Woodward Stakes Day
Mohawk Million Night
Summer & Natalma Stakes
Prince of Wales Stakes
All days: 4/22, 4/23, 4/24, 4/25, 4/26, 4/27, 4/28, 4/29, 4/30, 5/01, 5/02, 5/03, 5/04, 5/05
Friday morning brought three timed works for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses: Zandon at Churchill Downs, Simplification at Gulfstream Park, and Messier at Santa Anita. There were no changes to the points list yet today. Video for this morning's works can be viewed here on YouTube. Videos of individual horses in timed works can be found here.
From a Churchill Downs press release:
Zandon on Friday morning
Working about the same time at Gulfstream Park was Tami Bobo's Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Simplification who worked five furlongs in 1:00.44 for trainer Antonio Sano over a muddy track. Junior Alvarado was aboard for the work that was the fastest of 10 at the distance for the morning.
A few hours later at Santa Anita, Messier, the runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) worked six furlongs in 1:11.60 for trainer Tim Yakteen.
It will be a different story Saturday beneath the Twin Spires with more than half of the projected Derby field scheduled to have their final works. Slated to work are the Todd Pletcher trio of Charge It, Mo Donegal and Pioneer of Medina; the Brad Cox trio of Cyberknife, Tawny Port and Zozos; the Kenny McPeek duo of Smile Happy and Tiz the Bomb; Un Ojo for Ricky Courville, Classic Causeway for Brian Lynch and Barber Road for John Ortiz.
Meanwhile at Gulfstream Park, C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Stable's Florida Derby (G1) winner White Abarrio is scheduled to work for Saffie Joseph Jr. and at Keeneland, Calumet Farm's Happy Jack is scheduled to work at 7:30 for two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill. Jockey Rafael Bejarano is slated to be aboard for the breeze.
BARBER ROAD - WSS Racing's Barber Road galloped about 1 1/2 miles at 7:30 a.m. Friday under exercise rider Daniel Ortiz. Trained by John Ortiz, Barber Road is scheduled to work Saturday.
CLASSIC CAUSEWAY - Kentucky West Racing and Clarke Cooper's Classic Causeway had an easy morning at the track for trainer Brian Lynch. The Giant's Causeway colt jogged about one mile and continued to have a light canter in the chute. Classic Causeway is scheduled to work Saturday morning with jockey Julien Leparoux in the saddle.
CHARGE IT, MO DONEGAL, PIONEER OF MEDINA - The Todd Pletcher-trained trio had routine gallops of 1 3/8 miles Friday morning, the day before their final works for Kentucky Derby 148. Whisper Hill Farm's Charge It was partnered by Hector Ramos and will have Derby rider Luis Saez aboard for Saturday's work at 7:30. Sumaya U. S. Stables' Pioneer of Medina had Carlos Perez aboard for Friday's exercise and Perez is expected to handle Saturday's work. Donegal Racing's Mo Donegal came out at 8 o'clock with Amelia Green aboard. Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to be aboard for Saturday's work.
CROWN PRIDE (JPN) - Teruya Yoshida's Crown Pride (JPN) galloped a mile under exercise rider Masa Matsuda. Winner of the UAE Derby (G2), Crown Pride is trained by Koichi Shintani who is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Sunday night. Yoshida is expected to be here Derby Day.
CYBERKNIFE, TAWNY PORT, ZOZOS - Trainer Brad Cox's Derby trio of Cyberknife, Tawny Port and Zozos all had a more energetic 1 1/2-mile gallop leading into the final Derby works Saturday. Cyberknife, with Katie Tolbert aboard, and Tawny Port, with Edvin Vargas, both trained at 7:30 a.m. About 40 minutes earlier, Zozos galloped with Kelvin Perez up.
EPICENTER - Led by assistant trainer Scott Blasi, Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter came out at 5:50 a.m. Under exercise rider Roberto Howell, the Not This Time colt went through his routine gallop. Winner of four out of past last five, including the Risen Star (G2) and TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G1), Sunday will be Epicenter's third workout since arriving at Churchill Downs from Fair Grounds.
MESSIER - Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Messier worked six furlongs in 1:11.60 on his own with Drayden Van Dyke up at Santa Anita for trainer Tim Yakteen. Messier is scheduled to fly with Santa Anita Derby winner Taiba on Sunday to Indianapolis and then van to Churchill Downs. Tabia worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 on Thursday at Santa Anita.
