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2019 Kentucky Derby Track Notes


Liora comes off the track after her gallop on Monday morning.
Date: 4/29/2019

All days: 4/20, 4/21, 4/22, 4/23, 4/24, 4/25, 4/26, 4/27, 4/28, 4/29, 4/30, 5/01, 5/02

Monday morning at Churchill Downs was still chilly but not quite as gloomy as yesterday and the track was fast. The only Kentucky Derby contender to work today was Long Range Toddy, who went four furlongs in :47.80 (5th best of 40). The only Kentucky Oaks filly to work was Restless Rider who breezed four furlongs in :49.60 with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard (23rd best of 40).

Two other Derby works took place in Florida Monday morning. Undefeated Florida Derby (G1) winner Maximum Security worked four furlongs in :53.80 at Palm Meadows Training Center and Bodexpress worked five furlongs in 1:03.15 at Gulfstream Park West.

Arriving at Churchill Downs Monday morning from New York were Tax and Haikal, the second- and third-place finishers in the Wood Memorial. Coming in shortly after noon from California was Gray Magician along with Kentucky Oaks favorite Bellafina.

Bellafina, trained by Simon Callaghan, was installed as the 2-1 favorite by Churchill Downs linemaker Mike Battaglia for the Kentucky Oaks that drew a field of 14 plus two also-eligibles.

Slated to arrive late Monday from Keeneland is Japan invitee Master Fencer (JPN). Scheduled to arrive Tuesday from Florida is Blue Grass (G2) winner Vekoma along with the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Cutting Humor and Spinoff and Florida Derby runner-up Bodexpress who needs one defection to make the field of 20.

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, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.15 Monday morning at Gulfstream Park West. "He did everything really well. He came back really fresh," said Gustavo Delgado Jr., the son and assistant to trainer Gustavo Delgado. "The track is a little deep today, I would say. It was an easy five-eighths for him."

Bodexpress is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs early Tuesday morning. "He leaves tomorrow on a Tex Sutton plane. He leaves the barn at 2:30 a.m. (all times Eastern). The plane leaves at 4:30."

If the son of Bodemeister doesn't make the Kentucky Derby field when entries are taken Tuesday, his connections plan to point the Florida Derby (G1) runner-up to the May 18 Preakness Stakes (G1).

BY MY STANDARDS – It was a relatively quiet morning outside trainer Bret Calhoun's Barn 23 at Churchill Downs as TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) winner By My Standards walked the shedrow following his half-mile move in :48.40 Sunday morning. By My Standards is scheduled to school in Race 2 Tuesday along with his stablemates Mr. Money (Pat Day Mile) and Silver Dust (Alysheba), according to Calhoun.

CODE OF HONOR – William S. Farish's Code of Honor walked the shedrow and then grazed for about 45 minutes outside Barn 43 Monday, one day after completing his final workout. "He's doing really well," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "All systems are a go. I thought his work (Sunday) was good. He just skipped over the ground."

Code of Honor has not started since he finished third in the Florida Derby (G1) March 30. Following that race, he was sent to Keeneland to begin his Kentucky Derby preparations. "He's been progressing all along," McGaughey said. "He had a really good month at Keeneland, had two good works there. He got here to Churchill and settled in fine. The first two days the track was sloppy and he handled that fine. The track was great for his breeze and hopefully will be that way Saturday."

McGaughey said he was just going to "piddle with" his Derby contender the rest of the week and that he would school in the paddock Tuesday before the first race.

COUNTRY HOUSE / TACITUS – Bill Mott's Kentucky Derby duo of Country House and Tacitus both jogged a lap over the Churchill Downs main track at 7:30 Monday morning during the special Derby-Oaks training session. The two worked five furlongs in tandem on Sunday in 1:00. "They came out well, so far," Mott said while routinely hosing cold water over Tacitus' hind legs.

Wood Memorial (G2) winner Tacitus and Arkansas Derby (G1)-placed Country House will be among 20 in the gate Saturday, with post positions to be drawn Tuesday. "I don't think the post is a huge deal with my horses," Mott said. "Country House usually drops out to the back. I would like to be somewhere in the middle. I don't want the rail or outside post, but it's out of my control, so I'm not going to worry about it. Tacitus has been close to the lead turning for home. He's a tactical type who doesn't need to drop completely out of it."

