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May 4 Kentucky Derby 2022

 horse racing
Thursday afternoon paddock schooling with Classic Causeway.
Date: 05/05/2022

Thursday was cool and partly cloudy with some sun, although it hid behind a cloud during the exclusive Derby and Oaks time, and the track was fast. Today they actually had to water the track during the harrow break which they hadn't done the last two days. The temperature was in the 50's today during the special time for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. Not as many came out then today, with more coming out earlier this morning instead.

Below are photos for 20 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 racinghorse racing Barber Road, who is seeking his first victory of the year Saturday after four consecutive stakes placings at Oaklawn, went out to gallop at 6:45 a.m. with regular rider Elexander Aguilar aboard and trainer John Ortiz watching closely from his stable pony.

"He's doing fantastic," Ortiz said, "Elexander said he was really on the muscle. We'll give him a walk day tomorrow. He's fresh and happy."

horse racing Charge It went out at 5:30am for a change and galloped strongly out in the middle of the track, covering a bit more than a mile and a quarter in their exercises. Pletcher looked on from trackside.

"I just felt it was a little too chaotic to me here yesterday at 7:30," the trainer said, referring to a crowded backside backstretch scene that has become part of the Derby/Oaks tradition. "I thought the alarm clocks would keep things quieter (for the horses), so that's why we went this way. I'm happy with the way it worked out."

horse racinghorse racing Classic Causeway galloped 1 1/2 miles Thursday at 7:30 a.m. Classic Causeway is expected to gallop Friday at 7:45 a.m.

horse racinghorse racing Cyberknife galloped 1 1/2 miles during the special 7:30 a.m. training period with his regular exercise rider aboard. Owner Al Gold (Gold Square) was at the barn for the first time this week to watch his Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Cyberknife, named for the lifesaving device that helped treat his prostate cancer, train under rider Katie Tolbert.

horse racing Epicenter went out at 5:45am as usual, galloping around the track with exercise rider Roberto Howell in the saddle. Trainer Steve Asmussen confirmed that the Louisiana Derby (G2) winner would return to the track on Friday morning for more of the same.

horse racing Happy Jack put in a strong gallop of a mile and a half with veteran exercise rider Tony Romero in the tack. The son of Oxbow was bowing his neck and pulling on the reins in a show of "wanna do it" that had his people tickled. Romero gave the exercise a big thumbs up. "He went great," the rider said. "He was having fun out there."

horse racing Messier went out at 5:30am for a strong gallop of a mile and a half under exercise rider Beto Gomez.

"He felt great," Gomez said as he came off the track and headed back toward the barn.

horse racing Mo Donegal went out at 5:30am for a change and galloped strongly out in the middle of the track, covering a bit more than a mile and a quarter in their exercises. Pletcher looked on from trackside.

"I just felt it was a little too chaotic to me here yesterday at 7:30," the trainer said, referring to a crowded backside backstretch scene that has become part of the Derby/Oaks tradition. "I thought the alarm clocks would keep things quieter (for the horses), so that's why we went this way. I'm happy with the way it worked out."

horse racing Pioneer of Medina went out at 5:30am for a change and galloped strongly out in the middle of the track, covering a bit more than a mile and a quarter in their exercises. Pletcher looked on from trackside.

"I just felt it was a little too chaotic to me here yesterday at 7:30," the trainer said, referring to a crowded backside backstretch scene that has become part of the Derby/Oaks tradition. "I thought the alarm clocks would keep things quieter (for the horses), so that's why we went this way. I'm happy with the way it worked out."

horse racing Rattle N Roll, who would need two defections come scratch time Friday morning to make the starting gate with James Graham aboard, aggressively galloped a mile and a half with Graham up.

horse racinghorse racing Rich Strike galloped a mile and a half under Gabriel Lagunes and is scheduled to school in the paddock with horses in this afternoon's third race. Rich Strike is the first also eligible for the Derby and should there be a scratch before 9 o'clock Friday morning, Rich Strike and jockey Sonny Leon would be in the starting gate.

horse racing Simplification galloped a mile and half under exercise rider Ismal Ramirez for trainer Antonio Sano.

horse racing Smile Happy went out for a maintenance mile-and-a-half gallop with Danny Ramsey was aboard.

"Basic stuff, nothing changed," McPeek said of Thursday's activity.

horse racing Summer Is Tomorrow visited the starting gate and then galloped a mile and a half under Heinz Runge.

"He was good in the gate this morning; better than he was yesterday," trainer Bhupat Seemar said. "He will school again in the paddock this afternoon."

horse racing Taiba only walked the shedrow following his Wednesday training that included a blowout (:38.40) down the lane with a deputized Joel Rosario on board.

"He's fine," the trainer said. "He'll go back to the track tomorrow."

horse racinghorse racing Tawny Port galloped 1 1/2 miles during the special 7:30 a.m. training period with his regular exercise rider aboard. John Fort (Peachtree Stable), who Cox credits for making the call to run Tawny Port in Lexington Stakes (G3) that secured him the Derby berth, watched his colt named for a Portuguese wine gallop under Edvin Vargas.

horse racing Tiz the Bomb went out for a maintenance mile-and-a-half gallop with Edwardo Ruvalcaba aboard.