SIMPLIFICATION - Despite a muddy track at Gulfstream Park, Tami Bobo's Simplification worked five furlongs in 1:00.44 for the best of 10 works at the distance. Junior Alvarado was aboard Simplification for trainer Antonio Sano. Jose Ortiz has the Derby mount. "Everything was great," Sano said of the work that produced fractions of :37 and 1:00.44 with out times of 1:12.80, 1:25.20 and the mile in 1:38.60. "I couldn't be happier. He leaves here at 5 this afternoon by van."
Sano, who will arrive in Louisville Sunday afternoon, had his first Kentucky Derby starter in 2017 with Gunnevera who finished seventh behind Always Dreaming. Gunnevera came back to Churchill Downs the following year and finished second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
SMILE HAPPY, TIZ THE BOMB - Trainer Kenny McPeek's Derby hopefuls —Magdalena Racing's Tiz the Bomb and Lucky Seven Stable's Smile Happy — again galloped a mile and a half Friday morning. Edwardo Ruvalcaba was aboard Tiz the Bomb and Danny Ramsey was on Smile Happy. "They're doing super," said McPeek, who plans to give them their final works Saturday during the period reserved for Derby and Oaks horses.
SUMMER IS TOMORROW –Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke's Summer Is Tomorrow made a visit to the starting gate and then galloped a mile under Heinz Runge for trainer Bhupat Seemar. Runner-up in the UAE Derby (G2), Summer Is Tomorrow is scheduled to work Sunday. The Burkes are scheduled to arrive in Louisville next week for the Derby.
Un Ojo at the Withers (G3)
Un Ojo, who is missing his left eye, was equipped with a new blinker Friday morning. "I tried a new blinker to cover his eye," Courville said. "He may work in it in the morning. I'll talk it over with the owners." Un Ojo is scheduled to work at 7:30 Saturday with Clay Courville up.
ZANDON - Jeff Drown's Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner Zandon has his scheduled Saturday moved up one day by trainer Chad Brown. The Blue Grass (G1) winner worked a swift five furlongs in 1:00.40 under exercise rider Kriss Bon. Zandon, one of the top contenders in this year's Derby, began his work at the half-mile pole and completed the breeze at the seven-eighths pole. He completed early eighth-mile fractions of :12.80, :25, and :36.80. Zandon completed his work with a seven-furlong gallop out of 1:26.40. "I just didn't want to take any chances with the weather forecast, even though it looks better for tomorrow," Brown said. "The track is in fabulous shape. You're not going to get a better track to train over than we got this morning. "With horses at this level heading into the Derby, very few of them work poorly," Brown said. "It's the best of the crop running in the Derby. You just hope that you can be in that group of good workers and not in that small one that may not work well." Zandon will be ridden in the Derby by Flavien Prat.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY - Here's the current Top 20 horses in this year's Kentucky Derby (with jockey and trainer): Epicenter (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Zandon (Flavien Prat, Chad Brown); White Abarrio (Tyler Gaffalione, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Mo Donegal (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Tiz the Bomb (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Cyberknife (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crown Pride (JPN) (Christophe Lemiere, Koichi Shintani); Taiba (Mike Smith, Tim Yakteen); Simplification (Jose Ortiz, Antonio Sano); Smile Happy (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek); Classic Causeway (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch); Tawny Port (TBA, Brad Cox); Barber Road (Rey Gutierrez, John Ortiz); Un Ojo (Ramon Vazquez, Ricky Courville); Early Voting (TBA, Chad Brown); Messier (John Velazquez, Tim Yakteen); Zozos (Manny Franco, Brad Cox); Summer Is Tomorrow (Mickael Barzalona, Bhupat Seemar); Charge It (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Happy Jack (Rafael Bejarano, Doug O'Neill).
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE
Six Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) probable entrants had their final works for next Friday's $1.25 million race over a fast track. Topping the sextet was the Todd Pletcher-trained trio of Nest (half-mile in :48.60), Goddess of Fire (five furlongs in 1:01) and Shahama (five furlongs in 1:01.20). Also working were Hidden Connection (a half-mile in :50.20) for trainer Bret Calhoun, Turnerloose (five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer Brad Cox) and Venti Valentine (five furlongs in 1:00.80) for trainer Jorge Abreu. Scheduled to work here Saturday are Kathleen O., Nostalgic, Cocktail Moments and Candy Raid.