CUTTING HUMOR / SPINOFF – The Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Starlight Racing's Cutting Humor and Wertheimer and Frere's Spinoff galloped 10 furlongs Monday morning at Palm Beach Downs and "they went well," according to their conditioner.

The two colts have an early flight scheduled Tuesday from nearby West Palm Beach Airport with an expected arrival at Churchill Downs between 8-8:30 a.m. Pletcher will make a quick trip to New York from Florida, then head to Louisville Tuesday afternoon. He'll be at Barn 40 with his horses Wednesday morning.


Roadster
GAME WINNER / IMPROBABLE / ROADSTER – It may have been a light day of exercise for Bob Baffert's trio of Kentucky Derby contenders but that didn't stop the Hall of Fame trainer from commanding the full attention of the press corp.

With the usual gaggle of onlookers draped around Barn 33, Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster headed out for an easy gallop under Humberto "Beto" Gomez during the special time slot reserved for Oaks and Derby contenders. The son of Quality Road visited the starting gate before going once around the Churchill main track, his first gallop over the Louisville strip. "He looked good, he's happy. They're all doing really well," Baffert said of Roadster and his stablemates.

Roadster was the only one of the group to gallop Monday with Game Winner going out at 6:30 a.m. for a jog once around the wrong way and Improbable having a walk day following his five-furlong breeze Sunday.


Game Winner
While Game Winner has the Eclipse Award as the reigning 2-year-old champion male, Roadster was actually tabbed by Baffert as the potential heir apparent to 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify last summer. He broke his maiden in stylish fashion, winning by 4 1/4 lengths first time out at Del Mar last July, but had his progression derailed when he had to undergo throat surgery following his third-place finish in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).

When he resurfaced in the entry box this March, he provided a reminder of why he was so well-regarded to begin with by capturing a one-mile allowance race over Nolo Contesto. The gray colt owned by Speedway Stable doubled down on that big impression in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) when he put in a massive late run to defeat Game Winner by half a length.

"First of all the distance for him is not going to be a problem," Baffert said of Roadster. "He's got a beautiful stride and he can get the mile and a quarter. There are a lot of horses in there that are fast but a mile and a quarter, you don't know if they're going to get it. I know he'll get it, and what he did beating Game Winner like that off just one prep was impressive."

GRAY MAGICIAN – A game last-out second in the 1 3/16-mile UAE Derby (G2), Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber's Gray Magician has emphatically answered the stamina question in the affirmative, which is definitely something trainer Peter Miller took into account when deciding whether to run his charge in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. "The majority of those horses may not want the distance," Miller said. "It's not an issue with him. It's just if he is good enough and I think he's a talented horse."

The son of Graydar landed around 11:30 a.m. on Monday and arrived at Churchill Downs at 12:20. Miller is scheduled to arrive Wednesday, one day after the post position draw. "If I had to pick the ideal spot, I'd probably say the nine," Miller said. "In this race, you like to be in the middle."

Miller's only other Derby starter was the swift Comma to the Top, who was also co-owned by Barber and finished 19th behind Animal Kingdom in 2011 after stalking the pace.

HAIKAL – Shadwell Stable's Haikal arrived at approximately 4:30 Monday morning after vanning from his Belmont Park base in New York. Taking up residence in Barn 41, the son of Daaher appeared alert and to have taken the long journey well. "He shipped well," said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to trainer and older brother Kiaran. "He will train tomorrow during the Derby session and just walked today."

A half-brother to GI winner Takaful, the late-running colt is out of the unraced Distorted Humor mare Sablah, who was trained by Danny Peitz. "She was a real runner," Peitz said. "She wasn't able to race, but she had a lot of talent. She was a cool filly who loved to eat and sleep."

Like her offspring, Sablah—a granddaughter of European champion Shadayid—hails from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's deep investment in high-end pedigrees. "I don't know anyone who deserves to win the Derby more than Sheikh Hamdan," Kiaran McLaughlin said. "Maybe some as much as he does, but no one more."

LONG RANGE TODDY – Willis Horton Racing LLC.'s Long Range Toddy completed his final Kentucky Derby preparations by breezing a half mile in :47.80 and then galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.20 and six furlongs in 1:12.40 Monday. His half-mile time was the fifth fastest of 40 at the distance.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is hoping the Take Charge Indy colt can return to the form he showed when he won the first division of the Rebel Stakes (G2) March 16 at Oaklawn over fellow Derby starter Improbable. He is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13 over a sloppy track. Should he win the Derby, Long Range Toddy's jockey, Jon Court, would be the oldest rider to win at age 58.