"Basic stuff, nothing changed," McPeek said of Thursday's activity.

horse racing White Abarrio was out for a routine gallop around the Churchill oval Thursday morning, and trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said all went as planned.

"He's doing well," Joseph said after the Grade I Florida Derby and Grade III Holy Bull winner went out with exercise rider Vincente Gudiel. "He had a good gallop this morning. He's showing good energy, and is moving well."

horse racinghorse racing Zandon galloped 1 1/2 miles Thursday morning with Kriss Bonn aboard.

"We're ready," trainer Chad Brown said confidently

horse racinghorse racing Zozos galloped 1 1/2 miles during the special 7:30 a.m. training period with his regular exercise rider aboard. Barry and Joni Butzow, who named Zozos after their favorite restaurant in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, watched their colt gallop under Kelvin Perez.

Kentucky Oaks

horse racing Beguine, who will learn her Oaks fate this afternoon at 4 o'clock scratch time for the Oaks, galloped a mile and a half under Raul Vizcarrando shortly after the track opened for training at 5:15. As the lone also eligible for the Oaks, Beguine needs one defection to earn a spot in the starting gate under Ricardo Santana Jr.

"If we don't get in, I may take her over to Trackside this afternoon," said trainer Danny Peitz, who has five horses stabled at the training facility adjacent to Derby City Gaming. "I'll probably wait for the weather to get better and breeze over there Saturday."

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horse racing Cocktail Moments went a mile and a half with exercise rider Albert Kelly, alongside McPeek's Derby colts, Smile Happy and Tiz the Bomb.

"She's doing fine," McPeek said about the Kentucky-bred filly who was a $190,000 purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale. McPeek has Corey Lanerie as her rider in the Longines Kentucky Oaks, in which she drew the No. 11 post.

horse racing Desert Dawn went trackside at 7:30 a.m. to take advantage of the special 15-minute Oaks/Derby training session that only allows runners in those two races on the big Churchill Downs' strip at that time. She had regular exercise rider Roman Cecher in the tack and they headed out on a mile and a half gallop. "It was quieter out there generally speaking today," Cecher said. "And she went very well."

horse racing Echo Zulu galloped about a mile under exercise rider Wilson Fabian.

horse racing Goddess of Fire came out At 6 a.m. for her gallop and then trainer Todd Pletcher said he was all done with the heavy lifting for the track's two showcase events on tap over the next two days.

"They've all been to the paddock and also the gate," he said. "We're all good in that regard. Tomorrow my fillies will just walk the shed and the colts will gallop."

horse racing Hidden Connection had her typical early-morning 1 1/2-mile gallop with trainer Bret Calhoun anxiously watching form the five-eighths clocker stand.

"We've done all we can do," Calhoun said.

horse racing Kathleen O completed her preparation for Friday's Kentucky Oaks by galloping a mile and a half under regular morning partner David Jego.

horse racing Nest had Nora McCormack at the controls for her 5:30am gallop. Trainer Todd Pletcher noted that he found the special 7:30 to 7:45 Derby/Oaks training period Wednesday to be a little too wild and wooly with the backstretch area alongside the track filled with eager fans. He found the move to the earlier and quieter times more beneficial to his charges and pronounced himself happy with the switch.

horse racing Nostalgic galloped 1 3/8 miles at 7:30 a.m. under Penny Gardiner.

horse racing Secret Oath galloped a mile and a half at 5:15, right after the track opened, and then finished her morning activity jogging briefly in the mile chute before returning to Barn 44 with trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

horse racing Shahama went for an early 5:30am gallop with Humberto Zamora aboard.

Pletcher was asked about his undefeated filly Shahama, who'll be making her U. S. debut and first start in 11 weeks in Friday's Oaks. "We've had her for a bit over a month now and she's trained well," he said. "We've worked her with some of our good horses and she's held her own. We had her and Goddess of Fire (stakes-placed on four occasions) go together and they worked on even terms. You don't know about the form in Dubai (all four of her starts took place at Meydan racetrack in the United Arab Emirates), but she's done well here. She's a bit of an X factor, but so far she's good with us."

horse racing Turnerloose galloped 1 1/2 miles at 6:45 a.m. with regular morning partner Edvin Vargas aboard.

"She's good," trainer Brad Cox said. "I think the mud could help us. I'm not too disappointed in the weather forecast. We'll see how it goes, but overall she's doing very good."

horse racing Venti Valentine took to the track Thursday with exercise rider Luis Peņa, galloping a mile and a quarter during the time reserved for Oaks and Derby horses, trainer Jorge Abreu said.

"She was very relaxed today," Abreu said. "I was very happy with the way she went. Now we're just sitting to go."

horse racing Yuugiri went to the track at 7:30 a.m. with trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard. This was the final day of training for the Shackleford filly, who will walk Friday morning before the race that afternoon.

"She's going great," Brisset said. "We galloped and visited the paddock. It's the same routine we've had all week. She's done very well handling everything."

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