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Breeders Cup Preview
Win Win Win, Tacitus, and Country House work side-by-side on Sunday morning.
All days: 4/20, 4/21, 4/22, 4/23, 4/24, 4/25, 4/26, 4/27, 4/28, 4/28, 4/29, 4/30, 5/01, 5/02
It was a cold, windy, gloomy Sunday, but still six Kentucky Derby contenders and three Kentucky Oaks contenders had their final timed works before the big races. The Derby workers were: By My Standards (4f in 48.40), Code of Honor (4f in 46.80), Country House and Tacitus together (5f in 1:00), Improbable (5f in 1:00.60), and Win Win Win (4f in 47.60). Oaks workers were: Champagne Anyone (4f in :48), Lady Apple (4f in 49.80), Street Band (5f in 1:00.20).
On Monday, works are scheduled on two fronts for Derby runners: Long Range Toddy at Churchill Downs and Maximum Security at Palm Meadows in Florida. Restless Rider is scheduled to work here for the Oaks.
Scheduled to arrive early Sunday afternoon from Keeneland is 2018 Champion 2-year-old filly Jaywalk for a run in Friday's $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1).
From a Churchill Downs press release:
BODEXPRESS Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Racing Stable's
Bodexpress, No. 21 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and needing one defection
to make the main body of the race, is scheduled to work Monday at Gulfstream
Park West and then ship to Louisville Tuesday.
BY MY STANDARDS Louisiana Derby winner By My Standards, who has been known as the "buzz horse" for the past 10 days, completed his major work prior to Saturday's Kentucky Derby with a half-mile move in :48.40 with jockey Gabriel Saez aboard.
"Well, that couldn't have gone any better," trainer Bret Calhoun said. "It's just a blessing how well he's doing entering the Derby. He's doing everything we've asked him to do and just moves so effortlessly around the racetrack. He went in :48.40 this morning but when Gabe got back to the barn he said he could've went around there again. It was like nothing to them."
Owned by Chester Thomas' Allied Racing Stables, By My Standards worked through eighth-mile clips of :12.40, :24 and :36.40 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.60, six furlongs in 1:12.80 and seven furlongs in 1:26.60, according to Churchill Downs' Clocker John Nichols.
By My Standards is scheduled to have a walk day Monday.
CODE OF HONOR William S. Farish's Code of Honor completed his major work for Saturday's Kentucky Derby by working a half-mile in :46.80 with exercise rider Brian Duggan aboard for trainer Shug McGaughey. Working on his own, Code of Honor produced fractions of :11.80, :23.20, :35.20 and galloped out five furlongs in :59.40 and six furlongs in 1:13.20.
"I told (Brian) to go in :48, but the track was pretty good this morning," McGaughey said. "I was pleased with the way he handled it and glad I got the kind of track we did today. He had two good works at Keeneland and the last one was on an off track, so we know he can handle an off track and what he was on today is probably what he will see Saturday."
Code of Honor earned his spot on the Kentucky Derby trail with a victory in the Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 2 at Gulfatream Park. "He had to run well in the Fountain of Youth, not necessarily win but run well, or we were going to back off," McGaughey said. "He came out of the Florida Derby fine and had the two good works at Keeneland."
John Velazquez, a two-time Derby winner, has the mount on Code of Honor.
Tacitus (left) and Country House
What began as a routine workout -- the pair were meant to mirror each other throughout in a controlled fashion -- became a lot more interesting when they were spontaneously joined by another Derby worker, Win Win Win, and his workmate (maiden Souper Courage) to their outside on the far turn. The now-quartet ran four abreast turning for home, with Win Win Win closing to pass the Mott pair, who finished on even terms by design. The furlong splits for the Mott workers were :12.20, :24.20, :35.80, :48 and out six furlongs in 1:12.80, seven furlongs in 1:26 and a mile in 1:39.80.
Garrett O'Rourke, general manager of Juddmonte's U.S. operations, was pleased, despite the work going a bit off-script. Tacitus is one of the favorites for the $3 million affair and has only raced four times, including a win in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct. "I thought it went well," O'Rourke said. "He handled Win Win Win coming up on the outside really professionally. He was under control and got a good blow. That's all you can ask for, really."
Mott added: "I thought it worked out very well. It was a good tightener, was what I expected from them and what I wanted. It should be enough, as far as conditioning, and the fact that we saw them work well gives you a good feeling that they're coming into it the right way. So far, they have cooled out great and neither was exhausted. They had a little bit of a blow initially, then caught their air and they're cooling out really well.