CANDY RAID - The Keith Desormeaux barn arrived Thursday afternoon, coming in from Keeneland. Don't Tell My Wife Stables and Desormeux's Candy Raid made her way to the track to gallop 1 1/2 mile at 7:30 a.m. under exercise rider Alex Cano. Desormeaux reported the last-to-first winner of the Bourbonette Oaks will breeze on Saturday. Led by Kirk Godby, Don't Tell My Wife Stables will be present en masse: "They're coming on a 747 - 100 of them from Dallas. Likely just for the day [Saturday May 8th]," Desormeaux said.
COCKTAIL MOMENTS - Dixiana Farms' Cocktail Moments galloped a mile and a half and is scheduled to have her final work for the Longines Kentucky Oaks on Saturday. "She's doing good coming into the race," trainer Kenny McPeek said. "She's probably in the second tier of favorites, and has an outside chance." On April 22, she breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.20 in her first work back since finishing second to Nest in the Ashland (G1).
GODDESS OF FIRE, NEST, SHAHAMA - Four-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Todd Pletcher was "very pleased with all three" of his candidates for next Friday's 148th running of the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-old fillies. Working first during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks runners was Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House's Nest with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. Working inside of 3-year-old maiden filly Investing, Nest produced fractions of :24.20 and :48.60 and galloped out in 1:01 and 1:14. "It's 21 days after the Ashland (GI that she won at Keeneland) and it was a solid work," Pletcher said. "She finished good and galloped out strong." Working together were Red Oak Stable's Goodess of Fire with Humberto Zamora aboard and KHK Racing's Shahama with Oaks rider Flavien Prat aboard. Shahama was on the inside with fractions of :25.40, :37.20, :49.20, 1:01.20 and out in 1:13.60, 1:26.20 and 1:40.40. Goddess of Fire had fractions of :25.20, :37, :49, 1:01 and out in 1:13.40, 1:26 and 1:40.20. "I wanted them to do a little more than Nest," Pletcher said. "They both finished well and galloped out strong."
ECHO ZULU - L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Echo Zulu came out to the track at 5:30 a.m. and made her way through a routine gallop with regular exercise rider Wilson Fabian on board. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi reported all went well. The undefeated 2-year-old Eclipse Award-winning filly is scheduled tobreeze Sunday morning.
HIDDEN CONNECTION - Hidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds' Hidden Connection had her final move prior to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) with an easy half-mile move in :50.20 under jockey Rey Gutierrez. "Her work last week was great and today, even though it was easier, it was just as impressive," Gutierrez said. "This is one of the best group of 3-year-old fillies that there's been in recent years. There are six or seven of them who have been so impressive in their races leading up to the Oaks. (Hidden Connection) ran a super race against Echo Zulu in the Fair Grounds Oaks. She got a lot out of that effort and she was so close to winning. The Oaks is going to be super competitive not only with those two horses but throw in the fillies from New York, Florida, Secret Oath who ran a great race against the boys. It's going to be a lot of fun. This will be the first time the 26-year-old New York-native will ride in the Kentucky Oaks. "It feels like just yesterday I was in my cap and gown walking across the stage when I graduated SUNY-Courtland," Gutierrez said. "I've been around horses my entire life with my dad (Luis) training at Finger Lakes. At the end of my senior year of college I decided to pursue my career as a jockey. It's pretty amazing to be where I'm at today. I'm riding at Churchill Downs with a mount in both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby (Barber Road)." Hidden Connection will have a scheduled walk day Saturday.
KATHLEEN O. - Winngate Stables' Kathleen O. kept to her schedule, walking the track and then galloping 1 1/4 miles under David Jego at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Shug McGaughey, who won the 1993 Kentucky Oaks with Ogden Phipps' Dispute. McGaughey reported that owner Patrick Kearney would arrive Wednesday or Thursday. Kathleen O. is scheduled to work Saturday.
NOSTALGIC - Godolphin's Nostalgic is scheduled to work Saturday at Churchill Downs, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The Gazelle (G3) winner continued her normal training Friday with a 1 3/8-mile gallop with Penny Gardiner in the saddle.
