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Master of Hounds trots by in front of the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs on Thursday morning

Thursday Kentucky Derby Photos

Date: 05/05/2011

Thursday morning was still chilly but it was clear and sunny with and the track was fast. Many of the Derby and Oaks horses took advantage of the lovely weather so the track was crowded during their special workout session at 8:30am.

Below are photos of 18 of the Kentucky Derby runners from the morning works or schooling in the paddock.

Midnight Interlude galloped once around the main track under exercise rider Dana Barnes during the training period reserved for Oaks and Derby horses. Trainer Bob Baffert said the War Chant colt is doing well. "I just hope we don't get a sloppy racetrack and we have a good finish and have a chance for the best horse to win," he said.

Derby Kitten galloped at a mile and a half with Rachel Muzikar aboard along with stablemate Twinspired. Both horses will school in the paddock during Race 5 this afternoon, Maker said.

Animal Kingdom stood in the starting gate and galloped a mile and three quarters Thursday morning over a fast track at Churchill Downs. "It was pretty uneventful," trainer Graham Motion said with a smile. Animal Kingdom also schooled in the paddock Thursday afternoon during the fifth race. "This is purely to go through the routine," Motion said. "He's very classy acting."

Mucho Macho Man galloped two miles at Churchill Downs Thursday morning under exercise rider Mike Herra.

Santiva galloped a mile and a half Thursday morning without a hitch. Trainer Eddie Kenneally remains upbeat following Wednesday's post position draw for his Kentucky Derby 137 hopeful. "We're just happy he got a good post position and we'll leave it up Shaun now," Kenneally said. "You just hope for a good trip that gives your horse his best chance."

Uncle Mo galloped a mile and three-eighths under regular exercise rider Hector Ramos.

Master of Hounds made a good impression during his first visit to the track Thursday morning. The Kingmambo colt cleared quarantine and went to the track at 8:30 with a number of other Oaks and Derby horses. He trotted once around the course and then cantered another circuit. Master of Hounds turned heads when he waited at the gap to go on the track. "I thought he looked good and when we were walking around and we could see the American horses walking around. I thought he looked quite well," said T.J.Comerford, the traveling head lad for trainer Aidan O'Brien. "He was looking well and he had a good shine on him."

Soldat galloped a mile and a half and had a schooling session at the starting gate Thursday morning, not so much for his horse's practice, but as a sort of meet and greet with the gate crew that handles the Derby loading process. "We took him to the gate to introduce him to the gate crew," McLaughlin said. "I think that's very important when you go somewhere new. You want the gate crew to know who the perfect gentlemen are and who the bad actors are, so they know how to handle you if there's a delay or it takes a while to load. Soldat, he's a perfect gentleman, and today the gate crew got to find that out."

Comma to the Top was out even before the crack of dawn Thursday morning at Churchill Downs for a jog of two miles under full-time trainer and sometimes exercise rider Peter Miller. The duo hit the track right when it first opened at 5:45 a.m. Later in the afternoon, he schooled in the paddock during the 4th race. "He was a little anxious here yesterday waiting around until 8:30 (when there is a designated open-track period of 15 minutes for Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses)," Miller said. "So I decided not to wait today. We went out there early, took care of our business and now he can relax for the rest of the day."

Twinspired galloped at a mile and a half with Derrick Smith aboard along with stablemate Derby Kitten. Both horses will school in the paddock during Race 5 this afternoon, Maker said.

Pants On Fire galloped 1 1/4 miles during the Derby-Oaks training session. "Awesome day again today," trainer Kelly Breen said. "It was a pretty stiff gallop, into the bit. He did it easy but it was quick. Between yesterday and today it's amazing watching him, like poetry in motion. He was just so smooth and fluid he floated over the track. "To hear him, you know, you have horses out there that are as big as him and they hit the ground rough. It's like the difference between a regular center and Shaq. He was light on his feet and he really looked great."

Watch Me Go galloped 1 1/2 miles Thursday morning. "It's just great that he's peaking at this point in time - which is what you want to see. He's maintained his flesh during the campaign and his coat does look great," said trainer Kathleen O'Connell.

Stay Thirsty galloped a mile and three-eighths under regular exercise rider Fernando Espinoza.

Brilliant Speed galloped a mile and a quarter under assistant trainer Dan Blacker shortly after 8:30 a.m. during the training period reserved for Oaks and Derby horses. "He looked sharp," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "It looks like we're ready to go."

Shackleford galloped a mile and a half gallop and stood in the starting gate for another practice session. "Today was special," Romans said. "Not like he hasn't been doing good for a while now, but today, that was special. I think he looks like he's just peaking right now."

Twice the Appeal galloped a mile and one half under exercise rider Nate Quinonez along with the majority of the Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses at approximately 8:30 following the track's renovation break.

Archarcharch galloped a mile and a half and will do the same thing Friday morning before staying in the barn Saturday morning. Archarcharch, who landed in post position one and will have one of the longest waits in the gate as the field of 20 is loaded. "He has always been good in the gate," Fires said. "It (the one hole) could be a concern for a rowdy horse who could blow it right in the gate."

Decisive Moment went to the track for a morning gallop under trainer Juan Arias Thursday morning at Churchill Downs. "I galloped him about a mile and a half and let him pick it up through the lane," said the 46-year-old Arias, a South Florida-based trainer who also serves as his Derby entrant's exercise rider.
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