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Mendelssohn was very talkative and a bit frisky on Thursday morning during his first visit to the track since clearing quarantine.

Thursday Kentucky Derby Workouts

Date: 05/03/2018

Thursday morning was overcast and windy with temperatures in the mid 70's during training at Churchill Downs and the track was fast after the renovation break, but rain was expected later in the day. Most of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses came out for their special private workout session at 7:30 after the break, although Mendelssohn came out just after with the rest of Aidan O'Brien's horses and Enticed came out after the second break at 9am. Below are photos for 19 Derby horses and 9 Oaks fillies from this morning on the track with comments for each. To see the two missing Derby horses (Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack) check Wednesday. You can watch video of today's training session here.

Click the small photo to see a larger version.

Kentucky Derby

horse racingAudible went about his business in professional fashion, going for a good gallop of 1 5/16 miles. Exercise rider Amelia Green on the Florida Derby winner Audible said, "He's so easy to work with; so relaxed. He's the kind of horse that will do just what you want him to do. He's a pleasure."

horse racingBolt d'Oro galloped 1 1/2 miles and jogged 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Jose Velazquez. Owner-trainer Mick Ruis said, "He galloped a mile and a half and then he jogged to the starting gate and turned around. He didn't stand in it. Then he jogged one and a half."

horse racingBravazo galloped an easy 1 1/2 miles with regular rider Danielle Rosier aboard. "It was just a routine gallop," Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "Not much more we can do now." Bravazo, who is attempting to give Lukas his fifth Kentucky Derby victory and first since 1999, is scheduled to school during Thursday's first race.

horse racingCombatant had a 1 1/2-mile gallop under Angel Garcia. He has proven to be a fighter on the track, but his name is being used to bring awareness to an organization dedicated to helping disabled military veterans once their time on the battlefield is over. Combatant will wear a camouflage blanket for the walk over for the Kentucky Derby to promote the charity Home For Our Troops.

horse racinghorse racingEnticed schooled in the paddock before galloping 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Jason Gracia Thursday morning. "He's doing great. All systems go," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "It's a tough race. I hope things go our way. Everybody has to break well. There seems like there's a lot of pace. We'll see what happens."

horse racingFirenze Fire open-galloped 1 mile. "He did a mile in 2:07. I was really happy with it. He never took a breath. He hardly drank any water," trainer Jason Servis said. Servis admits that the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Derby is somewhat of a concern. "Do I wish the race was a mile? Yes. But it's a mile and a quarter, so it is what it is," Servis said.

horse racingFlameaway jogged a mile with regular rider Chris Garraway, ponied by trainer Mark Casse's assistant Nick Tomlinson, and galloped a mile on his own. Casse said that he and his team did not realize Flameaway was a special horse until three months ago. "That took a while, honestly," he said. "Early on, we thought he was just a nice horse. He's a horse that really developed."

horse racingFree Drop Billy had his regular 1 1/2-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Dale Romans. "We're ready," Romans said. "This is a great week for everyone in the community. We have a lot of friends that celebrate the Derby with us and it will be a great day for my family and closest friends."

horse racingGood Magic galloped about 1 3/8 miles Thursday morning under exercise rider Walter Malasquez. "He went super again and couldn't be doing any better," said trainer Chad Brown.

horse racingHofburg had an uneventful gallop of about 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Penny Gardiner. It was a more typical gallop for the professional-acting Tapit colt, who the day before had gotten a bit aggressive in the stretch when fellow Derby entrant Flameaway moved up beside him. "It was an unwanted bit of company," Gardiner said. "When my horse feels a horse at his hip he wants to go. But today he was so relaxed and in a rhythm. He was perfect. I am so happy with how he's doing and can't see how he could be doing any better."

horse racingInstilled Regard jogged to the paddock, where he schooled a couple turns around its oval walking ring. Leaving the paddock through the tunnel, he then jogged to the gate, where he stood before backing out, galloping 1 5/8 miles and returning to Barn 41 through the six-furlong gap.

horse racingJustify galloped 1 1/2 miles under regular exercise rider Humberto Gomez. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who has been aboard Justify for his last two wins and has the Derby mount, assessed the gallop from the 5/8 gap with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. "He looks amazing," Smith said. "I don't look as good as him but I feel good. He's just athletic, getting over the ground and didn't seem to struggle with it, looks happy, switching leads good. That's all you can look for and you don't know until they run but he sure looks the part."