SECRET OATH - Briland Farm's Longines Kentucky Oaks contender Secret Oath was one of the first horses on the Churchill Downs surface Friday morning for a one-mile jog and about one-mile gallop under exercise rider Danielle Rosier.
TURNERLOOSE - Ike and Dawn Thrash's Turnerloose had her final work prior to the Kentucky Oaks with a five-furlong move in 1:01.20 under exercise rider Edvin Vargas. "She's fit and ready to go," trainer Brad Cox simply stated. Cox has not confirmed a rider for the Oaks.
VENTI VALENTINE - NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds' Gazelle (G3) runner-up Venti Valentine put in her final workout for next Friday's Longines Kentucky Oaks, with Tyler Gaffalione aboard Friday morning during the period reserved for Oaks and Derby horses. She worked five furlongs in 1:00.80, with splits of :13, :24.80 and :36.80, galloping out to 1:14 for the six furlongs. "That's the way she gallops," said Francisco Abreu, brother to trainer Jorge Abreu, who supervised the filly's workout and was satisfied with her efforts. "The first part, she's a little anxious, then she calms down a little. It was just a maintenance work for her; she had a strong final work was a week ago." In looking ahead to the Oaks, Francisco Abreu said, "It's coming up pretty tough. It's going to be a good Oaks. She's had five starts, with two wins and two seconds. Now it's just galloping, with some schooling, going to the paddock and going to the gate. All the work is done now." Jorge Abreu will be at Churchill on Saturday.
BEGUINE - Charles Matses' Beguine worked five furlongs in :59.40 under jockey James Graham for trainer Danny Peitz. Runner-up in the Fantasy (G3), Beguine would need four defections from the roster of likely Oaks entrants to make the field when entries are drawn Monday.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS - Here's the Top 14 horses on the leaderboard for the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) (with jockey and trainer): Kathleen O. (Javier Castellano, Shug McGaughey); Echo Zulu (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Nest (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Yuugiri (Florent Geroux, Rodolphe Brisset); Desert Dawn (Umberto Rispoli, Phil D'Amato); Nostalgic (Jose Ortiz, Bill Mott); Venti Valentine (Tyler Gaffalione, Jorge Abreu); Secret Oath (Luis Saez, Wayne Lukas); Goddess of Fire (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher); Turnerloose (TBA, Brad Cox); Hidden Connection (Rey Gutierrez, Bret Calhoun); Cocktail Moments (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek); Candy Raid (Rafael Bejarano, Keith Desormeaux); Shahama (Flavien Prat, Todd Pletcher).
STAKES PROBABLES - The following are the early probable stakes race entrants for Kentucky Derby Week, according to assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator Dan Bork:
The 28th running of the $200,000 Kentucky Juvenile, run on Thursday, May 3 at five furlongs, entries close Saturday, April 30: Abinadi (Luis Mendez); King Adrock (Luis Mendez); Lone Leader (John Hancock); Mr. Gordy (John Hancock); Simply Super (Mike Maker).
The 12th running of the $200,000 Unbridled Sidney, run on Thursday, May 3 at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, entries close Saturday, April 30: Change of Control (Michelle Lovell); In Good Spirits (Al Stall Jr.).
The 28th running of the $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) presented by Sysco, run on Friday, May 6 at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Arrest Me Red (Wesley Ward); Bound for Nowhere (Wesley Ward); Chasing Artie (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone); Gear Jockey (Rusty Arnold II); Johnny Unleashed (Eric Foster).
The 65th running of the Modesty (G3) run on Friday, May 6 at 1 1/8 miles on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Bleecker Street (Chad Brown); Hendy Woods (Mark Casse); She Can't Sing (Chris Block).
The 19th running of the $500,000 Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet (G2), run on Friday, May 6 at 1 1/16 miles, entries close Monday, May 2: Fulsome (Brad Cox); Happy Saver (Todd Pletcher); Olympiad (Bill Mott); Title Ready (Dallas Stewart); Weyburn (Brendan Walsh).
The 38th running of the $500,000 Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank (G2), run Friday, May 6 at 1 1/16 miles, entries close Monday, May 2: Beachnut Trophy (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Dream Lith (Robertino Diodoro); Kneesnhips (Tom Amoss); Tap Dancing Lady (Brad Cox).