"That would be a beautiful thing," Asmussen said. "Jon gave him such a dream trip in the Rebel. Hopefully, we can recapture some of that magic Saturday. Hopefully, we'll have a fast track like we had (Monday) morning. He worked beautifully this morning. At this time of the year, the 3-year-olds have to step up. He stepped up big time in the Rebel and hopefully can continue to improve. He'll need to put up the race of a lifetime in the Derby."

MASTER FENCER – Katsumi and Yasuyo Yoshizawa's owned and Koichi Tsunoda-trained Master Fencer, the first Japanese-bred horse to race in the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs from Keeneland Racecourse on Monday evening. He will leave Lexington at 5 p.m. and likely be in Louisville by 6:30 p.m.

On Monday morning, he did an easy hack twice around the Keeneland training track before walking on the main track to continue his acclimation to the tighter ovals of American racing. Yosuke Kono, the training assistant from Tsunodo Stables, was aboard.

MAXIMUM SECURITY – Gary and Mary West's Maximum Security breezed at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida, Monday morning the day before he is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs. "He went a mile in 1:58 and came home, I want to say, in 25 (seconds) for the last quarter," trainer Jason Servis said. "He galloped out a mile and an eighth in 2:12 and cooled out good. All systems are, 'Go.'"

Maximum Security was assigned a clocking of :53.80 for a half-mile by the Palm Meadows clocker. "They're getting the last [half-mile] when the horse is breezing a slow mile," Servis said. "That's something that probably needs to be addressed at some point."

Servis said he understands the need for half-mile workouts and breezes out of the starting gate for a young horse but is more comfortable with the longer open gallops as horses develop. "I think it was after his second race that I took him off the rail so to speak and started doing the open miles," Servis said. "It's just a maintaining thing, trying to avoid injuries that would set us back. Maybe in a fast breeze there is more risk than what I'm doing."

Maximum Security is undefeated in four career starts, including a front-running 3 1/2-length victory in the March 30 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in his stakes debut.

OMAHA BEACH – Fox Hill Farms' Derby colt Omaha Beach started out Derby Week with a nice gallop during the special 7:30-7:45 a.m. training period designated for Derby and Oaks participants. Exercise rider Taylor Cambra took the son of War Front from Barn 28 through the five-furlong gap with a pony alongside and sauntered along the backstretch for a half-mile or so. Then he went to galloping in that long, easy stride of his, flowing smoothly around the turns, squaring his shoulders and gliding through the straights, looking like the clichι – poetry in motion. In the end, the exercise went on for about a mile and an eighth, plenty enough for his first time back following a work Saturday and a walk day Sunday.

Looking on was his conditioner, Richard Mandella, and his rider, Mike Smith, who had flown in from California Sunday to be part of a Kentucky Derby Museum event and will stick around for the rest of the week. They both liked what they saw from "Omaha" out on the big Churchill strip. "We checked off another box," the trainer said in reference to the gallop. "Every day we check one off. So far so good; he hasn't missed one yet."

Mandella indicated that he had already had his charge in the Churchill starting gate, but was eligible to have him back there again before the week was out. He also said the horse would school in the paddock during Wednesday's sixth race "and we might school him again Thursday."

Later in the morning, retired rider Jean Cruguet stopped by to chat with Mandella, meaning the conditioner had had two Triple Crown winning jocks (Cruguet with Seattle Slew in 1977, Smith with Justify in 2018) on hand to swap stories within one morning. Coming up to the Kentucky Derby, that's what is known as keeping yourself in good company.

PLUS QUE PARFAIT – Imperial Racing's UAE Derby (G2) winner Plus Que Parfait, the first U.S.-based horse to win said the $2.5 million affair, continues to fly under the radar since his return to his home base of Churchill Downs. On Monday at 7:30 a.m., the son of Point of Entry and runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) galloped 1 3/4 miles with enthusiasm over the main track during the special Derby-Oaks training session.

"He thrives on his work," trainer Brendan Walsh said. "When he works like he did the other day, he actually really comes out of it better and wanting to do more. I don't think we've seen the best of him."

