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May 4 Kentucky Derby 2022

 horse racing
It was busy Wednesday morning with almost all the Derby and Oaks horses out at 7:30am. From left to right: Simplification, Summer is Tomorrow, and Zozos.
Date: 05/04/2022

Wednesday was much cooler and very overcast, but there was no rain and the track had dried out to fast. The temperature was in the 50's and other than the clouds, it was nice during the special time for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. Almost all the horses were out and there was even a timed work today, with Japanese contender Crown Pride working 4 furlongs in :46.60.

Below are photos for all 22 Derby horses and 15 Oaks fillies from this morning on the track or in the paddock schooling with comments for each. You can watch video of today's training session here.

Click the small photo to see a larger version.

Kentucky Derby

horse racing Barber Road galloped at 6:30 a.m. with regular rider Elexander Aguilar aboard rather than waiting until the 7:30 a.m. training time set aside of Derby and Oaks horses. "He likes to go out early," owner William Simon said. "He gets keyed up and wants to get out there, then he comes back and takes his usual nap. This is an incredible honor. It's a blessing. You can't make up a story like this. He's a $15,000 weanling purchase that decided he wanted to be a champion."

horse racinghorse racing Charge It galloped 1 1/4 miles and schooled in the starting gate under exercise rider Hector Ramos. "They were all good at the gate," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "They went right in."

horse racing Classic Causeway galloped 1 1/2 miles Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. "So many people have just been focused on his last race in the Florida Derby but if you draw a line through it, he belongs with a lot of others in this field. I don't think he necessarily needs to be on the lead. He's fast but he's able to track just off horses."

horse racinghorse racing Crown Pride started his morning jogging in the mile chute under Masa Matsuda during the first harrow break of the morning. Once the tractors left the track, jockey Christophe Lemaire jumped aboard to guide Crown Pride through a half-mile work that was timed in :46.60 through fractions of :12.40, :24.20, :35.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00. The move was the fastest of nine. Following the breeze, Lemaire took Crown Pride back to the mile chute where Matsuda again took the reins for the leisurely trip back to the Quarantine Barn. "I have worked him before in Japan and I very happy with his work today and with the way he changed leads. He did it very well," said Lemaire, who is back at Churchill Downs for the first time since he rode in the 2010 and 2011 Breeders' Cups. Lemaire said he has watched video of recent runnings of the Kentucky Derby and the huge fields that accompany the race. "The start is very important and then it is all about the fractions," Lemaire said. "You ride him to where he is comfortable and then see what happens."

horse racing Cyberknife galloped 1 1/2 miles and schooled in the starting gate under exercise rider Katie Talbot.  "I'm happy with all three of them," trainer Brad Cox said. "They're doing good."

horse racinghorse racing Epicenter jogged down the backstretch and walked back during the 7:30 a.m. Derby and Oaks training time. "It seems like he has no problem with anything. He has won on the lead, he has won coming from behind horses, so we'll see how he handles it. He has matured it seems. In the beginning I had to ride him a little more. But now he's running and grabs the bridle a bit more, it's what you want to see. Maybe we'll just keep (race strategy) a secret. We'll get a good break and see what the horse wants to do. He always breaks well out of the gate, so we'll see how he does on Saturday."

horse racinghorse racing Ethereal Road galloped 1 1/2 miles during the special 7:30 a.m. training time Wednesday. "I think he has chance to get a piece of it because of his style," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "He's one of the few horses in the 20 that has that style of making a half-mile run. Some of them can't even make a quarter-mile run. I've learned in all my years of being in this, that if you can make a sustained long run, you have a chance to get a piece of it."

horse racing Happy Jack followed his usual Derby pattern Wednesday morning at Churchill during the 7:30-7:45 special training period for Derby and Oaks runners. Exercise rider Tony Romero galloped the well-made bay through a mile and a half in good fashion, then headed back to Barn 41. Trainer Doug O'Neill watched the proceedings from the grandstand, but his longtime right-hand-man, Leandro Mora, oversaw the backside business and stated all was well.  "'Jack' is happy," Mora said. "And when ‘Jack" is happy, we're all happy."

horse racing horse racing Messier galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Beto Gomez.

horse racinghorse racing Mo Donegal galloped 1 1/4 miles and schooled in the starting gate under exercise rider Amelia Green. "They were all good at the gate," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "They went right in."

horse racing Pioneer of Medina galloped 1 1/4 miles and schooled in the starting gate under exercise rider Humberto Zamora. "They were all good at the gate," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "They went right in."

horse racing Rattle N Roll the second also-eligible, galloped 1 1/2 miles under jockey James Graham. He and would need two defections by Friday's 9 a.m. scratch time to make the field.

horse racinghorse racing Rich Strike galloped a mile and a half under Gabriel Lagunes and is scheduled to school in the paddock this afternoon early in the 10-race program. Trained by Eric Reed, Rich Strike is the first also-eligible for the Derby and would need one defection by Friday's 9 a.m. scratch time to make the field.

horse racing Simplification visited the starting gate and then galloped a mile and a half under Ismal Ramirez for trainer Antonio Sano. "I am taking the same approach as I did with Gunnevera," Sano said. "We got here about eight or nine days before the race and did all of the major work in Florida."

horse racing Smile Happy galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Danny Ramsey. "All routine," trainer Ken McPeek said. "We backed up, schooled in the paddock, then stood in the gate at the end of the gallop. Smile Happy is doing super, so strong. He wanted to go around again."