"We generally would see something like that happen occasionally when they don't have a (designated) 15-minute break just for Derby and Oaks horses. I thought about that (beforehand) because I knew there would be some other workers. You just can't really anticipate it. My team was ready to break off and they probably didn't know we were going to work. All the riders did a really good job and I really have to commend all of them. It's not going to hurt them and they better get used to (traffic) if they're not already or they'll get a surprise on Derby Day. It's pretty crowded out there.
"We have a week to go until the Derby and we look like we're in good shape. They finished up right together. They may have been a head apart. I told them if they could work together, that would help each other during the work. Both of my horses have pretty laid-back dispositions and they probably needed their company to encourage each other. For me, it worked out perfectly. I'll just try to keep them out of trouble and get them over there on race day; nothing fancy going into it. We just hope they come out of this in good shape and stay healthy and sound."
Mott reported that Country House and Tacitus may school Tuesday or Wednesday
during the races.
CUTTING HUMOR / SPINOFF It was walk day at the Todd Pletcher barn in Florida
for the two Derby colts he's handling for owners Starlight Racing (Cutting
Humor) and Wertheimer and Frere (Spinoff).
Each of the runners had put in works Friday, then jogged Saturday, as is the
trainer's style. The Sunday walk also followed the Pletcher pattern.
The next step for the sophomores is to jog Monday morning at their Palm
Beach Downs location, then make an early trip Tuesday morning to Churchill
Downs with an expected arrival time of between 8 and 8:30 at the trainer's
Rider Manny Franco has the call on Spinoff. Cutting Humor's jockey is still
to be decided.
Super Saver famously gave the WinStar team its first Kentucky Derby triumph when he captured the Run for the Roses in 2010, three weeks after running second in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Whether Improbable can follow in those footsteps remains to be seen but the son of City Zip certainly inspired confidence with his five-furlong work in 1:00.60 at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
As Improbable headed onto the track during the special time slot reserved exclusively for Oaks and Derby runners, the chestnut bucked and played under jockey Florent Geroux who is actually set to ride fellow Baffert trainee Roadster in the 1 1/4-mile classic. His good-feeling mood continued to show itself as he broke off just a couple lengths behind workmate Embolden, quickly catching up to that one and moving past his stablemate down the lane as he registered splits of :11.80, :23.60, and :36.40 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 and seven furlongs in 1:25.60.
"I don't think he was rank. He was just maybe a little bit keen and feeling good," Geroux said. "He's very easy (to ride) actually. Down the lane he was responding exactly to what I was asking him to. I could have gone faster if I wanted to. I could have gone a touch slower if I wanted to. He was just very cooperative."
Improbable captured all three of his starts during his juvenile campaign, capping off his 2018 season with a victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1). He finished second in both the Rebel Stakes (G2) and the Arkansas Derby (G1) but has seemingly thrived during his time in Louisville. "He loves this track. I just love the way he kept on galloping out today," Baffert said. "That's what we wanted to see. He gets over it well. He's not really big but he jumps a long way. Now I can relax. Now we have to wait for the draw. That's the last of the anxiety is the draw."
Improbable's work Sunday was his second since arriving at Churchill
following his loss to Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby. He previously
posted a four-furlong work in :48 on April 22.
Both Game Winner and Improbable have proven form over the Churchill Downs track with the former earning his Breeders' Cup triumph beneath the Twin Spires and Improbable capturing the Street Sense Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard. Roadster's Breeders' Cup chances went by the wayside last summer when he underwent throat surgery following his third-place finish in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).
"All three (of my runners) have different styles. Game Winner he's like the
fullback, Roadster he's real light and lean but he gets over the ground
well. I'm just happy to be here with three really nice horses."
GRAY MAGICIAN Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber's Gray Magician pleased trainer Peter Miller one day after his final breeze for the Kentucky Derby. The son of Grade I winner Graydar and Grace II-placed stakes winner Burg Berg worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Saturday at San Luis Rey Training Center in Southern California.
"Looks great," Miller said, confirming that all systems are "go" for the UAE
Derby (G2) runner-up.
Per Miller, the improving colt is scheduled to ship to Kentucky on Monday.
