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2024 Kentucky Derby Track Notes

horse racing kentucky derby

Kentucky Derby Poll
Who will win the Kentucky Derby?

Dornoch
Sierra Leone
Mystik Dan
Catching Freedom
Catalytic
Just Steel
Honor Marie
Just a Touch
Encino
T O Password
Forever Young
Track Phantom
West Saratoga
Endlessly
Domestic Product
Grand Mo the First
Fierceness
Stronghold
Resilience
Society Man
Epic Ride (AE)
Mugatu (AE)

Date: 4/24/2024

All days: 4/23, 4/24, 4/25, 4/26, 4/27, 4/28, 4/29

Wednesday saw several horses on the track during the exclusive 7:30-7:45am training session for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. SusumuFujita's undefeated Forever Young (JPN) worked six furlongs in 1:19.60 over a fast track Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs. With jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard, Forever Young posted fractions of :14.80, :28.80, :42.60, :55.20, 1:19.60 and out seven furlongs in 1:33,60. He was joined for the last half-mile by Cuffed Candy, an unraced 3-year-old for trainer Dale Romans. Trained by Yoshito Yahagi, Forever Young also visited the starting gate after the work. The winner of the Saudi Derby (GIII) and UAE Derby (GII) is scheduled to have another work next week.

Video for this morning's work can be viewed here on YouTube. Videos of individual horses in timed works can be found here.

From a Churchill Downs press release:

Scheduled to work Thursday morning for the Derby is Ribble Farms, Michael Eiserman, Earl Silver and Kenneth and Dave Fishbein's Honor Marie for trainer Whit Beckman. Scheduled to work toward the Longines Kentucky Oaks are the Todd Pletcher-trained trio of Whisper Hill Farm's Leslie's Rose, Fawzi Abdulla Nass' Manama Gold and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Candied plus Willis Horton Racing's Tapit Jenallie for trainer Eddie Milligan Jr.

CATALYTIC Making his first appearance on track Tuesday morning was Tami Bobo, After coming to the track for the first time Tuesday morning, Tami Bobo, Julie Davies and George Isaacs' Catalytic returned Wednesday to gallop a mile and a half under exercise rider Olaf Hernandez. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Catalytic arrived at Churchill Downs Monday morning after vanning from South Florida. "He just galloped the mile and a half," said Tristan Ford, an assistant to Joseph. "We're happy with everything. He's feeling good." Catalytic, the Florida Derby (GI) runner-up behind expected Kentucky Derby favorite Fierceness, is on target to work Sunday.

CATCHING FREEDOM / ENCINO / JUST A TOUCH Trainer Brad Cox's Derby trio of Catching Freedom, Encino and Just a Touch all galloped about 1 1/2 miles Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and schooled in the starting gate. All three horses are scheduled to breeze Saturday morning. Cox stated Encino's jockey has yet to be confirmed for the Kentucky Derby.


Sierra Leone
DOMESTIC PRODUCT / SIERRA LEONE Trainer Chad Brown's Derby duo of Sierra Leone and Domestic Product galloped a mile and a half during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks horses. Kriss Bon was aboard Sierra Leone, who gave Brown his third Blue Grass Stakes (GI) victory. Brown's other Blue Grass winners were Good Magic, who finished second in the 2018 Derby, and Zandon, who finished third in the 2022 Derby. Sierra Leone is owned by the partnership of Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Brook Smith. Peter Roman partnered Domestic Product, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (GIII) in his most recent start. Klaravich Stables owns and bred Domestic Product. Both colts are scheduled to work Saturday, weather permitting.


Dornoch
DORNOCH / SOCIETY MAN Trainer Danny Gargan's two Kentucky Derby hopefuls both galloped a miler and a half under exercise rider Pricilla Schaefer. Winner of the Fountain of Youth (GII), Dornoch is owned by the partnership of West Paces Racing, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing Stables. He put in his morning work at 7:30. Luis Saez has the Derby mount.

Coming out at 9 o'clock for his morning exercise was Wood Memorial runner-up Society Man, who is owned by the partnership of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, West Paces, GMP Stables and Carl and Yurie Pascarella. Frankie Dettori has the mount on Society Man. The two colts are scheduled to work in company Saturday morning with Saez aboard Dornoch. "I think they worked fine together last week and going to do it again this week," Gargan said. "This time, I'll put Dornoch on the inside of Society Man. Another day of training down and one closer to the Derby."

