness is 26th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and in need of six defections to make the Derby field.

“It looks like it will be the Pat Day Mile (GIII next Saturday),” Fires said, adding with a laugh, “but I am keeping the (Derby) saddle towel until the fat lady sings.”

EXAGGERATOR – The Desormeaux Boys worked together Saturday morning at Churchill Downs getting their Kentucky Derby runner Exaggerator through his final major prep for next Saturday’s 142ndRun for the Roses. They got it done at 8:30 with a steady 1:02.60 for five furlongs, beating the rain that visited Louisville just a few minutes after the exercise.

“The track was a little loose, but he had a good work,” said a slightly breathless Kent Desormeaux, who jumped off the Curlin colt and into a car for a dash to the airport and a 9:30 flight back to his California base where he was scheduled to ride Saturday afternoon at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Churchill clockers caught the Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner in splits of :12.80, :25.20, :37.80 and :50.40 en route to his final time.  They followed him on the gallop out with fractions of 1:15.60 and 1:29.60.

Kent had jetted in from California Friday night and crashed on brother Keith’s couch in Louisville. They spoke by phone Saturday after the work as Kent was airport bound.

“Kent told me he thought the track was a little loose and that the horse labored just a bit getting started,” the older Desormeaux brother said at Barn 25 afterward. “But he also said he got into a good rhythm and he finished up very strong. He said he never asked him but that the colt had good energy from the eighth pole to the seven-eighths; that he did it all on his own. Then he galloped out well and finished up the way you’d like him to.”

Keith likened the drill to a similar one his charge had just prior to winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

“He worked at Santa Anita in a similar time (1:02.80) and fashion before winning their big race,” he said. “That tells me he’s still at least at the level he was before his big effort in that one. I don’t work my horses fast; I prefer to go the stamina route. I know that goes against the general grain, but that’s what I prefer to do. I want them to go on and I train them that way. I think he’s in a good place right now and I’m glad to have this last (work) done.”

Exaggerator, a winner of four of nine starts and more than $1.6 million in purses, figures to be one of the favorites for the May 7 Derby.  That will be the next time the Desormeaux Boys will work together again.

FELLOWSHIP – Jacks or Better Farm’s Fellowship, No. 21 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, walked the shedrow at trainer Mark Casse’s barn a day after working a bullet half-mile in :47.

Norman Casse, assistant to his father, said Fellowship probably would jog with the barn’s first set shortly after the track opens Sunday morning.

LANI – Koji Maeda’s Lani, with exercise rider Eishu Maruuchi aboard, returned to the track after a day off Friday with his usual routine of jogging a mile, galloping two miles and then making another leisurely circuit of the track before walking for a time in the mile chute.

Keita Tanaka, the agent for the owner and serving as spokesman for the entourage, said Lani did some looking around early in his exercise as runners for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon ran through the infield.

Tanaka said Lani, winner of the UAE Derby (Group II) in his most recent start, may visit the starting gate Sunday as part of his morning routine.

MAJESTO – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Majesto walked the shedrow at trainer Gustavo Delgado’s barn a day after working five furlongs in 1:01.40.

Delgado still was waiting on the owner’s OK to name a rider for Majesto.

“I called him (Alejandro Ceballos) last night and he hasn’t made up his mind,” Delgado said. “Right now I have no rider for Majesto or for Paola Queen (in the Kentucky Oaks) or Grand Tito (for the Woodford Reserve).”

MOHAYMEN – Shadwell Stable’s Mohaymen walked the shedrow at trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn a day after working a half-mile in :47.40.

“He’s good this morning and ate up everything,” said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother. “He’s out there now grazing before the rain starts.”

MOR SPIRIT – Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, aboard the barn’s trusted stable pony Smokey, led Mor Spirit to the track to gallop 1 ½ miles under George Alvarez during the special 8:30 a.m. training time. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is due to arrive in Louisville tonight.

MO TOM – G M B Racing’s Mo Tom, with exercise rider Mario Garcia aboard, jogged once around the Churchill Downs track and schooled in the paddock Saturday morning, a day after working a half-mile in :48.60.

Trainer Tom Amoss said he typically doesn’t send horses to the track on the day after they work. “I wouldn’t do it with an ordinary horse, but I want to accomplish some things schooling-wise, and I want to do it on a day when he doesn’t do much,” Amoss said. “It doesn’t hurt a horse like him. He can handle a lot.”