HAIKAL Shadwell Stable's Haikal galloped 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park on Sunday morning. Per trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, the consistent homebred is scheduled to ship to Kentucky following training. Haikal carries the blue and white of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, as well as a depth of pedigree tied closely to McLaughlin's operation. The conditioner trained his sire, the Cigar Mile (G1) winner Daaher, as well as sprint star Takaful, a half-brother to Haikal who won the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) in 2017 beating older horses.
"I thought Takaful, being by Bernadini, would ultimately go long, but he was
really keen and tough to train," McLaughlin said. "This horse's mind is
different. He's much more relaxed. He's not as tough to train and I think he
has the kind of mind you need in this kind of a race. It's great to have this horse do so well; by a sire you trained and owned
by a great man like Sheikh Hamdan," he continued. "I'm really honored to get
him into the starting gate."
LONG RANGE TODDY Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Long Range Toddy galloped 1 1/2 miles Sunday morning and is likely to breeze Monday, according to Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen's assistant Scott Blasi.
MASTER FENCER Japan's representative in this year's Kentucky Derby, Koichi Tsunoda-trained Master Fencer, continues to train at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington. At 6:30 a.m., the chestnut son of Just A Way jogged one lap on the all-weather training track and then another on the main dirt track under exercise rider Yosuke Kono. Adorning a hood that matches the pink silks he will carry on race day for owners Katsumi and Yasuyo Yoshizawa, he was led on both occasions by pony "Fox" and rider Mary Ellet.
Per connections, the proverbial mystery horse of the Kentucky Derby 145 is
eating up his feed markedly well and thriving since arriving in the United
The stakes-placed colt is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on Monday
MAXIMUM SECURITY Gary and Mary West's Maximum Security galloped Sunday morning at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida where he is scheduled to
work Monday for trainer Jason Servis.
Maximum Security is scheduled to ship to Louisville Tuesday. Servis will be
making the drive from South Florida and is not expected to arrive in town
until Tuesday night.
OMAHA BEACH Trainer Richard Mandella swung by Barn 28 Sunday morning to do a little "easy" training. His likely Kentucky Derby favorite, Fox Hill Farm's Omaha Beach, had done the heavy lifting the day before when he fired a :59 in a five-furlong drill that was the primary finishing touch on his preparations for Derby 145. Sunday all the Hall of Fame trainer had to do was oversee a 30-minute walk around the shedrow for his big colt and that went just fine.
"To be honest, I didn't sleep too well last night," Mandella said. "Anytime you have an important work like we did yesterday, you've got to be concerned for the next morning and how they come out of it. But he's fine; good as gold. It sure has me feeling better."
The trainer and his wife, Randi, were off later in the day for a trip over to Spendthrift Farm to see one of their favorites, the multi-champion mare Beholder, who Mandella guided through four Eclipse Award seasons 2012 (2-year-old filly), 2013 (3-year-old filly), 2015 and 2016 (older dirt female). Along the way she managed to win $6,156,000. The trainer noted that the mare already had a yearling colt by Uncle Mo and a weanling filly by Curlin, and that she had been bred back to War Front, the sire of Omaha Beach.
As for his Derby charge looking ahead to Monday, Mandella left all options
"We'll either jog him, or gallop him, or ride him under the shed. That ought
to about cover it."
PLUS QUE PARFAIT Imperial Racing's UAE Derby (G2) winner Plus Que Parfait exited his final Kentucky Derby breeze in top shape, according to his connections. The chestnut ridgling son of Point of Entry walked the shedrow and did a routine trot on the concrete to check soundness Sunday morning.
"He came out great," trainer Brendan Walsh said. "We're very happy with him. He's a real solid horse."
"I don't think I've seen him come out of a work that (well)," added assistant trainer Tom Molloy. "He's very happy right now. He's a 'people-horse' and he barely pays attention to other horses. It's funny how much he likes people."
The Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) runner-up will school during the second race
Thursday along with with multiple Grade II-winning stable star Proctor's
Ledge, who is slated to defend her title in the Longines Churchill Downs
Turf Distaff (G2) on Derby Day.
SIGNALMAN Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner and Blue Grass (G2) third Signalman spent his Sunday morning just walking the shedrow following a five-furlong workout on Saturday at trainer Kenny McPeek's barn, assistant Greg Geier said.
The colt who races for the partnership of Tommie M. Lewis, Steve Crabtree, Dean Demaree, David Bernsen, Jim Chambers and Magdalena Racing was not showing any ill effects from a slight, one-inch cut over his left eye, from bumping his head while in his stall. He worked the five furlongs in 1:00 on Saturday with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.
