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2024 Kentucky Derby Photos

horse racing kentucky derby
The Japanese horses, Forever Young and T O Password, train in the mile chute while waiting for the track renovation break to end.
Date: 5/02/2024

Thursday morning at Churchill Downs was not quite as busy as Wednesday, with fewer people in attendance since the free parking for them ended yesterday. There were lots of horses out during the exclusive Oaks/Derby session, but with just 1 day to Oaks day and 2 to Derby day, there were no further timed workouts for Kentucky Derby horses, just the daily gallops and gate schooling. Conditions were warmer, muggy, and very sunny with clear skies and temperatures around 70 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.

Tapit Jenallie was scratched from the Oaks this morning by her trainer which allowed Our Pretty Woman to draw in.

Below are photos and comments for 18 Derby horses and 12 Oaks fillies.

Kentucky Derby

horse racing CATALYTIC - went to the track Thursday shortly after the start of the 7:30 a.m. training period for Oaks and Derby horses. With regular exercise rider Olaf Hernandez aboard, the Florida Derby (GI) runner-up galloped a mile-and-a-half for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.

"He also stood in the starting gate before his gallop," said Joseph, who's waiting to see the weather to map out his Friday training plans. "It's undecided," Joseph said. "He's scheduled to go to the track. If it rains, he might walk tomorrow. If the track's good, he'll go to the track. If the track's nasty, he'll just walk."

horse racing CATCHING FREEDOM - gallop at 7:30 a.m. Trainer Brad Cox, who watched his horses train from the clocker stand near the five-eighths pole simply said, "Perfect." Both horses are scheduled to school in the paddock Thursday afternoon.

horse racing DOMESTIC PRODUCT - came onto the track just after 8 a.m. and galloping about 1 1/2 miles under the watch of trainer Chad Brown. "Obviously we're getting into the last couple days of training here," Brown said. "My Oaks horses are done, the Derby horses will have one more routine gallop tomorrow. Sierra Leone looks super and I feel (Domestic Product) is flying under the radar a bit too. I was very pleased with both gallops. These horses both have so much energy and they're moving well. In my position as a trainer that's really all you can ask for."

horse racing DORNOCH - went out for a jog early then schooled in the paddock during the 4th race as he readies for what is expected to be a front-running effort in the Kentucky Derby. On Wednesday, Gargan had famed farrier Ian McKinlay lace up a quarter crack on Dornoch's right front foot, an issue the colt has had dating back to his juvenile season. Gargan said the quarter crack is not something that has affected Dornoch's training or running previously, adding there have been no signs of any heat or lameness.

"He's had it since has was 2," Gargan said of the quarter crack. "It's just routine what we do, Ian has always done him up. We're coming into the Derby and we looked at it last week and Ian said he'd be good. We ended up putting one more lace in the top of it. But he looks great, no heat, he jogs beautifully. It's something he's had, it's been there. But he ran with it and won three races with it. We're pleased with how it looks right now."

horse racing ENDLESSLY took part in the 7:30-7:45 training period for Oaks and Derby runners with regular exercise rider Walter Davilia in the irons. The jockey who'll handle him on Saturday Umberto Rispoli was on hand as an observer and joined trainer Michael McCarthy trackside to watch the colt go through a smooth gallop of about a mile and a quarter. "No more standing in the gate, no more trips to the paddock," McCarthy said. "We're all done with that. The only thing we want to do now is keep him happy."

horse racing EPIC RIDE jogged in the mile chute under Sophie Doyle during the 7:30-7:45 training period for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses.

horse racinghorse racing FIERCENESS galloped a mile and one half with regular exercise rider Danny Wright on board, then made a visit to the starting gate for the second day in a row. "He's good there (the gate)," Wright said. "Just in and out."

Overseeing the colt's activities were trainer Todd Pletcher (right), owner Mike Repole with family members and barn friend and favorite Avery Johnson, the basketball player, coach and commentator.

horse racing FOREVER YOUNG (JPN) warmed up in the mile chute under training assistant Yusaku Oka and then galloped a mile and a half before returning to the chute to cool down before walking back to the Quarantine Barn.

horse racing GRAND MO THE FIRST galloped a mile and a quarter under Amel Macias for trainer Victor Barboza Jr. Barboza said Grand Mo the First would school in the paddock this afternoon with horses in the fourth race and would train early Friday morning.

horse racing HONOR MARIE had his normal 1 1/2-mile gallop Thursday morning regular rider Maurilio Garcia. Trainer Whit Beckman, who made it back to the track following five days in the hospital, said his condition was slowly improving and hopes to be at the Derby.

horse racing JUST A TOUCH was out for a routine gallop this morning.

horse racing MYSTIK DAN was out Thursday for trainer Kenny McPeek for a typical gallop of about a mile and three-eighths with Robby Albarado, a former jockey who regularly rides for McPeek and was available for the workout. "It was a regular gallop, he's doing fine," said McPeek.

horse racing RESILIENCE put in another easy gallop Thursday morning, visiting the paddock and then going about 1 3/8 miles under the watch of trainer Bill Mott. "Everything's good," Mott said.

horse racing SIERRA LEONE came out during the 7:30 a.m. training period and getting into another solid gallop twice around the Churchill Downs oval.