MY MAN SAM/SHAGAF – Both of trainer Chad Brown’s top 3-year-old colts – Sheep Pond Partners, Newport Stables and Jay. W. Bligh’s My Man Sam and Shadwell Stable’s Shagaf – walked the shedrow at Barn 42 a day after putting in their final timed workouts in advance of Kentucky Derby 142.

Brown was satisfied with the breezes, which he said were exactly what he would expect from them. My Man Sam was timed going a half-mile in :49.60 by Churchill Downs clockers.

“I had him a little better,” Brown said. “I got him in 48 and change. He went very well and came out of the work good so far.”

Shagaf worked later in the morning and was given an official time of  :47.80 with a five-eighths gallop-out in 1:00.20.

“He galloped out very well,” Brown said. “He continues to really train well over Churchill’s surface. I’ve been very impressed with this horse and how he’s handling Churchill’s track. He just tends to be the best work horse out of the three (including Kentucky Oaks contender Lewis Bay). He tends to work a little bit faster in the mornings. It’s normal for him and what we saw was the norm for both horses.”

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., the nation’s third-leading rider by wins and earnings, was the regular rider for both horses before they ran in separate prep races on April 6. Ortiz elected to stick with the more-accomplished Shagaf that day, but subsequently elected to ride My Man Sam in the Derby.

“I left it up to him and his agent what they wanted to do,” Brown said. “In their opinion, for this particular race, they chose My Man Sam because his prep race was better. That’s the way they explained it to me. I don’t factor that in at all as far as my feelings for Shagaf. As his trainer I can tell you the horse is training better than ever. He’s undefeated on a dry track. I don’t think it was an easy decision for the jockey and agent. I don’t think one is flourishing over the other. They are well aware that Shagaf could very well win the race and they understand that and accept that.”

Joel Rosario, winner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby on Orb, has picked up the mount on Shagaf. On Wednesday afternoon Rosario won his first race since being sidelined with a fractured wrist in February. 

NYQUIST – Trainer Doug O’Neill almost always looks on the bright side when it comes to his racehorses. He’s shining especially brilliantly when it comes to his undefeated champion Nyquist.

“He’s just doing great,” he said Saturday morning as his colt prepared to ship from Keeneland to Barn 41 at Churchill Downs. “He could not have come out of his work (a mile in 1:41 Friday) here any better. He ate up everything in sight and this morning we put a new pair of shoes on him. He’s doing unbelievably well and we’re ready to come over and run in the Derby.”

Nyquist left Keeneland at noon for the ship to Churchill Downs.

Nyquist arriving at Churchill Downs.

Posted by Kentucky Derby on Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nyquist is a picture-perfect seven for seven in his career thus far with five of those victories (including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) earning him an Eclipse Award as the nation’s top juvenile colt last year. Subsequently this year he has clicked in the San Vincente (GII) at Santa Anita and the Florida Derby (GI) at Gulfstream to earn him the role of likely Kentucky Derby favorite. His series of victories, which also included a special $1 million bonus for winning the Florida Derby, additionally earned him a bankroll that now reads $3,322,600 – the most purse money a horse has brought to the Run for the Roses.

Mario Gutierrez, who has handled the son of Uncle Mo in all of his outings, will once again be aboard next Saturday. 

OSCAR NOMINATED – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Oscar Nominated, winner of the Spiral Stakes (GIII) at Turfway Park this month, walked the shedrow of trainer Mike Maker’s local base at the Trackside Training Center, four miles east of Churchill Downs. The Kitten’s Joy colt vanned to Churchill on Friday for a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.80 with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard under the supervision of Maker, as well as Nolan Ramsey, the Ramseys’ grandson, who works for Maker.

“Both Mike and Nolan thought it was a good workout and said he had a lot of energy,” Ken Ramsey said. “I spoke with Julien in the afternoon at Keeneland and he liked the work and thought the horse was coming up to the race the correct way. We’re pleased with our preparations so far.”

Oscar Nominated is by Ramsey’s prize stallion Kitten’s Joy, whose progeny have been wildly successful on turf but rarely race at an elite level on dirt. Accordingly, Oscar Nominated was campaigned exclusively on the grass before earning his way into the Derby over Turfway’s synthetic Polytrack.

“It looks like he’s taken to the dirt no problem,” Ramsey said. “Mike says that of the probably 100 or so Kitten’s Joys he’s trained over the years he likes this one on the dirt better than any of the rest of them.”

Oscar Nominated will remain at Trackside until all Derby horses are required to be at Churchill Downs on Wednesday.

SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS – Samuel F. Henderson’s Suddenbreakingnews got to spend the cloudy Saturday morning sleeping in, one day after working five furlongs in :59.60. He was walked around the shedrow of Barn 22 and likely will return to the track Sunday depending on the weather.

“He’s good,” said trainer Donnie Von Hemel, who is making his first Kentucky Derby appearance since 1989. “He seems to be happy, so we’re happy.”

TOM’S READY – G M B Racing’s Tom’s Ready walked in the barn for trainer Dallas Stewart the day after working five furlongs in :59.40.

Stewart said Tom’s Ready ate well Friday night and Saturday morning and appears to have come out of the workout in good shape.

“He got better from last week to this week,” Stewart said. “Hopefully, next week he’ll make one more move forward, and I think he’s got to. There are some very nice horses in here.”

Tom’s Ready will jog early Sunday morning, Stewart said.

TROJAN NATION – Trainer Paddy Gallagher reported from his Santa Anita headquarters that all was well Saturday morning with his Wood Memorial (GI) runner-up Trojan Nation, who’ll attempt next Saturday to become the first maiden to win the Kentucky Derby since Broker’s Tip in 1933.

“He just went for a jog this morning,” Gallagher said. “We’re doing good.”

Trojan Nation, a Street Cry colt who shows a second and three thirds in six career starts, had put in a final drill Thursday at Santa Anita with six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.60. He once again will be handled by veteran Aaron Gryder in the Run for the Roses and is scheduled to ship from California on Monday.

“I’m trying to get a plane (for myself) for either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” Gallagher said. “We’ll get there one way or another.”

WHITMORE – Both trainer Ron Moquett and his wife, Laura, Whitmore‘s regular exercise rider, were both extremely pleased Saturday morning with how their Pleasantly Perfect gelding exited his Friday five-furlong workout in 1:00.

“He’s perfect,” Ron Moquett said of Whitmore, who is owned by Robert LaPenta, Harry Rosenblum and Moquett’s Southern Springs Stable. “He couldn’t have come out of the work any better.”

Weather permitting, the Arkansas Derby (GI) third-place finisher would return to the track Sunday


CARINA MIA – Three Chimneys Farm’s Carina Mia galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Penny Gardiner for trainer Bill Mott.

Fourth in the Central Bank Ashland (GI) in her 2016 debut, Carina Mia is 17th on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard.

CATHRYN SOPHIA – Cash is King’s Cathryn Sophia worked a half-mile shortly after 6 o’clock Saturday morning at Keeneland under exercise rider Jerry Ortega.

“It was just what I wanted and we beat the rain,” trainer John Servis said. “I got her in :50 and change. I know the clockers got her slower, but I told Jerry I didn’t want to do too much since she had the big work last week.”

Last Saturday, Cathryn Sophia worked five furlongs in :59.60 under Paco Lopez.

“She is coming into the race perfectly,” Servis said of the filly who finished third in the Central Bank Ashland (GI) in her most recent start. “We will probably leave Keeneland tomorrow after training hours and be at Churchill in the afternoon.”

DOTHRAKI QUEEN – Magdalena Racing’s Dothraki Queen walked the shedrow at trainer Kenny McPeek’s barn a day after working five furlongs in 1:00.60 under Gary Stevens.

Dothraki Queen is 16th on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard.

DREAM DANCE – Stoneway Farm’s Dream Dance walked the shedrow at trainer Neil Howard’s barn a day after working five furlongs in :59.60.

“She came out of the work good and will go back to the track tomorrow,” Howard said.

GO MAGGIE GO – Mike Tarp’s Go Maggie Go walked the shedrow at trainer Dale Romans barn a day after working five furlongs in 1:03.60.

LAND OVER SEA – Trainer Doug O’Neill said Land Over Sea was doing “wonderfully well” Saturday morning at Keeneland and was set to ship to Churchill Downs at noon with stablemate Nyquist, the likely favorite for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby.

Land Over Sea came out of her Friday morning work (five furlongs in 1:01.80) in fine fashion and ate up well Friday evening. “We’re ready to give them a try in the Oaks,” O’Neill said.

The Kentucky-bred filly who – like Nyquist – races in the silks of the trainer’s main client, Paul Reddam, sports a pair of wins and four seconds for earnings of $472,000 heading into the rich classic. Her most recent effort was a daylight victory in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) on March 26.

Mario Gutierrez has handled Land Over Sea in all but one of her eight starts and he’s been assigned the mount for Friday.

LEWIS BAY – Alpha Delta Stables’ Lewis Bay, convincing winner of Gazelle Stakes (GII) at Aqueduct this month, had an easy day off the morning after a half-mile breeze in :49 with regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.