Signalman still needs a couple of defections to make the Derby field. McPeek
plans to take the colt to Pimlico for the Preakness on May 18, no matter
what happens in Louisville.
SUENO "Walking only" was the report on the colt Sueno from the Keith Desormeaux barn Sunday morning, the second day the Silverton Hill LLC youngster had merely toured Barn 24.
Assistant trainer Julie Clark was in charge of proceedings while Desormeaux had headed back to check on his main string at Santa Anita in California. She noted realistically that their dark bay or brown 3-year-old was unlikely to make the cut for Derby 145 in light of the fact that he stood at No. 23 on a roster that was only going to allow for 20.
Though official word on the colt's next race won't come until the owners
make the call later in the week, it appears the son of the Medaglia d'Oro
stallion Atreides is likely next to be seen in the lineup for the Preakness
Stakes (G1) in Maryland on May 18.
TAX According to trainer Danny Gargan, Wood Memorial (G2) runner-up Tax galloped one mile at Belmont Park on Sunday morning and is scheduled to ship to Kentucky later on during the day. The Withers (G3)-winning gelded son of Arch breezed a half-mile in 47.80 three days prior.
"He's improved with each run," Gargan said. "I think he ran an '8+', then an '8-' and then a '6' in his last three starts on the sheets. He continues to do well."
Tax is owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and
Corms Racing Stable. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing (Dean and Patti Reeves)
owned Mucho Macho Man, who was third in the 2011 Derby.
VEKOMA R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables' Vekoma had a walk day at trainer
George Weaver's barn at Palm Beach Downs in Florida.
Winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) in his most recent start, Vekoma is
scheduled to ship to Louisville on Tuesday. Weaver expects to be at the post
position draw Tuesday at 11 a.m.
WAR OF WILL When asked how Gary Barber's multiple graded stakes winner War of Will had come out of his bullet four-furlong work in 47.60 on Saturday, trainer Mark Casse found the nearest piece of wood by his office and playfully knocked his head up against it. "They just walked today, so far so good," said Casse, also referring to War of Will and his Oaks contender Chocolate Kisses, who also worked Saturday.
War of Will also got some new shoes put on in advance of his expected
Kentucky Derby run.
WIN WIN WIN Jockey Julian Pimentel likely will never forget his first trip to Churchill Downs. In town to work Live Oak Plantation's Win Win Win for Saturday's Kentucky Derby, he would up having more company than he bargained for as he piloted the colt through a half-mile in :47.60, the fourth fastest of 76 works at the distance.
As Win Win Win and his workmate, Souper Courage, were getting ready to break off at the half-mile pole, to their inside came the Bill Mott-trained Derby hopefuls Country House and Tacitus who were in to their five-furlong works.
"That was a little different, but it worked out well," Pimentel said of the work in which Win Win Win raced just behind the Mott duo. "He went about his business and he wanted to go get them."
Trainer Mike Trombetta was watching from the fourth floor stakes room balcony and could see how things were going to unfold. "I was on the radio with Mel (exercise rider Melanie Williams on Souper Courage) and told her there was company coming behind her," Trombetta said. "They started their work at the 5/8ths and that is why they caught up to us so fast. Those things happen, but it is unusual that it happened here with limited traffic. Hey, they jump in and join the party and everybody gets around there OK and everybody is happy."
At the end of the day, there were smiles all around. "Julian was very happy with it," Trombetta said of the rider who has been on board for all three of the colt's victories including a track-record score in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Pimentel returned to Maryland after the work and is scheduled to return to
Louisville on Friday.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY Likely starters in the 145th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, May 4: By My Standards (jockey Gabriel Saez), Code of Honor (John Velazquez), Country House (Flavien Prat), Cutting Humor (undecided), Game Winner (Joel Rosario), Gray Magician (Drayden Van Dyke), Haikal (Rajiv Maragh), Improbable (Irad Ortiz Jr.), Long Range Toddy (Jon Court), Master Fencer (JPN) (Julien Leparoux), Maximum Security (Luis Saez), Omaha Beach (Mike Smith), Plus Que Parfait (Ricardo Santana Jr.), Roadster (Florent Geroux), Spinoff (Manny Franco), Tacitus (Jose Ortiz), Tax (Junior Alvarado), Vekoma (Javier Castellano), War of Will (Tyler Gaffalione), Win Win Win (Julian Pimentel).
