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Oaks fillies Monomoy Girl and Heavenhasmynikki pass in front of the twin spires on Tuesday morning

Tuesday Kentucky Derby Workouts

Date: 05/01/2018

Tuesday morning was sunny with temperatures in the mid 50's during training at Churchill Downs and the track was fast after the renovation break. Many of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses came out for their special private workout session at 7:30 after the break, although a few had come out earlier in the day. Below are photos for 17 Derby horses and 10 Oaks fillies from this morning on the track 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 racingAudible - The New York-bred brings a four-race win streak to Churchill Downs with the latter two scores coming in the Holy Bull (G2) and Florida Derby (G1). Listed at 8-1 as the co-fourth choice on the morning line, Audible will break from post position five and be ridden by Javier Castellano. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "Ideally, I wouldn't want three of my four horses in the auxiliary gate. But it's horse racing and that's what happens. We've all seen it before: good trips from bad posts, or vice versa. But in the end it's out of my control so it's all good."

horse racingBolt d'Oro - is listed at 8-1 morning line for the Derby. Jockey Victor Espinoza will be in the irons out of post 11 for owner-trainer Mick Ruis. Bolt d'Oro comes into the Derby off a runner-up finish to Justify in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Ruis said, "It's ironic. We had 11 and Good Magic had the 6 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. We drew the same numbers. That's kind of fun. I'm fine where we are. That's good."

horse racinghorse racingBravazo - drew post 13 for 4-time winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Calumet Farm. Luis Contreras rides the 50-1 outsider. Lukas said, "I was hoping for 15, but 13 is pretty close. I like the horses around us. I thought it was an excellent draw. I'm really pleased."

horse racingFirenze Fire - drew the rail. Paco Lopez will be in the irons aboard the 50-1 longshot. Trainer Jason Servis said, "I think it's a lot better than 19 or 20, really. I'd rather be inside. I'm OK with it."

horse racingFlameaway will have Jose Lezcano aboard from post 4. Trainer Mark Casse said of his 30-1 longshot, "I love it. We've said all along we're going to be up close to the lead. And look, we know that we need some things to go our way, and I think that this was the start of it. It's always nice to run the shortest way around on the inside. I think it's great."

horse racingFree Drop Billy galloped 1 1/2 miles Tuesday morning at 7:30 for trainer Dale Romans. Blue Grass third Free Drop Billy is Albaugh Family Stables' third Kentucky Derby starter. "This is my favorite trip each year," Dennis Albaugh said. "We are always excited to come back to Kentucky and we're lucky enough to have a great horse to compete in the Derby." Free Drop Billy is named after Albaugh's friend Billy who took too many free drops playing golf. "(Billy) will be here later this week," Albaugh said. "Hopefully he's a good luck charm."

horse racingGood Magic - despite winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and Blue Grass Stakes (G1), is 12-1 on the morning line. Jose Lezcano breaks from post 6 for trainer Chad Brown. Brown said, "I'm perfectly fine with the six I wouldn't want to be any farther inside but he'll get to save some ground there and he's got a really good horse to his outside in Justify that will provide him with a horse to follow into the first turn."

horse racingHofburg - drew post 9 for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Irad Ortiz. Garrett O'Rourke, manager of owner Juddmonte Farms said of his 20-1 shot, "We couldn't be happier. All the speed's to the inside, I'm sure it'll go; there's some speed to the outside. Hopefully there'll be plenty of room for us to settle somewhere midpack. It'll be entirely up to the jockey but you don't want to be too far back and I don't think he has to be. But he won't be fighting for the front here, for definite. The front here is positioned to go so I would hope there's going to be room there in the middle for people to just pick a nice spot. I just hope he gets a nice, comfortable position so he can move in the second half of the race. The draw seems to set up for everybody to be relatively happy."

horse racingInstilled Regard - drew post 15 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Drayden Van Dyke. Dan Ward, assistant to Hollendorfer said of his 50-1 shot, "Couldn't ask for better."

horse racinghorse racingJustify - is the 3-1 morning line favorite and drew post 7 for trainer Bob Baffert. Mike Smith, who rode Giacomo to victory in 2005, has the mount. Justify will be trying to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without having raced as a 2-year-old. Baffert said, "We didn't want to be in the one-hole and we didn't want to be 20. Seven is fine but he still has to break well. If he doesn't break well it doesn't matter what hole he's in. He's lightly raced and he has to leave there running. I'm glad I got here late. I walked in and saw Justify 7 and was like, ‘I'll take that. Dale Romans has that really fast horse (Promises Fulfilled, post 3) and I would've hated for him to be outside of me so that's good."