ENDLESSLY Amerman Racing's Endlessly had a normal training day Wednesday, galloping 1 1/2 miles around 5:45 a.m. The winner of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) is scheduled to work Saturday.

FIERCENESS Repole Stable's champion Fierceness galloped a mile and three-eighths under regular exercise rider Danny Wright for trainer Todd Pletcher. Winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI) last November at Santa Anita to wrap up the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old, Fierceness is scheduled to work Friday morning with John Velazquez aboard.


Forever Young works at Churchill Downs on 4/24
FOREVER YOUNG (JPN) Susumu Fujita's undefeated Forever Young (JPN) worked six furlongs in 1:19.60 over a fast track in company. With jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard, Forever Young posted fractions of :14.80, :28.80, :42.60, :55.20, 1:19.60 and out seven furlongs in 1:33,60. He was joined for the last half-mile by Cuffed Candy, an unraced 3-year-old for trainer Dale Romans. "Thanks to Dale Romans (with providing the workmate) so we were able to do exactly what we want to do this far out (from the Derby)," Sakai said through a translator. As usual, Forever Young warmed up in the mile chute for a half-hour during the first harrow break of the morning before commencing his work that went off slowly and finished with a final quarter-mile in :24.40. Following the work, Forever Young visited the starting gate.

"The gate was no problem," said Sakai, who missed out on riding in last year's Derby after Continuar (JPN) was scratched days before the race. "He has been to the gate before at all the places he has run." Sakai has been aboard Forever Young in all five of his starts ranging in distance from a mile to a mile and three-sixteenths. Forever Young raced in Japan last year at age 2 and this year has been to Saudi Arabia and Dubai before coming here. Sakai said Forever Young, trained by Yoshito Yahagi, would have another work next week. However, Sakai will not be aboard for that work as he is returning to Japan to ride this weekend before coming back to Louisville late next week.

GRAND MO THE FIRST Granpollo Stables' Grand Mo the First exited his six-furlong work of 1:16.46 on Tuesday morning at Gulfstream Park in good order and is on schedule to van to Churchill Downs on Thursday. Trainer Victor Barboza Jr. will be here Friday, which is a scheduled walk day for Grand Mo the First.

HONOR MARIE Trainer Whit Beckman was "calm, cool and relaxed" Wednesday morning watching TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Honor Marie train. "I don't really get nervous when I run a horse in a race I think they can win," Beckman said. "It's a weird feeling but right now I don't feel too nervous." Honor Marie is scheduled to work Thursday morning with jockey Ben Curtis in the irons.

JUST STEEL BC Stable's Just Steel was the first Kentucky Derby contender to train Wednesday morning with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas closely watching aboard his pony. The son of new Hall of Fame inductee Justify galloped about 1 1/2 miles.

MYSTIK DAN Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing and Daniel Hamby III's Mystik Dan galloped an easy mile and a half for trainer Kenny McPeek. Mystik Dan, the winner of the Southwest (GIII) and most recently third in the Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park, is scheduled to work Saturday. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the Derby riding assignment.

RESILIENCE Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman's Resilience had an easy gallop at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The winner of the Wood Memorial (GII) is scheduled to school in the paddock a couple times before the Derby, according to trainer Bill Mott.

STRONGHOLD Eric and Sharon Waller's Stronghold, who arrived at Churchill Downs Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock from his base at Santa Anita, jogged a mile Wednesday morning with trainer Phil D'Amato's wife, Sherri, in the saddle. Weather permitting, the Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner is scheduled to work Saturday with Joe Talamo up.

ALSO ELIGIBLES Welch Racing's Epic Ride, third in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, galloped Wednesday morning at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Kentucky, for trainer John Ennis.

