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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: 4/25/2024

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

Thursday saw four timed works for Derby and Oaks horses in additions to regular gallops during the exclusive 7:30-7:45am training session for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. 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:

Honor Marie worked five furlongs in company with stakes-placed stablemate Agoo in :59.20 over a fast track on a chilly Thursday morning at Churchill Downs. With jockey Ben Curtis aboard for trainer Whit Beckman, Honor Marie clicked off fractions of :12, :23.80, :35.60, :47.40 and :59.20. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.60 and seven-eighths in 1:27.60. It was the best of 11 workers at the distance. "Everybody was smiling when I got back to the barn, and a lot of times that doesn't happen," Curtis said.

Also working Thursday morning were three candidates for the Longines Kentucky Oaks: Willis Horton Racing's Tapit Jenallie (four furlongs, :49.40), Whisper Hill Farm's Leslie's Rose (four furlongs, :49.40) and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Candied (four furlongs :47.60 in company).

Scheduled to work beneath the Twin Spires Friday morning for the Derby is champion Fierceness. Oaks workers scheduled are Tarifa, Thorpedo Anna, Gin Gin, Into Champagne, Ways and Means and Manama Gold.

CATALYTIC Tami Bobo, Julie Davies and George Isaacs' Catalytic was back on the track Thursday with an energetic gallop going 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's doing well," said Tristan Ford, an assistant to Joseph, after the gallop. "Everyone is happy with the way he's progressing." Catalytic, the Florida Derby (GI) runner-up behind probable Kentucky Derby favorite Fierceness, is expected to work this weekend, possibly Sunday.


Domestic Product
DOMESTIC PRODUCT / SIERRA LEONE PeterBrant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Brook Smith's Sierra Leone galloped a mile and a half under Kriss Bon and for the second consecutive morning visited the starting gate. "He did great this morning (at the gate)," trainer Chad Brown said of Sierra Leone, who delayed the start of the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) by being reluctant to load in the gate in front of the Keeneland grandstand.

Domestic Product, owned by Klaravich Stables, galloped a mile and a half under Peter Roman. "He's feelin' good this morning," Roman said after the morning's activity was completed.

DORNOCH / SOCIETY MAN West Paces Racing, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing Stables' Dornoch galloped a mile and a half at 7:30 with Pricilla Schaefer aboard for trainer Danny Gargan. Schaefer returned to the track at 9 with Gargan's other Kentucky Derby hopeful, Society Man.

Owned by the partnership of Reeves Thoroughbreds, West Paces, GMP Stables and Carl and Yurie Pascarella. Society Man also galloped a mile and a half. "He's strong," Gargan said as Society Man jogged past a viewing stand heading back to the barn. "He's a bulldog now."

ENDLESSLY Amerman Racing's Endlessly had a normal training day Thursday, 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 homebred Fierceness, winner of the Florida Derby (GI) by 13 1/2 lengths in his most recent start, galloped a mile and three-eighths under exercise rider Danny Wright for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Eclipse Award winner as the champion 2-year-old of 2023, Fierceness is scheduled to work Friday morning at 7:30 with jockey John Velazquez aboard.

FOREVER YOUNG (JPN) Susumu Fujita's Forever Young (JPN) walked in the mile chute for about an hour under Yusaku Oka before returning the Quarantine Barn. Forever Young worked six furlongs in 1:19.60 in company on Wednesday.

GRAND MO THE FIRST Granpollo Stables' Grand Mo the First was en route to Churchill Downs Thursday from Gulfstream Park. Trainer Victor Barboza Jr. said Grand Mo the First was scheduled to arrive here around 9 o'clock tonight. Grand Mo the First is scheduled to walk Friday and then go to the track Saturday.