Next up in order of preference: Bodexpress (undecided), Signalman (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Sueno (undecided) and Bourbon War (undecided).
KENTUCKY DERBY POST POSITION DRAW
The Post Position Draw for the 145th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) will be held Tuesday, April 30 at 11 a.m. (all times Eastern) in the Aristides Lounge on the second floor of Churchill Downs' Clubhouse. The Derby post position draw is a traditional "pill pull" in which horses' entry blanks are pulled simultaneously with a numbered pill to determine what stall a horse will break from the starting gate. Preference to America's greatest race is given to the top point-earners on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby." Up to 24 3-year-olds may enter the 1 1/4-mile race and four horses can be listed as "also eligible" and would be ranked in order accordingly; they could draw into the field should any horse(s) be scratched before scratch time on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 9 a.m.
The Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw will be streamed live on www.KentuckyDerby.com and televised live in Louisville by NBC affiliate WAVE-3 and other various other local and national outlets.
PAST PERFORMANCES AND STAKES HISTORY
KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE
BELLAFINA The likely favorite for Friday's $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) put in her final bit of western exercise Sunday morning at Santa Anita Park as trainer Simon Callaghan looked on. "She galloped a mile and a half and she looks very good. We're very pleased with her," the transplanted Englishman said. "She'll be aboard a plane at Ontario Airport at 1 a.m. tomorrow and should arrive at Churchill Downs early Monday."
Callaghan has regular rider Flavien Prat (he has handled her in all eight of
her previous starts) signed on once again for the Kaleem Shah filly, who has
won six of those eight starts, all of the victories in graded stakes. The
trainer noted that he'd be flying from California Tuesday and planned to be
at the barn with Bellafina Wednesday morning
CHAMPAGNE ANYONE Six Column Stables and Randy Bloch's Champagne Anyone completed her major preparations for Friday's $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) by working a half-mile in :48 with jockey Chris Landeros aboard. Fractions on the work were :12.40, :24.60 and out five furlongs in 1:00.80. The half-mile drill was the eighth fastest of 76 at the distance over the fast track.
On a scale of one to 10 on the "Just what I wanted scale," trainer Ian Wilkes had the work at the top end of the ladder. "It was perfect," Wilkes said. "She has had a good four weeks here (since winning the Gulfstream Park Oaks, GII) and as long as I don't mess anything up the next four days, we are fine."
Landeros will have the mount Friday on Champagne Anyone, who is scheduled to
"Every time I get on this filly, she gives me more confidence I can win the
Oaks," Landeros said.
CHOCOLATE KISSES Like stablemate War of Will, who also was on the work tab Saturday, Honeybee Stakes (G3) winner Chocolate Kisses had a walk day in the Casse Racing shedrow.
The daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) put in her major piece of work in advance
of the Kentucky Oaks when she worked four furlongs in :48 outside in company
with Hoffa's Union. Chocolate Kisses broke her maiden on the turf at
Saratoga last summer and went on to finish fourth to fellow Kentucky Oaks
contender Restless Rider in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
COOKIE DOUGH Arindel's Cookie Dough, who would need one defection from the roster of probable entrants to make the Kentucky Oaks field of 14, continued her training Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer Stanley Gold.
Should Cookie Dough draw into the field, Jeffrey Sanchez would have the
mount. If she does not draw into the field, Gold has indicated she would
stay at Gulfstream and point to the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico May
DUNBAR ROAD Following her five-furlong workout on Saturday, Peter M. Brant's Dunbar Road did not go out on the Churchill Downs track. Instead, as she awaits a possible run in the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (G1), she walked the shedrow.
"Now we have to wait to see if there are any defections," trainer Chad Brown
In order for her to make the field, Dunbar Road needs at least two of the
horses in front of her on the Oaks points leaderboard to defect. She's 16th
in the points standings, but only the top 14 will reach the starting gate,
with the field to be decided Monday morning. Dunbar Road worked five
furlongs in 1:01.60 on Saturday under her regular exercise rider, Kriss Bon.