“She worked terrific and galloped out extremely well,” trainer Chad Brown said. “She – like [Kentucky Derby horses] Shagaf and My Man Sam – have all taken to the track very well, in my opinion.”

The Bernardini filly out of graded stakes winner Summer Raven will celebrate an unofficial birthday Sunday, three years since her foaling date of May 1, 2013.

MARQUEE MISS – Trainer Ingrid Mason reported that multiple stakes winner Marquee Miss exited her half-mile work Friday well and she’s just keeping her fingers crossed now that the filly draws into the Oaks field. She is 18th on the Oaks leaderboard with only 14 starters allowed in the race. If she doesn’t make the Oaks field, she will start in the Eight Belles Stakes (GII) on the same card. 

MO D’AMOUR/RACHEL’S VALENTINA – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Kentucky Oaks duo both had easy mornings Saturday, merely walking the shed at Barn 40 on the Churchill downs backside. They’d done their final preparations for the nine-furlong classic Thursday with half-mile drills (:47.80 for Rachel’s Valentina and :48.20 for Mo d’Amour).

Hall of Famer John Velazquez is slated to handle Rachel’s Valentina Friday, while the rider situation with Mo d’Amour was still being sorted out.

Pletcher gave some indication of a likely candidate to handle “Mo” in $1,000,000 headliner — the New York-based Joel Rosario. 

MOKAT – JK Racing Stable’s Mokat hit the track at about 7 a.m. to get in an easy two-mile jog before the rain that materialized as expected later in the morning. Exercise rider Martin Ruiz was aboard.

“She’s better than yesterday,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “She takes some warming up, but that’s just her. She’s doing good, eating good, seems happy.”

Mokat had her final timed workout Tuesday at Santa Anita before shipping to Louisville, going six furlongs in 1:13.80, “handily,” according to the local clockers.

“I loved the way she did it,” Baltas said. “She sat behind a horse and went the last quarter in 22-and-4 or 23 flat. She did it the right way. I didn’t want to go too quick and it wasn’t that quick, for Santa Anita. It was a good work and now I’m just trying to get her the best I can before I run her.”

Mokat hasn’t won since breaking her maiden at Del Mar in October, but had the misfortune of facing the dazzling Songbird in her past two races, including a runner-up finish to the undefeated leader of the division in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). With Songbird sidelined for the Kentucky Oaks, the nation’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies could be seen as an easier spot than Mokat’s two prep races in Southern California.

“She legitimately belongs here,” Baltas said. “She’s only had one bad race.”

Mokat will be the first Churchill Downs starter for Baltas, who has trained in Southern California for 25 years.

NICKNAME/ROYAL OBSESSION/TAXABLE/TERRA PROMESSA – With trainer Steve Asmussen overseeing his string of horses at Keeneland Saturday morning, assistant Scott Blasi observed mile-and-a-half gallops by the barn’s four hopefuls for the Kentucky Oaks.

Exercise rider Carlos Rosas was aboard LNJ Foxwoods’ Nickname and Stonestreet Stable’s Royal Obsession. Exercise rider Abel Flores was on Stonestreet Stable’s Terra Promessa and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Taxable.

Blasi said all four fillies are heading to the race in good order. “One more work (Monday), and hopefully everything goes good with that, and move forward off that,” he said.

PAOLA QUEEN – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Paola Queen jogged a mile after 7:30 under exercise rider J.J. Delgado for trainer Gustavo Delgado.

No rider has been confirmed for Paola Queen, who is 15th on the Oaks leaderboard.

VENUS VALENTINE – Rosemont Farm’s Venus Valentine galloped a mile and a half Saturday morning under exercise rider Maurice Sanchez for trainer Tom Amoss.

The late-running filly, who won the Rachel Alexandra (GII) before finishing fifth in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), will be racing with blinkers for the first time. “I’m trying to find a way to get her a little closer to what’s happening early in the race,” Amoss said.

“I’m not trying to change her style, but I’d love to be 15 lengths out of it instead of 25 lengths out of it. She’s got to step up. Those performances won’t win this race. So she’s got to do something a little different.”

WEEP NO MORE – Ashbrook Farm’s Weep No More was one of the first horses on the track Saturday morning, stepping onto the historic oval shortly after 5:45 to work a half-mile in :49.60 under jockey Corey Lanerie.

Working on her own, Weep No More produced fractions of :25.20 and :49.60 while galloping out five furlongs in 1:03. The work was the 52nd fastest of 82 at the distance.