Honor Marie at Churchill Downs
HONOR MARIE It was a busy morning outside trainer Whit Beckman's Barn 37 as his Kentucky Derby hopeful Honor Marie completed his major training towards the first Saturday in May with a strong five-furlong move in :59.20 with jockey Ben Curtis in the irons. "We can take one breath now that the work is over," Beckman said about an hour after the 7:30 a.m. breeze. "He came back to the barn and everything was great. The work was great. It reminded me a lot of his work leading up to the Kentucky Jockey Club, except that work was over at (Churchill Downs') Trackside." Honor Marie was partnered in his work with Agoo, a 3-year-old son of Munnings who won a maiden special weight in October at Keeneland. The duo started the move together through a swift opening quarter-mile of :23.80. As they reached the top of the stretch following three furlongs in :35.60, Honor Marie began to separate from his stablemate and completed his move four lengths in front at the wire. As he galloped out, Honor Marie continued to extend his margin and completed six furlongs in 1:12.60 and finished seven furlongs in 1:27.60, according to Churchill Downs Clocker JohnNichols.

"Everyone keeps asking me about why I'm not working on a traditional schedule but I just train each horse individually and not have a certain schedule like every Friday or Saturday or Sunday they work," Beckman said. Honor Marie will have a scheduled walk day on Friday.

JUST STEEL BC Stable's Just Steel stayed with his traditional early training session and galloped 1 1/2 miles Thursday morning for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. "We're very fortunate to have some solid horses in the barn this year and in both the Kentucky Derby and Oaks (with Lemon Muffin) but I've got a great 2-year-old class getting ready to come in the barn," Lukas said. "Derby 150 is special but we always have to keep thinking forward." Just Steel is scheduled to have one more work prior to the Kentucky Derby.

MYSTIK DAN Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing and Daniel Hamby III's Mystik Dan galloped the usual mile-and-a-half for trainer Kenny McPeek. Mystik Dan, the winner of the Southwest (GIII) and most recently finished 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 Thursday morning. Jockey Junior Alvarado has the mount in the Kentucky Derby and is scheduled to ride at Churchill Downs throughout Derby Week. "It's great to be here in Kentucky right now," Alvarado said. "The (Bill Mott) barn has meant a lot for my career."

STRONGHOLD Eric and Sharon Waller's Stronghold, trained by Phil D'Amato, galloped a mile and a half Thursday morning with the trainer's wife, Sherri, aboard. Winner of the Sunland Derby (GIII) and Santa Anita Derby (GI) in his two starts of 2024, Stronghold is scheduled work Sunday morning with Joe Talamo up. "Sunday is looking like the best day," D'Amato said of the schedule that is weather dependent.

T O Password Tomoya Ozasa's Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby invitee T O Password is in quarantine in Chicago and scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs early Friday morning.


Track Phantom
TRACK PHANTOM Lecomte Stakes (GIII) winner Track Phantom returned to his early schedule Thursday for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, galloping about 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Roberto Howell at 5:45 a.m. The son of Quality Road changed training schedules Wednesday when he visited the starting gate at 7:30 a.m. during the special Derby/Oaks training session.

WEST SARATOGA Harry Veruchi's West Saratoga galloped Thursday morning at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Trainer Larry Demeritte said West Saratoga would train Friday morning in Lexington and then ship to Churchill Downs with a 2 p.m. arrival anticipated. Jesus Castanon is scheduled to be aboard for a three-furlong work here Saturday.

ALSO ELIGIBLES Welch Racing's Epic Ride, third in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, galloped this morning at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Trainer John Ennis said Epic Ride would train in the morning then ship to Churchill Downs Friday evening. Adam Beschizza would have the Derby mount.

Trainer Jeff Engler reported Mugatu, fifth-place finisher of the Blue Grass, would arrive Friday and two-minute lick Saturday morning with jockey Joe Talamo in the irons.

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 (Joe Talamo, 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 Thursday at 7:30 a.m. Both fillies are scheduled to work Friday at 7:30 a.m.

INTO CHAMPAGNE Gulfstream Parks Oaks (GIII) third-place finisher Into Champagne had an easy mile-and-three-eighths gallop Thursday morning for trainer Ian Wilkes. After her gallop, Wilkes said he's expecting to breeze her Friday. "I'll probably breeze her tomorrow (Friday), since it looks like there's a chance for rain coming in later," said Wilkes. Over the years, Wilkes has trained several horses with champagne in their names including Champagne Problems, a Grade III-winning earner of more than $400,000, Champagne Anyone, the 2019 Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) winner who finished fourth in the Kentucky Oaks, and Yes to Champagne. "I've got a lot of alcoholic owners," Wilkes joked. "I do have a lot of 2-year-olds coming along with champagne in their names. It's fun, it's great. The owners love it, y'know, and that's the main thing."