horse racing Summer Is Tomorrow visited the starting gate and galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Heinz Runge. "He has been on an off track and handled it well in training," trainer Bhupat Seemar said.

horse racing horse racing Taiba blew out 3 furlongs under jockey Joel Rosario (who is not his jockey in the Derby) wearing blinkers. Trainer Tim Yakteen said, "The blinkers were just something to help him focus; he doesn't need them to race. We blew him out three furlongs this morning. Nothing special; I got him in :38 and two (the Churchill clockers did likewise). It was just what we wanted. I'm following the same pattern we used coming up to the Santa Anita Derby. He blew out there, too." Rosario added, "I don't know how fast he went. But I do know he felt good." Mike Smith gets the call on Saturday.

horse racing Tawny Port galloped 1 1/2 miles and schooled in the starting gate under exercise rider Edvin Vargas.  "I'm happy with all three of them," trainer Brad Cox said. "They're doing good."

horse racing Tiz the Bomb galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Edwardo Ruvalcaba. "All routine," trainer Ken McPeek said. "We backed up, schooled in the paddock, then stood in the gate at the end of the gallop."

horse racing White Abarrio galloped under exercise rider Vincente Gudiel. "He's doing well," trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. "He had a good gallop of a mile today and all is in order. He's shown class from Day One. He won his debut, which made the owners buy him, and he's been doing great all the way."

horse racinghorse racing Zandon galloped 1 1/2 miles Wednesday morning.   "He was so visually impressive in the Blue Grass and he's continued to do very well since arriving at Churchill Downs," trainer Chad Brown said.

horse racing Zozos galloped 1 1/2 miles and schooled in the starting gate under exercise rider Kelvin Perez.  "I'm happy with all three of them," trainer Brad Cox said. "They're doing good."

Kentucky Oaks

horse racing Candy Raid jogged 1 mile and schooled in the starting gate. "I sure would like to have a filly doing as well as her that was in a field where she is a 5-1 (shot)," trainer Keith Desormeaux said. "Handicappers will see her best race came on (Turfway's all-weather surface) and probably doubt she will handle the dirt track here the same. But horses keep changing throughout their career, especially 3-year-olds, so all I know is she is moving great over the track, she is happy, she is confident, she's doing great."

horse racing Cocktail Moments galloped 1 1/2 miles with exercise rider Albert Kelly, alongside stablemates Derby colts Smile Happy and Tiz the Bomb. The Kentucky-bred filly was a $190,000 purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale. Ken McPeek has named Corey Lanerie as her rider in the Longines Kentucky Oaks, in which she drew the No. 11 post. 

horse racing Desert Dawn galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Roman Cecher. Trainer Phil D'Amato said,  "We don't get to train and race much on ‘off' tracks in California. Both my fillies have off-track pedigrees, but you really don't know how that works until you see it (happen). I guess there's a chance we'll find out Friday."

horse racing Echo Zulu made an appearance at the scheduled 7:30 a.m. Derby and Oaks horses work time. "She seems like she is doing really good," jockey Joel Rosario said. "I am excited to have the opportunity to ride her again."

horse racing Goddess of Fire galloped 1 1/4 miles and schooled in the paddock under exercise rider Humberto Zamora.

horse racing Hidden Connection galloped about 1 1/2 miles around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday.  "I think she'll be able to work out a trip into that first turn," trainer Bret Calhoun said.

horse racing Nostalgic galloped 1 1/2 miles at 7:30 a.m. under Penny Gardiner. "In her first few races she was so far back," trainer Bill Mott said. "In the Gazelle, she put Jose (Ortiz) into the race earlier. She was able to hold her position in the race. She had a really good winter to mature at Payson and she's showing that leading into the Oaks."

horse racing Kathleen O galloped on the main track, schooled in the starting gate, and walked through the barn area. "I schooled her in the gate, so that's why we went out at a different time today," trainer Shug McGaughey said.

horse racing Nest galloped 1 1/4 miles and schooled in the paddock under exercise rider Nora McCormack.

horse racing Secret Oath galloped under exercise rider Danielle Rosier. Owner Stacy Mitchell said, "(Dam) Absinthe Minded has always been the alpha mare, the boss mare. When Secret Oath was on the farm, she was the same way. She was like ‘I'm the leader, follow me.'" Secret Oath is the first Oaks starter for the Mitchells. "This has been a trip beyond our imagination. It's exciting. It's an honor just to be in the race. This is an exceptional year. I think it's one of the toughest Oaks I've seen in 20 years."

horse racing Shahama galloped 1 1/4 miles and schooled in the paddock under exercise rider Humberto Zamora.

horse racing Turnerloose galloped 1 1/2 miles at 6:45 Wednesday morning with regular rider Edvin Vargas aboard for trainer Brad Cox.

horse racinghorse racing Venti Valentine took to the track Wednesday with exercise rider Luis Peña, galloping 1 1/4 miles during the time reserved for Oaks and Derby horses, trainer Jorge Abreu said. "She's pretty happy here," Abreu said. "Today we'll take her over to the paddock for schooling. I don't think the crowds will bother her, she's got a good mind."

horse racing Yuugiri went to the track at 7:30 a.m. with trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard. She schooled in the paddock during the first race. "She's going really well," Brisset said. "She's been really good all week. I'm not sure how she'll do at 1 1/8 miles, but there's not a lot of speed in there other than Echo Zulu. I like our post position (six). We'll see how things unfold from there."

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