FLOR DE LA MAR Godolphin Racing's Grade 1-placed Flor de La Mar was out relatively early to take her first trip around the Churchill Downs main track Sunday morning. In her first bit of exercise since arriving from California a day earlier, the daughter of Tiznow joined stablemate Game Winner in coming out around 6:30 and jogging one lap the wrong way around under Jose Conteras. Unraced as a juvenile, Flor de La Mar will be making just her fourth career start when she enters the starting gate for the Kentucky Oaks and showed promise when finishing second to likely Oaks favorite Bellafina in the April 6 Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
"I thought she worked really well (on Friday)," trainer Bob Baffert said
referring to the filly's bullet five-furlong move from the gate in 59.80 at
Santa Anita Park. "It's a tough task for her (going into the Oaks) but she
got beat just a couple lengths by the favorite, Bellafina, who I think is
the best filly in there. She ran pretty decent."
JAYWALK Cash is King and Leonard Green's Jaywalk galloped Sunday morning at
Keeneland under exercise rider Lucas Berticelli for trainer John Servis.
Jaywalk is scheduled to leave Keeneland at noon today with an early
afternoon arrival at Churchill Downs.
JELTRIN ADR Racing Stable's Jeltrin, winner of the Davona Dale (G2) at odds of 51-1, made her first appearance on the track here Sunday morning jogging a mile under exercise rider Andry Blanco shortly after the track opened at 5:15.
"She will go out early every morning except Tuesday or Wednesday when she would go at 7:30," trainer Alexis Delgado said.
Jeltrin arrived at Churchill Downs Saturday afternoon and will be ridden in
the Oaks by Luis Saez.
"I have been here before but only as a tourist," said Delgado, who has 16
horses in his stable at Gulfstream Park.
LADY APPLE Phoenix Thoroughbred III and KatieRich Stables' Fantasy Stakes (G3) winner Lady Apple worked an easy half-mile in :49.80 Sunday morning for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Lady Apple worked solo through splits of :12.40, :25 and :37.20 with a five-furlong gallop out in 1:04.80.
Asmussen is likely to arrive in Louisville Monday or Tuesday.
LIORA Coffee Pot Stables' Liora was put through some fine tuning Sunday, going to the paddock and then gate schooling during the 7:30 a.m. time slot before putting in a light jog under Victor Garcia with trainer Wayne Catalano looking on.
Given that Liora boasts the same trainer, owner, and jockey (Channing Hill) as former stablemate and 2017 Kentucky Oaks starter Farrell, comparisons to the multiple grade stakes winner are easy to draw. Where Farrell was a committed frontrunner, however, Catalano believes his latest talented distaffer has more handiness to her.
"With Farrell, she mostly wanted to be on the lead, she was a little bit one
dimensional," Catalano said. "This filly will do whatever you want her to
do. She'll lay up there, she'll go on, she can do whatever you want. She's a
little bit more manageable."
MOTION EMOTION Mark DeDomenico's Motion Emotion returned to the track to jog
a mile under exercise rider Raul Vizcarrondo for trainer Tom Van Berg.
OUT FOR A SPIN Commonwealth Stables' upset Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Out for a Spin galloped about 1 1/2 miles Sunday morning for locally based trainer Dallas Stewart. "We're just rolling along," Stewart said. "It's starting to get down to the nitty-gritty of it."
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call for the Longines Kentucky Oaks.
POSITIVE SPIRIT Trainer Rodolphe Brisset said Michael J. Ryan's Positive Spirit was on the Keeneland track as planned Sunday morning. "We galloped two fractional miles, with a two-minute lick in the second one," Brisset texted from Lexington. "The filly went beautiful, so if all is good tomorrow, we will ship to Churchill in the morning."
Positive Spirit, who broke her maiden last November at Churchill Downs, put in
a bullet workout on April 21 with Brisset, going a half-mile in :47.20 at
Keeneland. Manny Franco is expected to ride her in the Oaks.
RESTLESS RIDER Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm's Ashland Stakes (G1) runner-up Restless Rider did not go to the track ahead of her final workout Monday with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. She walked the shedrow, said Greg Geier, assistant to trainer Kenny McPeek.
McPeek said Saturday that on Monday she'll breeze a half-mile, about 3 1/2
hours before the field for the 145th Kentucky Oaks is decided.
SERENGETI EMPRESS Joel Politi's Serengeti Empress followed the planned regimen of trainer Tom Amoss, jogging a mile and galloping 1 1/2 miles. The filly is showing no ill effects from a bleeding episode during the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in New Orleans on March 23.
