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There were lots of fans on the backside for the works including this lady who was wearing a hand-painted Kentucky Derby helmet.

Wednesday Kentucky Derby Photos

Date: 04/30/2008

Wednesday before the Kentucky Derby saw many of the horses for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks on the track to stretch their legs on the unusually cold morning, although there were no timed works. Trainer Todd Pletcher is the only one not here yet, and his horses are expected to arrive this afternoon from Keeneland.

Here are 14 of the Kentucky Derby horses, including one that did not draw in due to lack of earnings, plus 8 Oaks fillies with comments on what they did. As a bonus, 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin was on the track as well just after sunrise.


Adriano went to the Churchill Downs paddock for a schooling session before galloping 1 1/2 miles under Alice Clapham Wednesday morning. "I'm actually starting to get a little excited about it. He's really in good form," said trainer Graham Motion about his second shot at the Run for the Roses. "I tend to be apprehensive going into these things; so much can go wrong."

Anak Nakal went for an easy 1 1/2-mile gallop under exercise rider Heather Stark Wednesday morning before the renovation break. "They're longshots, but maybe I have this year's Giacomo," said trainer Nick Zito of him and Cool Coal Man, referring to the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner who scored at 50-1 odds. "Who knows?"

Big Truck returned to the track for a 1 1/2-mile gallop under Kristen Troxell Wednesday morning after walking under the shedrow on Tuesday. Trainer Barclay Tagg, shown leading him onto the track here, said, "You just do the same old routine nothing fancy. It's another horse race. You bring him up to it the best you can the way that works best for him and hope they run well."

Bob Black Jack took a tour of the paddock and a one-mile gallop around the one-mile oval under exercise rider Joe Deegan. Trainer James Kasparoff said, "Ideally, I'd like to see him sitting second in the early running. But he can take the lead if nobody wants to go do it. I've got the fastest horse in the race, but the issue is how do you dole out that speed. I like the way Migliore sits him. He'll do right. I thought his ride in the Santa Anita Derby was a good one. Distance isn't a question with this horse. I know what they say about his breeding, but he doesn't. He'll run on. I don't see that as a problem."

Colonel John galloped about 1 3/4 miles after the break, then schooled in the paddock during the 4th race. Trainer Eoin Harty said everything is going according to plan with the Tiznow colt. "I'm very happy with my horse," Harty said. "He's training very well. He had a great gallop this morning. He exudes confidence and he gives me confidence."

Cool Coal Man had an easy 1 1/2-mile gallop under Megan Smillie after the break. Asked how he was named, trainer Nick Zito said, "Mr. LaPenta was running out of names. It was hard for him to name because every name he put in (was rejected). So I told Timmy (Poole), my assistant, 'Put down Cool Coal Man, because he's kind of a cool horse and he's by Mineshaft'."

Court Vision came out with stablemate Z Humor for trainer Bill Mott. "They went through the paddock and each of them had a good gallop, a mile and a half," Mott said. "It went well. Z Humor was quite strong into the bridle and Court Vision was just normal, a regular gallop."

Eight Belles went to the starting gate before galloping with trainer Larry Jones riding. Jones said, "You dream big and I think she fits numbers-wise (assessments of various handicapping sheets). If you don't run, you can't win. Right now, you don't know how good Big Brown is, and no one is sure how good Eight Belles is either."

Gayego stood in the gate and galloped a strong 10 furlongs in the middle of the track with exercise rider Jody Pieper up. His trainer, Paulo Lobo, was at Churchill Downs watching his horse after having flown in from his California base on Tuesday. And what did he think of Gayego's trip to the gate? "Perfect." And his gallop? "Just what we wanted."

Recapturetheglory galloped 2 miles Wednesday morning under exercise rider and assistant trainer Lara Van Deren. Van Deren reported afterward that it was the strongest the colt has felt all week and that she was "ready for a nap." Trainer Louie Roussel III said, "When you come here with a longshot, there's no pressure. I'm a longshot. Put two dollars on me. I'll be 50-to-1 and you'll get your two dollars' worth."

Smooth Air galloped 1 3/4 miles Wednesday morning under exercise rider Susie Milne. Trainer Bennie Stutts Jr. said, "This little horse (Smooth Air) is 'seasoned.' Big Brown has only run three times in his life. That's something to be said. What I'm hoping is that this horse (Smooth Air) hasn't peaked out."

Tomcito, who didn't draw in the race, galloped without a saddle and only had a pad on his back.

Z Humor came out with stablemate Court Vision for trainer Bill Mott.

Curlin came out shortly after dawn, so the light wasn't very good, but he certainly looked great as he galloped.

Absolutely Cindy was out early and stood on the track forever before galloping 1 1/8 miles under exercise rider Jeremy Roetting.

Awesome Chic galloped 1 1/2 miles after the break Wednesday morning. She was also scheduled to school in the paddock Wednesday afternoon.

A to the Croft After the renovation break, Koolmen Racing Stable's A to the Croft galloped about 1 1/2 miles with Jose Castanon aboard. Trainer Ken McPeek watched the filly as she came off the track and said to Castanon, "She looked great."

Bsharpsonata was the first horse I saw right at dawn, so the light was horrid when she was out. She galloped two miles before the renovation break with Scott Miller aboard.

Golden Doc A galloped 1 1/2 miles after the break unnder exercise rider Stephen O'Callaghan again Wednesday morning.

Proud Spell galloped 1 1/2 miles under trainer Larry Jones on Wednesday after the renovation break. Jones offered a comparison of his two fillies: "They are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Proud Spell is very stocky, with more of a sprinter type body, but she can stretch out. Eight Belles is very big and was slower in coming around. She had issues in changing leads and was cross-firing, but she has grown into her body."

Pure Clan galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break under regular morning partner Steve Schmelzel. Later in the day, she schooled in the paddock during the second race.

Rasierra jogged to the starting gate for a schooling session and then galloped a mile under Claudio Solis before the renovation break Wednesday morning. She was a supplemental entry to the Oaks.

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