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2023 Kentucky Derby Photos

horse racing kentucky derby
The Todd Squad comes out on Tuesday morning during the special time for Derby and Oaks horses with Tapit Trice out front.
Date: 5/02/2023

Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs was busy during the exclusive Oaks/Derby session, including some timed works for Kentucky Derby horses along with some gallops. Conditions were typical for Derby week with a fast main track, a few clouds and temperatures in the mid 50's during training hours. Video for this morning's work can be viewed here on YouTube. Videos of individual horses in timed works can be found here.

Kentucky Derby

horse racingContinuar galloped a mile under Kazunari Yoshida after warming up in the mile chute during the first harrow break of the morning. Continuar, who will be ridden in Derby 149 by Ryusei Sakai, drew post 20 for Saturday's Run for the Roses. "I've been getting the outside draw in a lot of big races lately," trainer Yoshito Yahagi said. "I feel like I am cursed. It isn't a good draw at all, but there is only so much we can do."

Kentucky Derby Poll
Who will win the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

Angel Of Empire
Confidence Game
Derma Sotogake
Hit Show
Jace's Road
Mandarin Hero
Raise Cain
Rocket Can
Sun Thunder
Tapit Trice
Two Phils
King Russell

horse racingConfidence Game walked the shedrow Tuesday and then schooled in the paddock at 10:15 a.m., while his trainer Keith Desormeaux went to Keeneland to oversee his horses there.

horse racingDerma Sotogake warmed up in the mile chute during the first harrow break of the morning and then breezed a half-mile in 49.60 with exercise rider Masatoshi Segawa aboard. Trained by Hidetaka Otonashi, Derma Sotogake will be ridden in the Derby by Christophe Lemaire out of post 17. "I think from the outside he will be able to take a decent position keeping an eye on the whole field in the early stages. He broke quickly from the gate the other day, so I think it won't be a problem," assistant trainer Masanari Tanaka said.

horse racingDisarm had a scheduled walk day at trainer Steve Asmussenís Barn 38 Tuesday morning following his half-mile move in :49.20 Monday and schooled in the paddock in the afternoon. "He's a very durable horse and I think the best is yet to come from him,Ē Asmussen said. "I think itís very obvious that the major players in this yearís race lack a lot of early speed. I see a lot of jockeying in the first eighth of a mile. So Iím very curious what will happen in the early stages of the race."

horse racingForte galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Hector Ramos, and then schooled in the paddock. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "They'll all paddock school this afternoon. They'll be in with the horses from the sixth Race."

horse racingHit Show galloped one mile. He will school in the starting gate with his Brad Cox stablemates Wednesday.

horse racingJace's Road galloped one mile. He will school in the starting gate with his Brad Cox stablemates Wednesday. "We were talking last night at dinner that since the Arkansas Derby, it's been the longest four weeks of our life," said Jason Loutch, the racing manager of Albaugh Family Stables. "It's all you think about, the excitement and trying to get here. Now that that we are here, it's really starting to hit us. We're excited for Saturday. I'm really happy. To have two runners (Angel of Empire is the other) is a huge accomplishment for our stable.."

horse racingKingsbarns galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Elder Flores, and then schooled in the paddock. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "They'll all paddock school this afternoon. They'll be in with the horses from the sixth Race."

horse racingLord Miles jogged one mile Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs. Lord Miles drew post 19 in Saturday's Kentucky Derby

horse racingMage galloped 1 mile under exercise rider J.J. Delgado. "So far, so good," said assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. "He definitely likes the cooler weather than it is in Florida." Mage will gallop each day heading into the Derby, with maybe a "higher tempo" exercise on Wednesday. He will school in the starting gate Thursday.

horse racinghorse racingReincarnate galloped 1 1/4 miles under Baltazar Contreras and then schooled in the paddock for trainer Tim Yakteen.

horse racingRocket Can galloped 1 mile with regular exercise rider Guelser Cardona after Sunday's fivefurlong breeze for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Junior Alvarado will ride Rocket Can, listed at 30-1 on the morning line. "I'm fine with it," Mott said the morning after the draw. "You never know what a good post really is. You can have a bad trip from a good post. So I'm happy to be out there (post 18)."

horse racingSun Thunder breezed 4f in 47.80 then out 5f in 1:01.40 under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. "It was just a maintenance half for him," trainer Ken McPeek said. "Brian was happy with him. He was going evenly, that's what we wanted. I finished second in (the 1995 Derby). So if you had asked me how 28 years later I still hadn't won it, you'd have to ask the question, how did that happen. It takes a certain amount of things lining up. You've gotta have the right horse, the right luck, the right jockey Ö a lot of things have got to come together."

horse racingTapit Trice went trackside during the usual exercise time as part of the Derby/Oaks special training period from 7:30 to 7:45 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning with Amelia Green was aboard "They'll all paddock school this afternoon," Pletcher noted. "They'll be in with the horses from the sixth Race."

horse racinghorse racingTwo Phil's galloped 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Gonzalo Gonzales. "He was good," Gonzales said. "He was a little nervous when we began, but once we got on the other side where there was more traffic, he was relaxed and liked his time standing there watching everything. He's been steadily improving (throughout the winter and spring)." Trainer Larry Rivelli added, "It looks like the closers all drew to his outside, so as long as he breaks well, we're in a good spot, and they can come down and get behind him."

horse racingCyclone Mischief is the first also-eligible for the Derby.

horse racingMandarin Hero is the second also-eligible for the Derby. He warmed up in the mile chute during Tuesday morning's first harrow break and then worked five furlongs in 1:05.60 under Yuji Horita. Following the work, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up visited the gate and the paddock.

horse racingKing Russell is the third also-eligible for the Derby.