Trainer Jeff Engler reported Mugatu is back in consideration for the Kentucky Derby also-eligible list. The fifth-place finisher of the Blue Grass (GI) is based at Belterra Park in Ohio.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY Here are the horses (with jockeys and trainers) that are qualified for the Kentucky Derby and those on the also-eligible list (in alphabetical order with AEs listed last in preference order):

Catalytic (Jose Ortiz, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Catching Freedom (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox); Domestic Product (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown); Dornoch (Luis Saez, Danny Gargan); Encino (TBA, Brad Cox); Endlessly (Umberto Rispoli, Michael McCarthy); Fierceness (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher); Forever Young (JPN) (Ryusei Sakai, Yoshito Yahagi); Grand Mo the First (Emisael Jaramillo, Victor Barboza Jr.); Honor Marie (Ben Curtis, Whit Beckman); Just a Touch (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Just Steel (Keith Asmussen, Wayne Lukas); Mystik Dan (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Resilience (Junior Alvarado, Bill Mott); Sierra Leone (Tyler Gaffalione, Chad Brown); Society Man (Frankie Dettori, Danny Gargan); Stronghold (Antonio Fresu, Phil D'Amato); T O Password (JPN) (Kazushi Kimura, Daisuke Takayanagi); Track Phantom (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); West Saratoga (Jesus Castanon, Larry Demerritte).

Also Eligibles: Epic Ride (Adam Beschizza, John Ennis); Uncle Heavy (TBA, Butch Reid); Seize the Grey (TBA, Wayne Lukas); Mugatu (TBA, Jeff Engler).

LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE

GIN GIN/TARIFA Calumet Farm's Gin Gin along with Godolphin's Tarifa both galloped about 1 1/2 miles Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. then schooled in the paddock following training. Both fillies are scheduled to work Friday or Saturday depending on weather.

INTO CHAMPAGNE Gulfstream Parks Oaks (GIII) third-place finisher Into Champagne had an easy 1 1/2-mile gallop Wednesday morning for trainer Ian Wilkes. She's scheduled to breeze Friday or Saturday.

JUST F Y I Champion filly Just F Y I returned to the track Wednesday for the first time since her sharp five-furlong move in :59.80 Monday morning. The Bill Mott trainee had a light gallop at 7:30 a.m.

LESLIE'S ROSE Whisper Hill Farm's Ashland (GI) winner Leslie's Rose galloped a mile and three-eighths with exercise rider Joel Osorio aboard for four-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Todd Pletcher. Leslie's Rose is scheduled to work Thursday morning.

REGULATORY RISK/WAYS AND MEANS KlaravichStables' Regulatory Risk and Ways and Means both galloped a mile and half Wednesday morning for trainer Chad Brown. Ways and Means, second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) in her 2024 debut, galloped early under Peter Roman. She will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione. Regulatory Risk galloped during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks horses with Gudiel Alvarez aboard. Jose Ortiz has the Oaks mount on the Gazelle (GIII) runner-up. Brown initially had both fillies scheduled to work Friday, but said Wednesday morning, "I'm not sure about that. I may work one filly Friday and one Saturday."

TAPIT JENALLIE Willis Horton Racing's Tapit Jenallie is on target to work Thursday morning in preparation for the Oaks, eight days later. Trainer Eddie Milligan Jr. took the homebred daughter of Tapit to the starting gate and paddock, before galloping her a mile and a half. "She's doing really well right now," Milligan said. "She went into the gate real good, relaxed real good, and she did everything I needed her to do today. We'll breeze her an easy half- mile tomorrow, then walk her a couple of days after that." Tapit Jenallie is scheduled to work Thursday with jockey Manny Esquivel up.

THORPEDO ANNA Brookdale Racing, Mark Edwards, Judy Hicks and Magdalena Racing's Thorpedo Anna galloped a mile and a half for trainer Kenny McPeek. Thorpedo Anna is the winner of three of her four starts with Brian Hernandez Jr., most recently having captured the Fantasy (GII) in her first start this year. The Fast Anna filly is scheduled to work Friday.

WHERE'S MY RING Michael McMillan's Gazelle (GIII) winner Where's My Ring galloped a mile and a half early Wednesday morning under David Rodriguez. "She will jog Thursday and then work a half-mile Friday," trainer Val Brinkerhoff said of the filly who will be piloted in the Oaks by Jose Lezcano, who was aboard for the Gazelle victory.

