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All of the tractors have been painted pink and branded for Vineyard Vines clothing, the official style of the Kentucky Derby.

Wednesday Kentucky Derby Photos

Date: 05/04/2011

Wednesday morning was very chilly and started out sunny, but by the time the Kentucky Derby horses came out at 8:30am after the break, it had clouded up and turned dark. They had done an excellent job on the track to get it back to fast after all the rain on Monday and Tuesday, and lots of the Derby and Oaks horses came out to gallop.

Post positions will be drawn today starting at 5pm and televised on VERSUS, so check back tonight for the entries and post positions. The Churchill Downs Communications Dept. said that 22 horses were entered this morning. The field has a maximum size of 20 so two will be eliminated based on graded stakes earnings. The 20 who will make the field are: Animal Kingdom, Archarcharch, Brilliant Speed, Comma to the Top, Decisive Moment, Derby Kitten, Dialed In, Master Of Hounds, Midnight Interlude, Mucho Macho Man, Nehro, Pants On Fire, Santiva, Shackleford, Soldat, Stay Thirsty, Twice the Appeal, Twinspired, Uncle Mo, and Watch Me Go. Sway Away and Ruler On Ice were the other two entered.

Below are photos of 13 Derby and 11 Oaks horses.

Uncle Mo went out for some exercise with stablemate Stay Thirsty at 8:30 in the allotted 15-minute Derby/Oaks training period following the track's renovation break. He had exercise rider Hector Ramos up and assistant trainer Mike McCarthy alongside on a pony. The two colts briefly stood in the starting gate and jogged an easy mile around the Churchill strip. Trainer Todd Pletcher went frontside to observe their training and pronounced all well upon his return to Barn 34. "Everything went smoothly. They handled their jog and the gate with no problems. We've done a lot of good training with them over the last several weeks here and we're just going light and freshening them up a bit coming up to the race. They'll gallop on Thursday and Friday and then that will be it."

Twinspired galloped a mile and a quarter this morning and schooled in the starting gate. "Twinspired can be quirky and aggressive when he wants to be," exercise rider Derrick Smith said. "Today he was excellent."

Archarcharch galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break with jockey Jon Court up for trainer Jinks Fires. Archarcharch represents the first Kentucky Derby starter for the 70-year-old Fires, a Churchill Downs regular. Fires saw his first Derby in 1961. "That was Carry Back and Johnny Sellers," Fires said. "Crozier ran that year and I bet on him and Carry Back just got him at the wire."

Soldat galloped a mile and a half Wednesday under exercise rider Danny Wright as he continued a quiet week of training since coming north from Florida. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who wouldn't mind a wet track on Saturday, was happy to see a faster race track return for training today. "We did a little more with him today because of the fast track," McLaughlin said. "We back-tracked him a little farther and then galloped a little farther. He's very happy and doing well. Now we just need to maintain that until Saturday."

Watch Me Go galloped 1 1/2 miles under Freddie Lenclud Wednesday morning in preparation for a start in the Kentucky Derby, in which he could make history for his trainer Kathleen O'Connell. No woman has saddled the winner of the Kentucky Derby, but O'Connell is just hoping her name will be mentioned among those of other trainers who have tasted success in the first leg of the Triple Crown. "I think whether I was a man or woman, it would be an awesome feeling," she said. "I think I'd make history in the Derby anyway, whether I was a Mr. or a Miss or whatever in front of my name."

Sway Away galloped 12 furlongs stood briefly in the starting gate. He was entered for the Derby but is #21 on the earnings list and only 20 can make the field.

Decisive Moment schooled at the starting gate before galloping a mile under trainer Juan Arias Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs. Arias is a former jockey who was forced to retire in 1990 at the age of 25 after suffering a stroke that was ultimately caused by complications from drastic weight-reduction practices.

Pants On Fire galloped 1 3/8 miles with Juan Pizarro up during the Derby-Oaks training session, according to trainer Kelly Breen. "I think it was possibly his best day of training," Breen said. "He really floated over the track. He was tough to pull up, he was eager to do everything. He started reminding me of what he did before the Louisiana Derby so I'm tickled pink right now."

