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LOUISVILLE, KY – On a cool Kentucky morning, a total of 17 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) horses put in their final timed workouts before next weekend’s editions of the $3 million Derby and $1.25 million Oaks.
The fastest move of the morning was a 1/2-mile drill in :46.20 by Keepmeinmind, with Dynamic One, one of four Derby workers for Todd Pletcher, having the second-fastest clocking of the 108 at the distance in :47.80.
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Other Derby workers for Pletcher were Bourbonic (1/2-mile in :49.60) and Known Agenda and Sainthood (5 furlongs together in 1:01).
Other Derby workers were Caddo River (5 furlongs in 1:00.60), Helium (1/2-mile in :49.80), Soup and Sandwich (1/2-mile in :50), and Starrininmydreams (5 furlongs in 1:00.20).
Headlining the Kentucky Oaks workers were the Brad Cox-trained duo of Travel Column and Coach, both of whom covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.40.
Other Oaks workers were Search Results (5 furlongs in 1:02.60), Malathaat (1/2-mile in :48.40), Will’s Secret (1/2-mile in :48.20), Ava’s Grace (1/2-mile in :49.20), and Competitive Speed (5 furlongs in 1:02.40).
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Working at 5:30 at Keeneland was Hidden Stash, who covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.60.
Scheduled to work at Churchill Downs Saturday morning for the Derby are Essential Quality, Mandaloun, Highly Motivated, Super Stock, and King Fury. Scheduled to work for the Oaks are Crazy Beautiful and Millefeuille.
Other works involving Kentucky Derby hopefuls are scheduled on three fronts Saturday. Slated to work at Santa Anita are Rock Your World and Hot Rod Charlie; at San Luis Rey will be Get Her Number; and at Keeneland, Like the King.
Maracuja is scheduled for her final Oaks work at Belmont Park.
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Trainer Todd Pletcher, seeking his third Kentucky Derby victory, put the final touches on his quartet of Derby 147 hopefuls with works Friday morning.
At 7:30, Pletcher worked St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda and WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Sainthood in company through 5 furlongs in 1:01 while Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One worked a 1/2-mile in :47.80 in company with the graded stakes-placed Prime Factor.
Florida Derby (G1) winner Known Agenda, with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, worked inside of Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) runner-up Sainthood and Amelia Green through fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36.20 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:14.20 and 7/8 in 1:27.20. The 5/8 time was the 17th-fastest of 50 at the distance.
“Known Agenda is not the most aggressive work horse,” Pletcher said. “He is not an Always Dreaming (the 2017 Kentucky Derby winner) that will work in :59. He has had 2 good works here (1:00.40 last Friday) and I liked the way Sainthood worked with him.”
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Dynamic One, with jockey Jose Ortiz in the boot, posted fractions of :24.40 and :36.20 en route to a :47.80 1/2-mile that was the second-fastest of 108 at the distance. He galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 and 6 furlongs in 1:13.20.
“He finished full of energy with his ears pricked,” Pletcher said.
The final Pletcher runner to work was Calumet Farm’s Bourbonic, who covered a 1/2-mile on his own in :49.60 under exercise rider Hector Ramos.
Fractions on the work were :12.80, :24.40 and out 5 furlongs in 1:02.40. The work was the 71st-fastest of 108 at the distance.
“He has been pretty aggressive in his gallops, so we worked him by himself today,” Pletcher said. “It was a good, steady work with a strong gallop out.
“It was a very good morning with excellent breezes going the way we hoped they would. That was the final piece of major work and now they will have routine gallops with some gate and paddock schooling.”
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Shortleaf Stable’s Caddo River completed his major preparation prior to the Kentucky Derby with a 5-furlong drill in 1:00.60.
With Florent Geroux in the saddle, Caddo River worked in company with Warrant. Caddo River started 2 lengths behind his stablemate and clipped through fractions of :12.20, :23.80 and :47.60. Caddo River galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:14.
“He’s a really solid horse and we saw that with a good effort in the Arkansas Derby,” trainer Brad Cox said. “He has a lot of speed, as we’ve seen in his previous races.”
Cox’s other two Derby contenders, Mandaloun and likely favorite Essential Quality, are scheduled to work at 5:15 a.m. Saturday.
Geroux will work Mandaloun, who he will ride in the Derby, while Essential Quality’s regular exercise rider Edvin Vargas will likely be up for the work. Luis Saez has the call for the Derby.
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Exline-Border Racing, SAF Racing, and Richard Hausman’s Dream Shake will bypass the Kentucky Derby in favor of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile Presented by LG&E and KU (G2), per trainer Peter Eurton.
Gary Barber’s Get Her Number is scheduled to work for trainer Peter Miller at San Luis Rey Saturday morning.
D J Stable’s Helium and Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Soup and Sandwich completed their final Derby preparations Friday morning for trainer Mark Casse.
Helium, a son of Ironicus, hit the track at 5:25 under Julien Leparoux and went 4 furlongs in company with fellow 3-year-old Laker Mamba in :49.80 before galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:03.
Soup and Sandwich, under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, was on the track at 7:30 during the designated 15-minute training period for Derby and Oaks horses and worked 4 furlongs in company with 4-year-old graded stakes winner Peace Achieved in :50, while galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:03.60.