horse racingMagnum Moon went about his business in professional fashion, going for a good gallop of 1 5/16 miles.

horse racinghorse racingMendelssohn had his first feel of the Churchill Downs racing surface on Thursday morning. Leaving Barn 17 at 7:45 a.m under exercise rider Dean Gallagher, the Aidan O'Brien trainee was the third of a single-filed Coolmore quartet. The four O'Brien pupils entered the main track at the 5/8 gap and proceeded to walk and jog a clockwise 1 1/4 miles. They then reversed course and cantered one mile before exiting through the 6f gap and taking the scenic route back to Barn 17.

Assistant trainer Pat Keating said, "He did a very gentle exercise around the track. They're all doing well and all shipped in good. We just wanted to get him out there and stretch his legs. We're very happy with him and there were no problems. We couldn't be happier with how he's doing, so we just need some good luck on Saturday."

horse racingNoble Indy went about his business in professional fashion, going for a good gallop of between a mile and a quarter to a mile and three-eighths.

horse racingPromises Fulfilled had his regular 1 1/2-mile gallop Thursday at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Dale Romans.

horse racingSolomini galloped 1 1/2 miles, also with Humberto Gomez aboard. "He looked more relaxed today, for sure," said Zayat Stables racing manager Justin Zayat. "It's the same-old Solomini. He's holding his weight, holding his energy. All systems go."

horse racingVino Rosso went about his business in professional fashion, going for a good gallop of between a mile and a quarter to a mile and three-eighths.

horse racingBlended Citizen, the lone also-eligible in the field went on a gallop for 1 3/8 mile. If Blended Citizen is to compete in Derby 144, there has to be a withdrawal of one of the current 20 horses entered for the race. And it has to happen before 9 a.m. Friday. Should the Greg Hall and SAYJAY Racing colt get to do his thing Saturday, he'll be handled by his regular rider of late, Kyle Frey.

Kentucky Oaks

horse racingSassy Sienna (post 1) went out to train at 7:30 a.m. and galloped 1 1/2 miles. "This was their last day to train," Cox said. "They'll all just walk tomorrow. Everything's good. I was happy with how they all gate schooled yesterday. We're ready."

horse racingCoach Rocks (post 2) galloped 1 1/2 miles Thursday morning at 7:30 for Churchill Downs' all-time leading trainer Dale Romans.

horse racingWonder Gadot (post 5) galloped 1 1/4 miles with regular rider Orlando Cross during the 7:30-7:45 training period for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. Owner Gary Barber was on site to watch her train. Trainer Mark Casse's ideal scenario for the running of the Oaks is simple: "A lot of speed, we sit mid-pack and come running." John Velazquez, who won the 2004 Oaks on Ashado, has the mount Friday.

horse racingKelly's Humor (post 6) went out to train at 7:30 a.m. and galloped 1 1/2 miles. "This was their last day to train," Cox said. "They'll all just walk tomorrow. Everything's good. I was happy with how they all gate schooled yesterday. We're ready."

horse racingRayya (post 7) was out during the Oaks and Derby training session to gallop about 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Dana Barnes. "She just floats over the track, she's such a nice mover," Barnes said. "We're very happy with her."

horse racingTake Charge Paula (post 9) galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Jason Gracia before visiting the starting gate Thursday morning.

horse racingMidnight Bisou (post 10) went for a stroll around the Churchill Downs paddock, then went back to the main track for a mile and three-quarters gallop that finished up with an "open gallop" through the lane. "She went well today," Camacho said. "She was more relaxed. The last part of the gallop we went 'open' and she felt like she was doing :13s to me for the last three eighths."

horse racingEskimo Kisses (post 13) galloped 1 1/2 miles Thursday under exercise rider Mario Conbento for trainer Kenny McPeek.

horse racingMonomoy Girl (post 14) went out to train at 7:30 a.m. and galloped 1 1/2 miles. "This was their last day to train," Cox said. "They'll all just walk tomorrow. Everything's good. I was happy with how they all gate schooled yesterday. We're ready."

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