SIGNALMAN – Until there's some shuffling among the top 20 planning to enter the Kentucky Derby on Tuesday, Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner and Blue Grass (G2) third Signalman is still outside looking in, as trainer Kenny McPeek supervised his trip to the track Monday.

The colt – who races for the partnership of Tommie M. Lewis, Steve Crabtree, Dean Demaree, David Bernsen, Jim Chambers and Magdalena Racing – was jogging with regular exercise rider Danny Ramsey. A one-inch cut over his left eye, from bumping his head while in his stall, was stitched up, McPeek said. He worked five furlongs in 1:00 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 – For the third straight day, Silverton Hill LLC's Sueno simply walked the shedrow.

The No. 23 horse on the 20-horse Derby 145 list is an unlikely participant and his connections have become accepting of their likely fate. "The way it's looking," said assistant trainer Julie Clark at Barn 24 Monday morning, "he's getting a freshening and then we'll see what comes next. We know things could still possibly happen, but it just seems that everyone is set and we aren't likely to get our (Derby) chance."

Sueno, four times stakes placed this year, might next be seen in action in the Preakness Stakes (G1) two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. That matter will be officially decided this week, but it appears his people are likely leaning that way.

TAX – R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable's Tax arrived at Churchill Downs from New York Monday morning and settled in nicely in Barn 39.

Trainer Danny Gargan is scheduled to fly to Louisville Tuesday morning along with Randy Hill in time to attend the post position draw for Kentucky Derby 145. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who will be represented by Haikal in the Derby field, is scheduled to accompany them.

Tax might not have embarked on the Kentucky Derby trail had Gargan not taken some wise advice from McLaughlin. Gargan, who claimed Tax with the intention of running him long on turf, recalled the morning last fall when the son of Arch and McLaughlin gave him other ideas. "When I breezed him on the dirt, I realized he could run on the dirt. He broke off inside a couple horses and he breezed really, really big. Kiaran McLaughlin was with me watching the work," Gargan said. "I was going to run him in a grass starter race, and it didn't go. I said to Kiaran, 'What am I going to do with this horse?' He said, you're going to supplement him and run him in the Remsen (G2).' I said, 'No, I'm not.' He said, 'Yes, you are.'"

Tax went on to finish third behind Maximus Mischief in the Dec. 1 Remsen at Aqueduct. "He got a little tired. I hadn't had him that long. I only worked him twice," Gargan said. "If I had a little more fitness in my horse, I wouldn't have beaten him [Maximus Mischief], but I would have been second."

Tax subsequently earned his way into the Kentucky Derby field with a victory in the Withers (G3) and a second-place finish behind Tacitus in the Wood Memorial (G2).

VEKOMA – R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables' Blue Grass (G2) winner Vekoma galloped a mile and a half at Palm Beach Downs to complete the Florida portion of his training for Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Trained by George Weaver, Vekoma will leave the barn early Tuesday morning for a flight to Louisville. Weaver is expected to be at the post position draw at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.

WAR OF WILL – The smile trainer Mark Casse has been bearing since arriving in Louisville last week continued to beam at high wattage after watching War of Will put in another energetic gallop Monday. The Gary Barber-owned son of War Front was full of himself after getting a day off following his bullet four-furlong work in 47.60 on Saturday. With exercise rider Jose Vasquez in the irons, the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star Stakes (G2) winner got over the Churchill Downs track in a manner that had his Canadian Hall of Fame trainer bursting at the seams.

"He was feeling good today. He's just thriving now," Casse said. "Someone said to me today, which was nice, here are supposed to be 20 of the best 3-year-olds in the world and he stands out over them."

WIN WIN WIN – It was a quiet morning for Live Oak Plantation's Win Win Win a day after working an adventuresome half-mile in company in :47.60. "He did enough yesterday and deserves an easy day," trainer Mike Trombetta said. "He'll go back to the track and jog tomorrow."

During Monday's work, Win Win Win got up with trainer Bill Mott's Derby duo of Country House and Tacitus who were working five furlongs. In the stretch, after his workmate backed out of the four-horse drill, Win Win Win passed the Mott twosome nearing the wire. "I got to watch it many times. It was easier to find because it was all over," Trombetta said of video of the work. "I doubt that (it will lower the odds on Win Win Win)."

Julian Pimentel was on Win Win Win and exercise rider Melanie Williams was on the workmate, Souper Courage. "All credit to Mel," Trombetta said. "I told her (on the radio) they were coming and she was the one driving the bus. She could have dropped over and messed them up and that's the last thing I wanted to do. She stayed outside and let them through."