On hand to watch Sierra Leone Thursday morning was one of Brown's top clients, Peter Brant, who owns the colt along with Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Brook Smith, and Westerberg. Brant owned a share of Claiborne Farm's 1984 Kentucky Derby winner Swale and has been impressed by Sierra Leone from Day One, as evidenced by the colt's $2.3 million price tag as a yearling.

horse racing SOCIETY MAN hit the track for his gallop and gate schooling Thursday, with plans to gallop Friday as well. Trainer Danny Gargan said, "Dornoch just had an easy morning, he went around there one time. We've walked him more going into some of his races but it is the Derby. Tomorrow, I'll make the decision what we're going to do but most likely he'll walk because we want him to show speed. Society Man will go out and train. But I'm pleased with both of them."

horse racing T O PASSWORD warmed up in the mile chute under jockey Kazushi Kimura and then galloped a mile and half with stablemate T O Saint Denis (JPN) and then returned to the chute to cool down before returning to the Quarantine Barn.

horse racing WEST SARATOGA galloped a mile and a half under Donte Lowery for trainer Larry Demeritte during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses.

ALSO ELIGIBLES

horse racing MUGATU - galloped a mile and a half under Joe Talamo for trainer Jeff Engler. Mugatu would need one defection from the Derby field of 20 to move into the main body of the race.

Scratch time for the Kentucky Derby is 9 a.m. Friday and if Mugatu does not get in the race, Engler's Plan B is to probably work Mugatu Sunday morning and then ship to New York that afternoon or Monday for the $200,000 Peter Pan (GIII) run at 1 1/8 miles on May 11 at Aqueduct.


Kentucky Oaks

horse racingFiona's Magic jogged a mile and visited the paddock under Alejandro Mariano. "Our on-track training is done," trainer Michael Yates said. "She won't go to the track in the morning."

horse racingGin Gin galloped about 1 1/2 miles Thursday at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Brad Cox. "They're doing as good as you can hope leading into the Oaks," Cox said. "It's a solid group of fillies this year and we're looking forward to the race."

horse racingInto Champagne was on the track Thursday at the 7:30 a.m. training time for trainer Ian Wilkes. "She galloped about a mile-and-three-eighths with Adelso Orantes," Wilkes said. "All good with her."

horse racingJust F Y I put in another gallop twice around Thursday where she was on the muscle. "She's moving great," trainer Bill Mott said. "When she had that race in the Ashland, I think it was a little wake-up call. You lay those horses up five months and they get a little rusty, but I think she kind of realizes she's back in the game."

horse racingLeslie's Rose had regular exercise rider Joel Osorio in the saddle this morning. "She went nice and easy today," Osorio said of Leslie's Rose and her mile and a half gallop. "She's feeling very good."

horse racingOur Pretty Woman (shown schooling in the paddock on Wednesday afternoon) drew into the Longines Kentucky Oaks field following the defection of Tapit Jenallie.

horse racingPower Squeeze was out on the Churchill Downs track Thursday with exercise rider Edwin Castro for trainer Jorge Delgado. "She went out and galloped her mile-and-a-half," Delgado said. "Just one more day. With the scratch (of Tapit Jenallie), that changes the race a little."

horse racingRegulatory Risk put in her final gallop ahead of Friday's signature test for 3-year-old fillies. "They're both doing really well but we're watching the weather I guess," Brown said. "These horses don't have much experience in the wet, particularly Ways and Means, who is the stronger half of the entry. But she is doing super and I do expect her to run well."

horse racingTarifa galloped about 1 1/2 miles Thursday at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Brad Cox. "They're doing as good as you can hope leading into the Oaks," Cox said. "It's a solid group of fillies this year and we're looking forward to the race."

horse racingThorpedo Anna went out Thursday morning for a gallop with her Oaks rider, Brian Hernandez Jr. "She galloped a mile-and-a-half, the usual stuff," said trainer Kenny McPeek.

horse racingWays and Means put in her final gallop before the Oaks. "They're both doing really well but we're watching the weather I guess," Brown said. "These horses don't have much experience in the wet, particularly Ways and Means, who is the stronger half of the entry. But she is doing super and I do expect her to run well."

ALSO ELIGIBLES

horse racingCandied, who is on the also-eligible list and will need one defection from the race prior to the 9 a.m. Friday scratch time, had exercise rider Carlos Quevedo aboard for her gallop this morning.


horse racinghorse racing
An unidentified horse got loose this morning in front of the stands around 8:10am but was quickly captured by the outriders on the backstretch after a short chase.


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