Brilliant Speed returned to the track under assistant trainer Dan Blacker Wednesday morning, two days after he breezed five furlongs on 1:01.20 on a muddy track. "We jogged two miles today. It was pretty much routine for him after he breezes," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "Then we'll gallop up to the race the next couple of days."

Shackleford galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Faustino Ramos. "He went nice" Ramos commented, sharing sentiment with Tammy Fox, the wife of trainer Dale Romans, who added, "Everything's good."

Stay Thirsty went out with stablemate Uncle Mo and Fernando Espinoza aboard. The two colts briefly stood in the starting gate and jogged an easy mile around the Churchill strip, which was dry and fast on a chilly spring morning.

Comma to the Top went trackside for the first time on a chilly Wednesday morning at Churchill at 8:30 following the renovation break. He had a pony at his side and trainer Peter Miller up for a jog of about a mile around the big oval. "He went fine," the 44-year-old Miller said back at Barn 42. "He shipped fine and seemed to enjoy the track this morning. I've gotten on him on occasions (in California) before, just like I like to get on all my horses every once in a while. It helps me get a feel for them; to see how they're doing."

Santiva had a light morning of exercise beneath the Twin Spires. Trainer Eddie Kenneally sent the son of Giant's Causeway to stand in the starting gate and take a light jog. "No big deal today, I took it pretty easy with him," Kenneally said. "He's fit and ready to go. We'll school in the paddock on Thursday with the horses for the fourth race and that's about it."

Summer Soiree galloped a mile and a half in front of the large crowd gathered on the backstretch to watch the Oaks and Derby horses train when the track reopened after the renovation break at 8:30 a.m.

Lilacs and Lace schooled in the starting gate and galloped 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Eliel DeJesus Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs. "She did really well. She looked absolutely fabulous. I really loved the way she went over the track today," said trainer John Terranova.

Her Smile went trackside at 8:30 during the period following the renovation break reserved for Oaks and Derby runners. With exercise rider Kevin Willey in the tack, the daughter of Include traversed a mile in an easy jog and spent a few moments standing in the starting gate.

St. John's River galloped 1 3/4 miles during the Oaks-Derby training session, according to regular exercise rider Robert Wright. "She was very comfortable," Wright said. "She played a little bit coming home. We're in good shape. "We stopped on the frontside for a bit, just to let her stick her head over the rail, let the fans pet her and take pictures. She's that kind of horse; you can do that. She loves it and they loved it."

Street Storm galloped a mile and a half after the morning renovation break on a chilly Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs over a fast track.

Joyful Victory galloped with trainer Larry Jones up during the training period for Oaks and Derby horses after the renovation break. Jones said horses were lively Wednesday morning after overnight temperatures dropped into the high 30s. "We galloped a mile and an eighth total. A very sprightly mile and an eighth," he said. "We did go stand in the gate and I guess she thought it might be race day so when we came out of there we had quite the spirited gallop. She's doing good. All is well."

Holy Heavens galloped 1 1/2 miles during the Oaks-Derby training session under Nathaniel Puello, who rode her in two starts at Delta Downs, including her maiden win. "She's happy and ready," trainer Benard Chatters said.

Plum Pretty returned to the track and galloped once around the main track under exercise rider Peter Hutton Wednesday morning, two days after working a half-mile in :48.80. Trainer Bob Baffert said the filly is doing well.

Suave Voir Faire got reacquainted with the Churchill Downs surface the morning after her arrival from the HighPointe Training Center in La Grange, Ky., galloping 1 1/4 miles during the Oaks-Derby training session under Sal Gonzalez Jr., who rode her in her first four starts. "She got a little bit warm but she's moving beautifully, changed leads everywhere I saw her change leads, so I was pleased," trainer Speedy Smithwick said.

Bouquet Booth galloped a mile and a half after the morning renovation break on a chilly Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs over a fast track.

Daisy Devine galloped one mile with Larry Melancon in the saddle during the Oaks-Derby training session, according to trainer Andrew McKeever. "She schooled in the paddock yesterday and she stood in the gate on Sunday so we're just going to gallop tomorrow and that's it," McKeever said.
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