Williams liked what she saw from the stable star's breeze. "I think that's the best he has ever worked," Williams said.

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 – Kaleem Shah's multiple-stakes winning daughter of Quality Road, Bellafina, arrived aboard a flight from California late Monday morning and was bedded down at Barn 42 at Churchill Downs shortly after noon.

The horse to beat in Friday's $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), Bellafina will be looking to add to her stellar record so far, which reads at six wins from eight starts, with all six of those victories coming in graded stakes. Her current bankroll sits at $1,068,000 and, if she's good enough to best 13 rivals in Friday's Run for the Lilies, she'll add $705,250 to her account.

Monday morning Bellafina drew post position four in the Oaks field with her regular rider, Flavien Prat, named on board. She was installed as the 2-1 favorite for the 145th running of the filly classic.

Her trainer, Simon Callaghan, was reached at his California headquarters and had these thoughts on her post draw for the nine-furlong Oaks: "It's a good post for her. I'm fine with it," Callaghan said. "I see there's a fair amount of speed outside us and I'm thinking the race should set up nicely. She's very versatile and doesn't need the lead in order to win. I think she'll find a place where she's comfortable."

Bellafina has natural speed, but has only been on the lead throughout in two of her six tallies.

CHAMPAGNE ANYONE – Six Column Stables and Randy Bloch's Champagne Anyone jogged once around while accompanied by a pony a day after working a half-mile in :48 under jockey Chris Landeros.

Trainer Ian Wilkes, who said Champagne Anyone would walk Tuesday morning, literally had his hands full during training as he was carrying his 6-week-old grandson Rory Landeros.

Champagne Anyone, winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in her most recent start, drew post position 10 for the Oaks. "I think it's a perfect spot to be in," Wilkes said. "There's some speed around us and this filly hopefully will be sitting in a good spot early on."

"It's Oaks 145 and one plus four plus five is 10. Maybe that will work out? The math worked for Street Sense when Ian had him as an assistant," Landeros joked. "I think we drew a perfect spot. I think the race could develop the way we need and she couldn't be doing any better."

CHOCOLATE KISSES – With the track traffic quieting later in the morning, Chocolate Kisses emerged right around 9:10 a.m. Monday and proceed to train "as good as I've ever seen her," her conditioner Mark Casse declared.

Under the handling of exercise rider Kim Carroll, Chocolate Kisses galloped in her first trip back to the track since working four furlongs in :48 on Saturday. The daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) later would draw post position two for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) – not that it mattered where the late-running filly is concerned. "Post means nothing (to her) because she's going back to the back of the caboose," Casse said.

Casse previously stated he believes he made an error in judgment in giving instructions to keep Chocolate Kisses closer to the pace in the April 6 Ashland Stakes (G1) in which she finished a disappointing sixth. When she prevailed in the Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on March 9, she put in a big rally after rating next to last in the early going.

DUNBAR ROAD – Trainer Chad Brown had Peter M. Brant's Dunbar Road out Monday morning for light exercise. "She jogged today, nothing too strenuous," said Brown, who was still hoping that she might make the field. Dunbar Road earned enough points in the prep races to put her at No. 15 in the preference list.

"We haven't made any plans for after this yet," Brown said. "We'll see how the week goes and hope she gets in."

Dunbar Road worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 on Saturday under her regular exercise rider, Kriss Bon.

Dunbar Road is on the also-eligible list for the Oaks, along with Point of Honor. With Jose Ortiz down to ride, Dunbar Road was made a 5-1 morning line choice, should she draw in at scratch time of 9 a.m. Friday.

FLOR DE LA MAR – After taking things easy in her first trip over the Churchill Downs track Sunday, Godolphin Racing's Flor de La Mar picked things up a bit Monday with some gate schooling and a gallop under Jose Conteras. Flor de La Mar joined stablemate Roadster in coming out during the 7:30 a.m. training slot and would go on to draw post position five for the Kentucky Oaks. Trainer Bob Baffert said he considered taking a path of lesser resistance with the daughter of Tiznow following her runner-up effort behind Bellafina in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) but ultimately decided to take a swing at lilies off her strong training of late.