The 67th running of the $500,000 Eight Belles (GII, run Friday, May 6 at seven furlongs, entries close Monday, May 2: Ain't Easy (Phil D'Amato); Awake At Midnyte (Doug O'Neill); Gerrymander (Chad Brown); Lac Vieux Desert (Robertino Diodoro); Marissa's Lady (Bill Morey); Pretty Birdie (Norm Casse); Sandstone (Wayne Catalano).
The 37th running of the $750,000 La Troienne (G1), run Friday, May 6 at 1 1/16, entries close Monday, May 2: Ava's Grace (Robertino Diodoro); Battle Bling (Rob Atras); Shedaresthedevil (Brad Cox); Temper Time (Dale Romans).
The 1st running of the $160,000 Knicks Go, run Saturday, May 7 at one mile, entries close Monday, May 2: Collaborate (Saffie Joseph Jr.); O Besos (Greg Foley); Perfect Speighty (Dallas Stewart); Three Technique (Jason Cook).
The 31st running of the $500,000 American Turf (G2), run Saturday, May 7 at 1 1/16 miles on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Grand Sonata (Todd Pletcher); Stolen Base (Mike Maker).
The 98th running of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (G2), run Saturday, May 7 at one mile, entries close Monday, May 2: Doppelganger (Tim Yakteen); Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart); Jack Christopher (Chad Brown); Newgrange (Tim Yakteen); Pappacap (Mark Casse); Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr.)
The 37th running of the $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2), run Saturday, May 7 at one mile on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: In Italian (Chad Brown); Mona Stella (Patrick Biancone); Wakanaka (Bill Mott).
The 36th running of the $750,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (G1), run at seven furlongs on Saturday, May 7, entries close Monday, May 2: Bell's the One (Neil Pessin); Center Aisle (Paulo Lobo); Four Graces (Ian Wilkes); Obligatory (Bill Mott).
The 87th running of the $750,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (G1), run at seven furlongs on Saturday, May 7, entries close Monday, May 2: Aloha West (Wayne Catalano); Jackie's Warrior (Steve Asmussen); Long Range Toddy (Dallas Stewart); Prevalence (Brendan Walsh).
The 36th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1), run at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Saturday, May 7, entries close Monday May 2: Adhamo (Chad Brown); Cavalry Charge (Dallas Stewart); Ivar (BRZ) (Paulo Lobo); Santin (Brendan Walsh); Shirl's Speight (Roger Attfield).
Saturday was the first morning for the exclusive Oaks/Derby training window from 7:30-7:45 a.m. Fans can watch the livestream on the Kentucky Derby's social media channels. Between Saturday, April 23 and Wednesday, May 4, Churchill Downs will be open free-of-charge daily from 7-10 a.m. so guests can watch the nation's top 3-year-old Thoroughbreds train toward their engagements in this year's Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
Horses train on Churchill Downs' main track daily from 5:15-10 a.m. Beginning Saturday, there will be an exclusive training window only for Derby and Oaks participants from 7:30-7:45 a.m. following the 7-7:30 a.m. renovation break. Those horses will be identified by special saddle towels which include their names: yellow saddle towels for Derby horses and pink saddle towels for Oaks contenders.
Kentucky Derby Morning Works presented by TwinSpires.com will begin Monday and air on www.kentuckyderby.com/works, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Fans in attendance will be able to watch the show on the track's Big Board and infield televisions. The first two days of Kentucky Derby and Oaks training (Saturday and Sunday) also will be livestreamed on the Kentucky Derby's social media channels, but without commentary.
Guests can enter Churchill Downs through the Paddock Gate and should park for free in the nearby White Lot for convenient entry. Guests will be directed to Sections 115-117 to watch the morning workouts.
No outside food and beverage is allowed. Churchill Downs' Paddock Grill will be open each morning with breakfast food and beverage options.
On Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2, fans can enjoy a premium breakfast in Millionaires Row or the Stakes Room for Dawn at the Downs. Tickets start at $41 and can be purchased on www.KentuckyDerby.com/tickets.
The 148th runnings of the $1.25 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) will be held Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, respectively. Opening Night of Derby Week and the 44-day Spring Meet is Saturday, April 30.