ALSO ELIGIBES Manama Gold (No. 15) and Candied (No. 17) both galloped a mile and three-eighths for trainer Todd Pletcher. Manama Gold was out early under Jonathan Fabian Aguilar while Candied galloped at 7:30 under Carlos Quevedo. They are scheduled to work Thursday. Pletcher said Luis Saez would have the mount on Candied should she make it into the main body of the race. The rider for Manama Gold is to be determined. "We will see how she breezes tomorrow," Pletcher said of Manama Gold regarding her Oaks status.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS THE KENTUCKY OAKS Here are the horses (with trainers) that are qualified for the Longines Kentucky Oaks and those on the also-eligible list (in alphabetical order with AEs listed last in preference order): Everland (Abel Cedillo, Eric Foster); Fiona's Magic (TBA, Bo Yates); Gin Gin (TBA, Brad Cox); Into Champagne (Julien Leparoux, Ian Wilkes); Just F Y I (Junior Alvarado, Bill Mott); Lemon Muffin (Keith Asmussen, Wayne Lukas); Leslie's Rose (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Power Squeeze (Daniel Centeno, Jorge Delgado); Regulatory Risk (Jose Ortiz, Chad Brown); Tapit Jenallie (Manny Esquivel, Eddie Milligan); Tarifa (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox); Thorpedo Anna (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Ways and Means (Tyler Gaffalione, Chad Brown) and Where's My Ring (Jose Lezcano, Val Brinkerhoff).

Also-Eligible: Manama Gold (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Our Pretty Woman (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Candied (Luis Saez, 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 30th running of the $250,000 Kentucky Juvenile, run Thursday, May 2 at five furlongs, entries taken Thursday: Her Holy Name (John Hancock); Strummin (John Hancock); Turnbuckle (Lance Rutledge); West Memorial (John Hancock).

The 6th running of the $200,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes, run Wednesday, May 1 at 1 1/2 miles, entries taken Wednesday: Classic Causeway (Kenny McPeek); Master Game (Grant Forster); Next (Doug Cowans); O P Firecracker (Robbie Medina); Red Run (Mike Maker).

The 19th running of the $350,000 Opening Verse (Listed), run Thursday, May 2 at one mile on turf, entries taken Thursday: Ah Jeez (Doug O'Neill); Chasing the Crown (Mike Maker); Quality G (Todd Pletcher); Saratoga Flash (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Shirl's Speight (Roger Attfield); Skyro (Brian Lynch); Stitched (Greg Foley).

The 3rd running of the $200,000 St. Matthews Overnight Stakes, run Thursday, May 2 at six furlongs, entries taken Thursday: Bango (Greg Foley); Bourbon Bash (D. Wayne Lukas); Manny Wah (Will Walden); Surveillance (Keith Desormeaux).

The 39th running of the $1 million Fasig-Tipton La Troienne (GI), run Friday, May 3 at 1 1/16 miles, entries taken Saturday: Hoosier Philly (Tom Amoss); Idiomatic (Brad Cox); Pretty Mischievous (Brendan Walsh) and Xigera (Phil Bauer).

The 21st running of the $750,000 Alysheba (GII), run Friday, May 3 at 1 1/16 miles, entries taken Saturday: Call Me Fast (Al Stall Jr.); First Mission (Brad Cox); Il Miracolo (Antonio Sano); Money Supply (Joe Sharp); Steal Sunshine (Bobby Dibona); T O Saint Denis (JPN) (Daisuke Takayanagi); Trademark (Vicki Oliver); Tumbarumba (Brian Lynch).

The 40th running of the $600,000 Edgewood presented by TwinSpires.com (GII), run Friday, May 3 at 1 1/16 miles on turf, entries taken Saturday: Buchu (Phil Bauer); Dancing N Dixie (Mark Casse); Hard to Justify (Chad Brown); Pink Polkadots (Joe Sharp); Ragtime Lady (Tom Amoss) and Simply In Front (Eddie Kenneally).

The 69th running of the $600,000 Eight Belles presented by Sysco (GII), run Friday, May 3 at seven furlongs, entries taken Saturday: Accommodate Eva (Dallas Stewart); All Things Go (Michael Puhich); Asternia (Randy Morse); Do Gooder (Jena Antonucci); Harbor Springs (Greg Foley); Lady Moscato (Wayne Lukas); Launch (Jorge Delgado); Maxisuperfly (Eric Foster).