"We've been very high on her," Baffert said. "(The Oaks) is very tough. There was an allowance race where I could have taken an easier route but you know what, I think she's nice filly and she's doing well. There's only one Oaks, take a shot."

Flor de La Mar was installed at 20-1 on the morning line for the Oaks but comes in off a bullet five-furlong work from the gate in :59.80 at Santa Anita Park on April 26. "I mean we're taking a shot. I think she'll be better down the road," Baffert said. "She'll have to really step it up but the way she worked the other day (was impressive)."

JAYWALK – D.J. Stable LLC and Cash is King LLC's Jaywalk enjoyed an "Arnold Palmer" Monday morning at Churchill Downs. "She did what goes on my chart as an 'A. P.,' which is short for an Arnold Palmer," trainer John Servis said. "She jogged a half and galloped a half."

Jaywalk drew post position seven at Monday's Kentucky Oaks post position draw much to the satisfaction of her trainer. "She won from that post here in November, so I'm fine with it," Servis said.

Jaywalk broke from the No. 7 post on her way to a front-running 5 1/2-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill. The daughter of Cross Traffic went on to be honored with an Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old filly.

"The fact that she won here last year tells me she obviously has talent. We just have to see the progression as a 3-year-old," Servis said. "All these other 3-year-olds have gotten bigger and stronger, and she really hasn't. But that's her makeup."

Jaywalk finished fourth in the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream in her 2019 debut and finished third after setting a pressured pace in the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland.

Javier Castellano, who was aboard for the first time in the Ashland, has the return mount on Jaywalk, who was rated at 8-1 in the Oaks morning line.

JELTRIN – ADR Racing Stable LLC's Jeltrin galloped a little more than a mile at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for a start in Friday's Kentucky Oaks.

The daughter of Tapizar was rated at 15-1 in the morning line after drawing No. 11 at Monday's Oaks post position draw. "We're very happy with 11. We wanted to get an outside post," trainer Alexis Delgado said

Jeltrin captured the March 2 Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park after a long stretch drive under Luis Saez, who has the call again Friday.

Delgado ventured from his native Venezuela in 2017 to South Florida, where he currently trains 16 horses at Gulfstream Park. "I'm so happy to be here. This is my first time to race at Churchill," Delgado said. "This is a dream."

Delgado takes pride in providing a rooting interest in the Oaks for the people of Venezuela. "All the people of Venezuela love racing. They will be watching the race," he said. "It's a dream. Incredible."

LADY APPLE – Phoenix Thoroughbreds III and KatieRich Stables' Lady Apple walked the shedrow of Barn 38 Monday morning, one day after completing her final work for the Kentucky Oaks. She covered a half mile in :49.80 and galloped out five furlongs is 1:04.

The daughter of Curlin, who was so highly thought of by her connections that she made two starts in stakes in New York while still a maiden last summer, is looking for her fourth straight victory this year in the Oaks. She climbed the ranks at Oaklawn this winner, winning a Maiden Special Weight Feb. 7, an allowance race March 23 and the $500,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 12.

"The Fantasy was her coming out party so to speak," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "She's trained really well since. She's a filly that had plenty of racing as a 2-year-old and has benefited from the time off. She's three for three right now."

Lady Apple drew post position three and will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr.

LIORA – With her ears pricked and a bounce in her stride, Coffee Pot Stables' Liora schooled in the paddock and the gate Monday before putting in a gallop under Victor Garcia that left trainer Wayne Catalano suitably impressed. "She looked great, she looks like she's got springs and she's got a heck of a stride," Catalano said.

The veteran horseman added that his ideal draw for the daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) would be "somewhere in the middle" and his wish was granted when the winner of the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) landed in post nine for the 14-horse field in the Kentucky Oaks. "It's perfect for me," Catalano said of the post. "(Serengeti Empress) is outside so she's probably going to have to send pretty hard and then you have (Motion Emotion) right inside of me so hopefully we can set that up where I'll be sitting in the catbird seat – which I like to do. She's won two races over here, plus a stakes. Churchill Downs, they either like it or they don't."

MOTION EMOTION – Fantasy Stakes (G3) runner-up Motion Emotion went to the track at 7:30 a.m. and stood in the gate before galloping 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Raul Vizcarrondo. "She's doing great," trainer Tom Van Berg said. "She shipped in well from Oaklawn and has taken to the track well. We'll find out Friday how she stacks up against these fillies."