“Very happy with both of them,” Casse’s assistant David Carroll said. “I thought Helium’s work was good; he’s a very smooth-moving horse. He’s the better work horse of the two and he went absolutely beautiful; in hand the whole way, just waiting for Julien to ask him. He just stretched his legs but that’s all we were looking for.
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“Soup and Sandwich was a little rank going to the pole, but he’s a horse that likes to train. We only jogged him 2 miles the other day so he was a little fresh. He was anxious to get going, but once he broke off, he was very smooth the whole way, switched leads, galloped out nicely, and came home great; you couldn’t ask for anything better.
“These were the works we wanted for the final pieces of works. Both horses are in great shape, so hopefully we have a good week and we have a good draw.”
Klaravich Stables’ Highly Motivated came out onto the track under Peter Roman at 6:07 and galloped about 1 1/2 miles.
The son of Into Mischief was second, beaten a neck, by champion Essentially Quality in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland in what was his two-turn debut for trainer Chad Brown.
“I’m probably going to work him 5/8 (of a mile) tomorrow,” Brown said. “He’s a horse that carries a lot of conditioning on him. He’s a big, strong heavy guy that can handle a pretty solid work tomorrow. I was proud of him in the Blue Grass and I think it’s a race he can build off of.”
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Spendthrift Farm, Cypress Creek and Arnold Bennewith’s Keepmeinmind blitzed a half-mile in :46.20, the fastest of 108 at the distance over a fast track Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
With jockey David Cohen aboard, Keepmeinmind posted fractions of :22.80, :34.40 and galloped out five furlongs in :59.20 while working in company with Shasta Star.
“I am very happy with both of them,” said trainer Robertino Diodoro, whose Ava’s Grace worked for the Kentucky Oaks just prior to Keepmeinmind’s breeze. “He worked really good today and he loves the track here, too.”
While Diodoro was watching the work from the backstretch, connections at Spendthrift were watching the work on Twitter.
“I just got a text from them: ‘Very sharp’” Diodoro said.
Keepmeinmind, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) here last fall, is #22 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and would need two defections to make the field of 20.
“It is a tough spot,” Diodoro said. “If we don’t get in, we will train here for the Preakness.”
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BBN Racing’s Hidden Stash worked 5 furlongs in company in 1:00.60 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:13.80 over a fast track shortly after the track opened at Keeneland Friday morning.
“We decided to work this morning and beat the rain that is forecast and he worked great,” trainer Vicki Oliver said.
With exercise rider Darragh Sweeney aboard, Hidden Stash started 3 lengths in back of Esperer, a 3-year-old maiden, and finished 4 lengths in front.
“He is going to jog and stand in the gate tomorrow and walk Sunday,” said Oliver, who was aboard Hidden Stash’s workmate. “He will gallop Monday and Tuesday and ship to Churchill after he trains Tuesday morning.”
Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, and Strauss Bros Racing’s Hot Rod Charlie is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Santa Anita and ship to Churchill Downs on Sunday for trainer Doug O’Neill.
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M Racing Group’s Like the King is scheduled to work at Keeneland at 7:30 Saturday morning for trainer Wesley Ward.
Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s King Fury galloped 1 1/2 miles with exercise rider Lalo Jose Quiroz during the time reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses, trainer Kenny McPeek said. “He fully galloped, we shortened (Kentucky Oaks probable Crazy Beautiful’s) gallop a little.”
The colt, winner of the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in his most recent start, is expected to complete his final workout on Saturday. The possibility of rain in the weather forecast for Saturday doesn’t concern McPeek.
“Rain shouldn’t bother him,” McPeek said. “They (King Fury and Crazy Beautiful) both like the mud, so I think they’ll be fine. We can push it back to Sunday, if we need to.”
King Fury is at #20 on the Derby points leaderboard after trainer Bob Baffert confirmed that Hozier would not be entered.
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Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon and Erv Woolsey and Keith Asmussen’s Super Stock had another leisurely morning for trainer Steve Asmussen, with the former looking visually impressive while galloping 1 1/4 miles and the latter 1 3/8 miles.
Midnight Bourbon will have his final Derby work Monday, while Super Stock figures to beat any potential rain with an early move Saturday.
Bernard Racing, Tagg Team Racing, West Point Thoroughbreds and Terry L. Stephens’ O Besos walked trainer Greg Foley’s Barn 11 shedrow Friday morning.
He’s expected to go back to the track early Saturday.
TwinSpires Racing released a feature on O Besos’ regular exercise rider Margarito Fierro and race jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr.:
The @Foley_Racing-trained O Besos moved into the top 20 in the @KentuckyDerby points standings over the weekend!The whole Foley barn is excited, especially O Besos' exercise rider, Margarito Fierro, and jockey @jockeypedrozajr.@TheBrownAndrew reports: #KyDerby pic.twitter.com/H2A2AuWTiD— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) April 19, 2021
The @Foley_Racing-trained O Besos moved into the top 20 in the @KentuckyDerby points standings over the weekend!The whole Foley barn is excited, especially O Besos' exercise rider, Margarito Fierro, and jockey @jockeypedrozajr.@TheBrownAndrew reports: #KyDerby pic.twitter.com/H2A2AuWTiD
Hronis Racing and David Talla’s Rock Your World is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Santa Anita for trainer John Sadler and ship to Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Stewart Racing and WinStar Farm’s third-place Lexington finisher Starrininmydreams worked a swift 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 through splits of :12.60, :24.80 with a 6-furlong gallop out in 1:14.20.
Starrininmydreams currently sits #22 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
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