The 67th running of the $400,000 Modesty presented by Derby City Gaming (GIII), run Friday, May 3 at 1 1/8 miles on turf, entries taken Saturday: Aspen Grove (IRE) (Chad Brown); Be Your Best (Horacio De Paz); Forever After All (Brendan Walsh); Henrietta Topham (Geoff Mulcahy); Sparkle Blue (Graham Motion); Surprisingly (Todd Pletcher); Tryinmyheartout (Shane Wilson).

The 14th running of the $400,000 Unbridled Sidney presented by Resolute Racing (GIII), run Friday, May 3 at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, entries taken Saturday: Miss Speedy (Mark Casse); Stone Silent (Brian Lynch); Tony Ann (Phil D'Amato).

The 89th running of the $1 million Churchill Downs presented by Ford (GI), run Saturday, May 4 at seven furlongs, entries taken Saturday: Bo Cruz (Al Stall Jr.); Here Mi Song (Billy Stinson Jr.); Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart); Minnesota Ready (Tom Amoss); Oscar Eclipse (Brian Lynch); Tejano Twist (Chris Hartman); Three Technique (Jason Cook).

The 38th running of the $1 million Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (GI), run Saturday, May 4 at seven furlongs, entries taken Saturday: Alva Starr (Brett Brinkman); American Band (John Haran); Oliva Darling (Jorge Delgado); Red Carpet Ready (Rusty Arnold II); Spirit Wind (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Sterling Silver (Lance Rutledge) and Vahva (Cherie DeVaux).

The 38th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI), run Saturday, May 4 at 1 1/8 miles on turf, entries taken Saturday: Anglophile (Brian Lynch); Cellist (Rusty Arnold II); Far Bridge (Christophe Clement); I'm Very Busy (Chad Brown); Naval Power (GB) (Charlie Appleby); Program Trading (Chad Brown); Siege of Boston (Jimmy Toner); Webslinger (Mark Casse).

The 39th running of the $750,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII), run Saturday, May 4 at one-mile on turf, entries taken Saturday: Be My Sunshine (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Delahaye (Chad Brown); Evvie Jets (Mertkan Kantarmaci); Mission of Joy (Graham Motion); Safeen (Eddie Kenneally); Sister Lou Ann (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Walkathon (Ian Wilkes).

The 33rd running of the $600,000 American Turf presented by TwinSpires (GII), run Saturday, May 4 at 1 1/16 miles on turf, entries taken Saturday: Abrumar (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Dancing Groom (Antoino Sano); Legend of Time (GB) (Charlie Appleby); Neat (Rob Atras); Rock'n a Halo (Tom Amoss) and Trikari (Graham Motion).

The 100th running of the $600,000 Pat Day Mile presented by SAP (GII), run Saturday, May 4 at one-mile, entries taken Saturday: Glengarry (Doug Anderson); Knightsbridge (Bill Mott); Nash (Brad Cox) and Who Dey (Tom Drury Jr.).

The 30th running of the $600,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint presented by Sentient Jet (GII), run Saturday, May 4 at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, entries taken Saturday: Bad Beat Brian (Brittany Vanden Berg); Big Invasion (Christophe Clement); Coppola (Dale Romans); Eamonn (Joe Orseno); Extendo (Joe Orseno); Mischief Magic (IRE) (Charlie Appleby); Mister Mmmmm (Joe Sharp); Mo Stash (Vicki Oliver); Nothing Better (Jorge Duarte Jr.); Our Shot (John Terranova); Panther Island (Laura Cazares).

The 3rd running of the $200,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes presented by L&N Federal Credit Union (Listed), run Saturday, May 4 at one mile, entries taken Saturday: Best Actor (Brad Cox); Collaborate (Michael Ann Ewing); Five Star General (Grant Forster); Kupuna (Bret Calhoun); Major Blue (Wayne Lukas); Strava (Norm Casse).

KENTUCKY DERBY, OAKS MORNING WORKOUTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Starting Thursday and continuing through Wednesday, May 1, 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. 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.

Guests can enter Churchill Downs through the Clubhouse Gate and should park for free in the nearby Yellow Lot for convenient entry. Guests will be directed to Sections 115-117 to watch the morning workouts.

On Sunday and Monday, fans can enjoy a premium breakfast in Millionaires Row or the Stakes Room for Dawn at the Downs. Tickets and more information can be found on www.KentuckyDerby.com/DerbyWeek.

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