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Midnight Bourbon Drills Bullet Work at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby
Midnight Bourbon (Credit: Coady Photography)

Midnight Bourbon Drills Bullet Work at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KY – On a brisk Monday morning in Louisville, Winchell Thorougbreds’ multiple graded stakes-placed colt Midnight Bourbon continued his serious preparation for the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) with a swift 5-furlong move in :59.80, the fastest of 13 horses at the distance.

Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bourbon worked in company with recent Turfway Park maiden winner Bajan Rum through fractions of :12.40, :24, and :35.60.

The Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:12.80 and completed 7 furlongs in 1:26, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“We’re obviously very excited about who Midnight Bourbon is,” Asmussen said. “Physically, he’s an absolutely beautiful horse. Going over the track now, he’s as good as he’s ever been. He’s always had a big frame, now there’s just more of him in the right spots.”

Asmussen’s second entry, Arkansas Derby (G1) upset hero Super Stock, had a scheduled walk day.

The Todd Squad

The 2-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher sent his 4 hopefuls for the Run for the Roses out for 1 3/8-mile gallops Monday morning.

Pletcher utilized the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Kentucky Oaks (G1) candidates to send out St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda with Hector Ramos aboard, Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One with Carlos Perez Quevedo aboard, and WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Sainthood with Amelia Green aboard.

Calumet Farm’s Bourbonic galloped after 9:00 with Ramos aboard.

Pletcher said Monday morning that no rider has been confirmed for Sainthood, who comes into Derby 147 off a runner-up finish in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park March 27.

The Cox Contingent

Godolphin’s Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality and Juddmonte Farm’s Mandaloun jogged at 6:20 AM Monday at Churchill Downs for trainer Brad Cox, while stablemate Caddo River galloped at 5:15 AM.

“(Essential Quality and Mandaloun) both came out of their Saturday works in good shape,” Cox said. “We’re gearing up. It’s getting exciting around the barn and we’re ready for the Derby.”

Shortleaf Stable’s Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up Caddo River plans to run in the Kentucky Derby remain tentative.

The Casse Crew

D J Stable’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Helium and Live Oak Plantation’s Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Soup and Sandwich had a scheduled walk day Monday at trainer Mark Casse’s Barn 36 at Churchill Downs.

“We had an easy day around the barn today,” Casse’s assistant David Carroll said.

Both horses are scheduled to work this weekend.

Brown’s Bro

Klaravich Stables’ Highly Motivated, runner-up in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) in his most recent start April 3, arrived at Churchill Downs at 8 o’clock Monday morning from Keeneland.

The Chad Brown trainee had worked a 1/2-mile in :47.20 Sunday morning that was the best of 27 at the distance.

Diodoro’s Dude

Spendthrift Farm, Cypress Creek, and Arnold Bennewith’s Keepmeinmind jogged 2 miles early Monday morning under exercise rider Enrique Benitez for trainer Robertino Diodoro.

Winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) here last fall, Keepmeinmind had worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 under Benitez at Keeneland on Saturday and arrived at Churchill Downs on Sunday.

He currently sits #22 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

O Boy

Barrett Bernard, Tagg Team Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby third-place finisher O Besos jogged about 1 mile under Margarito Fierro at 6:30 AM Monday at Churchill Downs.

TwinSpires Racing released a feature on Fierro and O Besos’ race-day rider Marcelino Pedroza Jr.:

O Besos is scheduled to work Wednesday.

Will the Stars Align?

Stewart Racing and WinStar Farm’s third-place Lexington Stakes (G3) finisher Starrininmydreams galloped about 1 1/2 miles at 6:30 AM under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.

Starrininmydreams sits #23 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

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