JUST F Y I Champion filly Just F Y I had a 1 1/2-mile gallop Thursday morning at 7:30. The Bill Mott trainee is expected to be one of the favorites for the Longines Kentucky Oaks. "She's a beautiful filly," Mott said. "She feels good most days in her training and gets a lot out of it."

LESLIE'S ROSE Whisper Hill Farm's Ashland (GI) winner Leslie's Rose worked a half-mile in :49.40 on her own with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher. Getting into the work on her own shortly after coming on the track, Leslie's Rose produced fractions of :13.20, :25.20 and :49.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.40 and three-quarters in 1:16.20. "She worked really, really good," said Ortiz, who has been aboard Leslie's Rose in all four of her starts. Pletcher was pleased with the work. "I was very, very happy with it," said Pletcher, a four-time Oaks winner. "She got over the ground well and galloped out strong."

REGULATORY RISK/WAYS AND MEANS KlaravichStables' Regulatory Risk and Ways and Means both galloped a mile and half for trainer Chad Brown. Ways and Means galloped under Peter Roman before the first morning harrow break and is scheduled to work at 7:30 Friday morning. Regulatory Risk galloped at 7:30 with Gudiel Alvarez in the boot and is scheduled to work Saturday at 7:30 with Jose Ortiz up.

TAPIT JENALLIE Willis Horton Racing's Tapit Jenallie breezed a half-mile Thursday morning in preparation for the Oaks. Jockey Manny Esquivel guided the homebred daughter of Tapit for trainer Eddie Milligan Jr., and will get the call to ride her in the Oaks. Working without company, Tapit Jenallie was timed in :49.40 with fractions of :12.80, :25, out in 1:02.40 and finishing up in 1:16.20, according to Churchill Downs Clocker Adam Wallace. "She worked really well," Milligan said as he held the shank while she got her cool down bath. "She did everything we wanted her to do this morning. The time was kind of where I thought she should be today. She just needed an easy breeze without taking too much out of her. "Manny said she worked well. He rode her the last two times at Hot Springs (Oaklawn Park, third in the GII Fantasy and second in the GIII Honeybee), and she's gotten somewhat better, and has grown quite a bit. She's really doing great."

THORPEDO ANNA Brookdale Racing, Mark Edwards, Judy Hicks and Magdalena Racing's Thorpedo Anna is scheduled to have her final major workout on Friday ahead of the Longines Kentucky Oaks for trainer Kenny McPeek. On Thursday, Thorpedo Anna galloped an easy mile-and-a-half. The Fast Anna filly 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.

WHERE'S MY RING Michael McMillan'sWhere's My Ring jogged a mile before the first morning harrow break with exercise rider David Rodriguez aboard for trainer Val Brinkerhoff. Winner of the Gazelle (GIII) in her most recent start, Where's My Ring is scheduled to work a half-mile in the morning with Rodriguez up.

ALSO ELIGIBES Victorious' Manama Gold galloped a mile and three-eighths under Jonathan Fabian Aguilar for trainer Todd Pletcher. Pletcher said the UAE Oaks (GIII) winner would work in the morning before making a decision on her Oaks status.

Pletcher's other Oaks hopeful, Eclipse Thoroughbreds Partners' Candied, worked a half-mile in company with graded stakes-placed Scalable. With jockey Luis Saez up, Candied worked to the outside of Scalable and produced fractions of :12.60, :24.20, :36.20 and :47.60 with a five-eighths gallop out of 1:00, three-quarters in 1:12.80 and seven-eighths in 1:27.40, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols. "Very good, a good solid work," Pletcher said. "She switched leads on cue and galloped out strong. I hope she gets in."

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 Jr.); 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 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). v 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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