“We got lucky (with the work),” trainer Rusty Arnold said. “She originally was going to work Sunday, but I knew the rain was coming in. It was raining when I left Lexington this morning. With racing tonight, they would probably seal (the track) tight. I didn’t want to wait and be sitting here at 8:30 with it pouring.”

It was the second work for Weep No More at Churchill Downs since winning the Central Bank Ashland (GI) on April 9 at Keeneland.

“This was the plan all along to have two works here,” said Arnold, who sent Weep No More to Churchill Downs two days after her Ashland victory. “Her work today was exactly the same as the one before the Ashland. She will walk tomorrow, jog Monday and gallop up to the race.”

Arnold plans to school Weep No More in the paddock with Wednesday’s fifth race.


$2 MILLION KENTUCKY DERBY PRESENTED BY YUM! BRANDS (GI) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable (in order of preference): Gun Runner (ridden by Florent Geroux, trained by Steve Asmussen, Barn 38); Nyquist (Mario Gutierrez, Doug O’Neill, arrives from Keeneland Saturday around 1:30 p.m., Barn 41); Exaggerator (Kent Desormeaux, Keith Desormeaux, Barn 25); Outwork (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, Barn 40); Brody’s Cause (Luis Saez, Dale Romans, Barn 4); Creator (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, Barn 38); Lani (Yutaka Take, Mikio Matsunaga, Barn 17); Mor Spirit (Gary Stevens, Bob Baffert, Barn 33); Mohaymen (Junior Alvarado, Kiaran McLaughlin, Barn 42); Danzing Candy (Mike Smith, Cliff Sise Jr., arrives Monday, Barn 41); Destin (Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher, Barn 40); Suddenbreakingnews (Luis Quinonez, Donnie Von Hemel, Barn 22); Oscar Nominated (Julien Leparoux, Mike Maker, Barn 27); Shagaf (Joel Rosario, Chad Brown, Barn 42); Whitmore (Victor Espinoza, Ron Moquett, Barn 10A); Tom’s Ready (Brian Hernandez Jr., Dallas Stewart, Barn 48); My Man Sam (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown, Barn 42); Majesto (TBA, Gustavo Delgado, Barn 43); Trojan Nation (Aaron Gryder, Paddy Gallagher, Barn 41) and Mo Tom (Corey Lanerie, Tom Amoss, Barn 29). Possible: Fellowship (TBA, Mark Casse, Barn 36); Adventist (TBA, Leah Gyarmati, Belmont Park); Laboan (TBA, Eric Guillot, Keeneland); Dazzling Gem (TBA, Brad Cox, Barn 9); Cherry Wine (TBA, Dale Romans, Barn 4) and Discreetness (Jon Court, Jinks Fires, Barn 40).

Link to Brisnet Past Performances:

$1 MILLION LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS (GI) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, May 6) – Probable (in order of preference): Terra Promessa (TBA, Steve Asmussen, Barn 38); Lewis Bay (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown, Barn 42); Land Over Sea (Mario Gutierrez, Doug O’Neill, arrives from Keeneland Saturday around 1:30 p.m., Barn 41); Weep No More (Corey Lanerie, Rusty Arnold, Barn 28); Go Maggie Go (Luis Saez, Dale Romans, Barn 4); Cathryn Sophia (Javier Castellano, John Servis, arrives from Keeneland Sunday, Barn 43); Mo d’Amour (TBA, Todd Pletcher, Barn 40); Venus Valentine (Shaun Bridgmohan, Tom Amoss, Barn 29); Mokat (Flavien Prat, Richard Baltas, Barn 43); Rachel’s Valentina (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, Barn 40); Royal Obsession (TBA. Steve Asmussen, Barn 38); Dream Dance (Brian Hernandez Jr., Neil Howard, Barn 25); Nickname (TBA, Steve Asmussen, Barn 38) and Taxable (TBA, Steve Asmussen, Barn 38). Possible: Paola Queen (TBA, Gustavo Delgado, Barn 43); Dothraki Queen (TBA, Kenny McPeek, Barn 6); Carina Mia (TBA, Bill Mott, Barn 19); Marquee Miss (Channing Hill, Ingrid Mason, Barn 15).

Link to Brisnet Past Performances:

$400,000 ALYSHEBA (GII) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday) – 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) – Probable: Angela Renee, Curalina, Penwith, Sheer Drama.

$200,000 EIGHT BELLES (GII) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday) – 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) – 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) – 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, Grand Tito, 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.

Churchill Downs

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