She was on the Churchill Downs track again Sunday with her regular exercise
rider, Francisco Herrera. New Orleans native Amoss finished fifth in last
year's Oaks with Chocolate Martini, and eighth with Lone Sailor in the 2018
STREET BAND Larry Jones, Cindy Jones and Ray Francis' Street Band, the surprise winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks who'll try to reprise that effort Friday in the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), turned in her final work toward that goal Sunday morning during the special Derby/Oaks training period at 7:30 at Churchill Downs. The daughter of the Gone West stallion Istan clipped off five furlongs under regular rider Sophie Doyle in 1:00.20, hugging the rail from the five-furlong pole to the wire. Her splits along the way were :12.60, :24.40, :37 and :48.40. She then galloped out an extra furlong in 1:13.60.
"That's her usual work," noted assistant trainer Corey York, the right-hand man for the past 15 years for trainer/co-owner/breeder Larry Jones. "It's a good move for her and just what we wanted. She looked good."
Indeed, the drill by the chestnut filly followed pattern. Her previous four works were accomplished in 1:00.40, 1:00.20, 1:00 and 1:01.
Englishwoman Doyle, who has handled Street Band in her past five starts and was decked out in not one, but two, Go-Pro cameras for the move, liked the way her filly went. "She moved well out there," the 31-year-old rider said. "She gave me a great feel."
The rider spoke briefly after the work with Jones, who was on the phone from Oaklawn Park where he was overseeing his stable's main string. The Kentuckian, who already has three victories in the Kentucky Oaks (Proud Spell in 2008, Believe You Can in 2012 and Lovely Maria in 2015), plans on relocating to Louisville Sunday night.
Co-owner Francis was on hand for the drill and allowed as how he was
enjoying the run-up to the Run for the Lilies.
"It's very exciting to be in with Larry (Jones) and his crew," the former
Louisville resident who now calls Henderson, Kentucky, home said. "We don't
know how she's going to do in that 14-horse field, but it's fun to be a part
Entries for the Kentucky Oaks will be drawn Monday morning.
SHAPING UP: THE LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS Likely starters in the 145th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 3: Bellafina (jockey Flavien Prat), Champagne Anyone (Chris Landeros), Chocolate Kisses (Julien Leparoux), Flor de la Mar (Joel Rosario), Jaywalk (Javier Castellano), Jeltrin (Luis Saez), Lady Apple (Ricardo Santana Jr.), Liora (Channing Hill), Motion Emotion (Mike Smith), Out for a Spin (Irad Ortiz Jr.), Positive Spirit (Manny Franco), Restless Rider (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Serengeti Empress (Undecided), Street Band (Sophie Doyle).
Next up in order of preference: Cookie Dough (Jeffrey Sanchez) and Dunbar Road (Jose Ortiz).
DERBY/OAKS KNOWN ARRIVAL SCHEDULE
NEW OAKS/DERBY PICK 6 HIGHLIGHTS DERBY WEEK WAGERING MENU
A new two-day Pick 6 that features six Grade I races, including the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, highlights a spectacular wagering menu for the 2019 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.
Along with the new $2 Oaks/Derby Pick 6, the wagering menu will also feature a $1.5 million guaranteed Pick 5 on Kentucky Derby day that will end on the Kentucky Derby in Race 12 and the $1 million guaranteed Bourbon Double for the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) and Kentucky Derby. The 50-cent Pick 5, arguably the fastest growing wager in the U.S., features a 15% takeout. The Bourbon Double has a $1 minimum denomination.
The Oaks/Derby Pick 6, which has a $250,000 guaranteed pool, has a mandatory payout with a 15% takeout. The wager will begin Friday with the $500,000 La Troienne a 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up, followed by the Kentucky Oaks run at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-old fillies. Saturday's races include the $500,000 Humana Distaff for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at seven furlongs; the $500,000 Churchill Downs for 4-year-olds and up run at seven furlongs; the $1 million Old Forester Turf Classic for 4-year-olds and up run at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course; and the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby.
The wagering menu will also include the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot which began on Opening Night, April 27, and run through the entirety of the Spring Meet, including Oaks and Derby days. To win the entire Single 6 Jackpot, a player must have the only winning combination. If there are multiple winning combinations, 90 percent of the pool will be paid out and 10 percent will carry to the next day's card. The Single 6 Jackpot takeout is 15%.
Head-to-head wagers, which were approved earlier this month by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, will not be offered this year.
The full list of post times and wagering offerings are available here.