Kentucky Oaks

horse racingAffirmative Lady put in her first on-track appearance Tuesday morning by galloping a mile and a half under Kevin Lundie for trainer Graham Motion. "I couldn't be any happier with her," Lundie said of Affirmative Lady, who drew post 13 for Friday's Oaks. "But she is going to have to run the race of her life."

horse racingAnd Tell Me Nolies was reunited with regular jockey Ramon Vazquez, who was aboard the filly for her 1 1/4-mile gallop. "I'm excited," Vazquez said. "I feel amazing to be here. And, grateful for the opportunity. She's doing good. She's galloping good. She's getting better and better. Before she would get so nervous and be sweaty. Now, she's much more relaxed." She is Vazquez's first Oaks ride, and then Practical Move will be his first mount in the Derby.

horse racingBotanical galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Fernando Espinoza.

horse racingDefining Purpose stepped onto the track Tuesday with regular exercise rider Shelby Spalding aboard for a gallop of 1 3/8 miles. "Just a little maintenance work for her," trainer Ken McPeek said. "In the Oaks, we've done a good job in bringing horses up to the race. We've had a little bit of second-itis. But seconds are a respectable run. Maybe this is the year."

horse racingDorth Vader had a routine 1 Ĺ-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. Owner John Ropes stated he named Dorth Vader after his wife, Dorothy, and played into the Star Wars theme. Her half-brother, who Ropes also owned and bred, will also be named as a tie in to Star Wars.

horse racingFlying Connection visited the starting gate and galloped 1 1/2 miles under Oscar Rojero before schooling in the paddock.

horse racingGambling Girl galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Carlos Quevado.

horse racingHoosier Philly is the third also-eligible for the Oaks.

horse racingJulia Shining is the second also-eligible. She galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Humberto Zamora.

horse racingMimi Kakushi jogged 1 mile and galloped 1 mile under stable rider Xavier Ziani. "You can't buy luck," said trainer Salem bin Ghadayer, who had hoped for a spot in the middle of the gate but drew the rail. "She is not what you would call a super breaker, so she will be right behind the speed. She has not had any gate issues and she will not go to the gate this week."

horse racingPretty Mischievous galloped her regular distance of 1 1/2 miles. Trainer Brendan Walsh has decided to add blinkers for the Oaks. "I think she loses focus a little bit," Walsh said. "She's got such a high cruising speed. It might be time to change things up and add an extra dimension."

horse racingSouthlawn had a 1 1/2-mile gallop Tuesday morning for trainer Norm Casse. "She's turned into a very kind horse in her races," Casse said. "I think she can be wherever the rider tells her to go and she knows her cues when it's time to show her best run. Drawing inside shouldn't be a factor because of that ability."

horse racingWet Paint galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Edwin Vargas.

horse racingThe traveling Secretariat statue was outside the gates today. The statue by renowned equine artist Jocelyn Russell was first shipped from the foundry in Oklahoma to Ashland, VA for its unveiling, and is currently on the anniversary tour to commemorate 50 years since the 1973 Triple Crown. At 21 feet long and 11.5 feet tall, this is the largest monument of Secretariat in existence, dramatically illustrating the Virginia-born champion's larger-than-life presence as an equine athlete and American icon. Eventually the statue will go to its permanent home at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland as the first and only Secretariat monument in his home state.

horse racingThe new temporary paddock at Churchill Downs. The track is renovating this area in preparation for the 150th Derby next year. The goal is to increase the paddock capacity to 2,400 spectators, and add 3,600 reserved seats and 3,250 standing room tickets with paddock views. "This is one of the most significant construction projects in the history of Churchill Downs Racetrack because it significantly impacts what we consider to be the heart of the property," said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc. "We took great care to ensure this is designed in a way that would transform Churchill Downs while enhancing our ability to deliver on what our fans hope for and expect from us for generations to come."

horse racingThe new "First Turn Club" building, which debuts this year after the Homestretch Club debuted last year. This area used to be temporary seats. The event space with a cantilever roof has a total capacity of 7,000 fans, including a bar, 2,000-seat dining room, and 2,100 person ground level club on the rail. "Keeping things traditional but making sure it's a comfortable environment to spend 10 to 12 hours a day, over two days. When you're in any one of our spaces that we've created in the last eight years, you have a very clear sense of place," said Sarah Contardo, Churchill Downs VP of sales and strategy. "I'm not just in a nice dining room that could be in any hotel or any venue in the world. We want you to know that you're in Churchill Downs and that we're honoring our heritage and the history."

horse racingLast year's Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike schooled in the paddock. He is entered in the Alysheba Stakes (G2) on the Oaks undercard as the 7-2 second choice from post 3. Regular rider Sonny Leon will be in the irons for trainer Eric Reed.

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