Van Berg said that Motion Emotion likely would keep the same schedule the rest of the week and will school in the paddock Wednesday. "All of her major work is behind her," Van Berg said.

OUT FOR A SPIN – Commonwealth Stable's Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Out for a Spin galloped 1 1/2 miles beneath the Twin Spires Monday morning for locally based trainer Dallas Stewart. "We're in a great spot right now," Stewart said. "She's doing perfect and it's very exciting for us to be back in the Kentucky Oaks. We're blessed with great owners that send us classy horses to be in races like this."

Out for a Spin drew the rail for the Kentucky Oaks. "It's actually not a bad spot to be," Stewart said. "We have some speed to our outside and there is a lot more (speed) in this race than the Ashland. We'll probably be sitting a bit further back than we did in that race because of the pace scenario. We have a very smart rider (Irad Ortiz Jr.) and I think he will put her in a good spot for the race."

Out for a Spin is scheduled to gallop at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

POSITIVE SPIRIT – Trainer Rodolphe Brisset brought Michael J. Ryan's Positive Spirit to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Monday, following a mile jog. They arrived at Churchill around the time of the Oaks draw, which put Positive Spirit in post position six. Manny Franco will ride the filly, who was made a 30-1 contender. "We love the draw," Brisset said afterward.

RESTLESS RIDER – Before she began her half-mile workout Monday, Ashland Stakes (G1) runner-up Restless Rider showed she was ready to run, fighting jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. a little coming around the turn to the backstretch before she got down to business. The Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm filly was clocked in :49.60 for the four furlongs, with splits of :12, :23.80, :36.80, then out five furlongs in 1:03.20. Her final tuneup had trainer Kenny McPeek pleased.

"Winning this race would be a big deal," McPeek said. "It's certainly a race anyone would want to win. And we have knocked, I think we've been second, second, third, fourth, fourth, so we have our eye on it."

Restless Rider had three wins and three seconds in six races last year as a 2-year-old, including winning the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland and a runner-up finish to Jaywalk in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs. She just missed scoring another Grade I win when she finished a neck behind Out for a Spin in the Ashland at Keeneland in her 3-year-old debut. "This next race is going to be an improved race off that first race of the year," McPeek said. "She's ready to do that."

McPeek wasn't particularly happy with the draw for Restless Rider, who will start from the outside No. 14 post, as the 6-1 co-third choice, with Hernandez Jr. aboard. "Fourteen? We were 14 with Daddy's Little Darling," McPeek said. However, in that Oaks two years ago, that filly closed to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths behind Abel Tasman.

SERENGETI EMPRESS – Trainer Tom Amoss had owner Joel Politi's Serengeti Empress on the track Monday morning, ahead of the Oaks draw that put her in post position 13 with Jose Ortiz. "I'm just glad to be in the field," Amoss said after the draw. Serengeti Empress was made the co-fifth choice on the morning line at 8-1.

"Look, the winner last year (Monomoy Girl) came from the 14 post position," Amoss added. "I'm very comfortable having the opportunity of making that big run to the first turn, that long run to the first turn, and getting in a good spot. The plan's not going to be any different, we're going for the front. That's where she's going to be. I'm not giving you any top-secret info."

Earlier, Serengeti Empress exercised as expected Monday morning. "It was a typical gallop," Amoss said at the barn about the filly, who earned 60 points in the Oaks prep races. She is showing no signs of the bleeding that hit her on March 23 during the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in New Orleans. "We also practiced some at the gate," added Amoss, a New Orleans native who finished fifth in last year's Oaks with Chocolate Martini, and eighth with Lone Sailor in the 2018 Derby.

STREET BAND – Street Band, the longshot winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), walked the shedrow of Barn 28 Monday morning, one day after she completed her final Oaks work (five furlongs in 1:00.20) under regular rider Sophie Doyle. Trainer Larry Jones, who arrived in Louisville Sunday afternoon, said he was happy with the work and how the filly was doing Monday.

"I was really pleased with the work," Jones said. "She didn't start off as fast as our other Oaks fillies, but I was usually on the pony making sure they broke off fast. I think Sophie did that by design. She's done a great job teaching this filly to relax."

Doyle is seeking to become just the second female jockey to win the Oaks following Rosie Napravnik, who rode Believe You Can to victory for Jones in 2012. He also has won the race with Proud Spell (2008) and Lovely Maria (2015).

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).

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