EARLY LOOK AT POSSIBLE FIELDS FOR KENTUCKY DERBY WEEK STAKES
$500,000 LA TROIENNE (G1) (Entries taken Monday, April 29, race Friday, May 3) Probable: Blue Prize (ARG) (Ignacio Correas IV), Divine Miss Grey (Danny Gargan), Heavenhasmynikki (Bob Hess Jr.), Mopotism (Doug O'Neill), Secret Spice (Richard Baltas) and She's a Julie (Steve Asmussen).
$400,000 ALYSHEBA (G2) (Entries taken Monday, April 29, race Friday, May 3) Probable: Bandua (Jack Sisterson), Bourbon Resolution (Ian Wilkes), Instilled Regard (Chad Brown), McKinzie (Bob Baffert), Pavel (Doug O'Neill), Prime Attraction (Jim Cassidy), Silver Dust (Bret Calhoun) and Tom's d'Etat (Al Stall Jr.).
$250,000 EDGEWOOD (G3) (Entries taken Monday, April 29, race Friday, May 3) Probable: Cambier Parc (Chad Brown), Concrete Rose (Rusty Arnold), Newspaperofrecord (IRE) (Chad Brown) and Winter Sunset (Wayne Catalano).
$250,000 EIGHT BELLES (G2) (Entries taken Monday, April 29, race Friday, May 3) Probable: Bell's the One (Neil Pessin), Im Evin Im Leavin (Greg Tracy), Mother Mother (Bob Baffert), Queen of Beas (Jorge Abreu) and Take Charge Angel (Ben Colebrook).
$250,000 TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT (G2) (Entries taken Monday, April 29, race Friday, May 3) Probable: Angaston (Lon Wiggins), Bound for Nowhere (Wesley Ward), Eddie Haskell (Mark Glatt), Extravagant Kid (Brendan Walsh), Mr. Crow (Ben Colebrook), Will Call (Brad Cox) and World of Trouble (Jason Servis).
$1 MILLION OLD FORESTER TURF CLASSIC (G1) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 30, race Saturday, May 4) Probable: Breaking the Rules (Shug McGaughey), Bricks and Mortar (Chad Brown), March to the Arch (Mark Casse), Markitoff (Mike Maker), Multiplier (Bill Mott), Raging Bull (FR) (Brown) and Ticonderoga (Brown).
$500,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS (G1) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 30, race Saturday, May 4) Probable: Bobby's Wicked One (Al Stall Jr.), Do Share (Mike Maker), Limousine Liberal (Ben Colebrook), Promises Fulfilled (Dale Romans), Warrior's Club (D. Wayne Lukas) and Whitmore (Ron Moquett).
$500,000 HUMANA DISTAFF (G1) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 30, race Saturday, May 4) Probable: Amy's Challenge (Mac Robertson), Marley's Freedom (Bob Baffert), Shamrock Rose (Mark Casse) and Talk Veuve to Me (Rodolphe Brisset).
$400,000 AMERICAN TURF (G2) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 30, race Saturday, May 4) Probable: A Thread of Blue (Kiaran McLaughlin), Avie's Flatter (Josie Carroll), Casa Creed (Bill Mott), Digital Age (IRE) (Chad Brown), Forever Mo (Antonio Sano), Henley's Joy (Mike Maker), Louder Than Bombs (David Fawkes), Marquee Prince (Brad Cox), Seismic Wave (Mott) and Weekly Call (Vickie Foley).
$400,000 LONGINES DISTAFF TURF MILE (G2) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 30, race Saturday, May 4) Probable: Beau Recall (IRE) (Brad Cox), Capla Temptress (IRE) (Bill Mott), Daddy Is a Legend (George Weaver), Environs (GB) (Chad Brown), Got Stormy (Mark Casse), Precieuse (IRE) (Brown), Raven's Lady (GB) (James Cassidy), Take These Chains (Matt Hogan) and Valedictorian (Kelly Breen).
$400,000 PAT DAY MILE (G3) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 30, race Saturday, May 4) Probable: Dream Maker (Mark Casse), Frolic More (Dallas Stewart), Global Campaign (Stan Hough), Great Success (Gustavo Delgado), High Crime (Darrin Miller), Hog Creek Hustle (Vickie Foley), Lexitonian (Jack Sisterson), Manny Wah (Wayne Catalano) and Mr. Money (Bret Calhoun).