horse racingMagnum Moon - is the 6-1 third choice and will also try to break the Apollo Curse. One of 4 entered by trainer Todd Pletcher, he drew post 16 with Luis Saez in the irons. Magnum Moon did not make his racing debut until Jan. 13 at Gulfstream and followed a victory at Tampa Bay Downs in February with victories in the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1).
horse racingMy Boy Jack - Three-time Derby winner Kent Desormeaux will be trying to pad her Derby resume when he rides My Boy Jack for his brother Keith Desormeaux. Listed at 30-1 on the line, My Boy Jack will break from post position 10. Keith said, "Perfect; right in the middle. We wanted to be there or farther outside. With our style (a late runner) we just didn't want to be inside and taking a lot of dirt in the face right away."

horse racingNoble Indy - picks up first-time rider Florent Geroux. The Louisiana Derby (G2) winner, 30-1 on the line, will break from post position 19 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Pletcher said, "Both Magnum Moon (#16) and Noble Indy (#19) have tactical speed, so in a best case scenario they'll be able to get good spots despite the post. This is very much a rider's race and I've got four of the best riders around, which makes me feel good. We'll hope for a good break for our horses and then see what happens. It figures to be a very interesting race."

horse racingPromises Fulfilled - Fountain of Youth (G2) winner will be ridden by Corey Lanerie and break from post position three for trainer Dale Romans.

horse racingSolomini - drew post 17 for trainer Bob Baffert. Flavien Prat will be aboard the 30-1 shot for owners Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor who also own Mendelssohn. Baffert said, "It's one of the toughest Derbys that I've ever seen and one of the best draws that I've ever seen. The most important horses got good draws. My excuses are really dwindling so now I've got to come with the horse. He's a horse that just going to fall away from there. I would've preferred to have seen him somewhere on the inside to save some ground but I think everyone should be happy with their draw. I don't see any advantage that I have or that anyone else has. I have Solomini in there to pick up the pieces in case things fall apart up front. It's nice to have a couple more weapons."

horse racingVino Rosso - Listed at 12-1 on the line, Vino Rosso will break from post position 18 for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole.

horse racingBlended Citizen is the lone also-eligible in the field and needs one scratch by Friday morning in order to draw in. Kyle Frey is named to ride the 50-1 outsider for trainer Doug O'Neill.

Kentucky Oaks

horse racingSassy Sienna (post 1) is a 15-1 longshot on the morning line. Gary Stevens gets the call for trainer Brad Cox. Cox said, We've liked Sassy Sienna since the fall as well. She ran fourth in the Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland) after a wide trip. She's just gotten better. She's a tough filly that shows up every time. She's been very consistent. I'm happy with three of the fillies. They're doing very well."

horse racingCoach Rocks (post 2) galloped 12f on Tuesday morning. Trainer Dale Romans said of his 12-1 shot, "She's doing well. We're ready to go."

horse racingWonder Gadot (post 5) galloped 9f with exercise ride Orlando Cross. Trainer Mark Casse said, "Sometimes I think people and trainers worry too much, thinking they always have to win. I also think the more they run, if you can get them into a good pattern, they actually stay healthier."

horse racingKelly's Humor (post 6) is the second of three fillies entered by trainer Brad Cox. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in the irons aboard the 30-1 outsider.

horse racingRayya (post 7) galloped 10f under exercise rider Dana Barnes in her first time over the Churchill track. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "She has a lot of natural speed. I see her probably on the lead. The only one that took the lead away from her was a little horse called Mendolssohn so we'll give her a pass on that one. We're asking her to do almost the impossible, coming from Dubai and winning the Oaks, but so far everything we've asked her to do she's done it."

horse racingHeavenhasnynikki (post 8), galloped 12f under new rider Calvin Borel. Borel said of the 30-1 outsider, "She went beautifully. I am going to get back on her tomorrow. She's got a good post (eight) and in a big field you never know what will happen." Trainer Anthony Quartarolo added, "He liked her a lot. She will pick it up tomorrow and then jog Thursday. She went over to the paddock yesterday to get her used to the tunnel and she did fine. She will school again in tomorrow's second race."

horse racingTake Charge Paula (post 9) galloped 11f under exercise rider Jason Gracia after arriving from Florida on Monday. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "We worked her in blinkers before we ran her last time, but we decided not to put them on. We decided to put them on this time to have her focus and pay attention down the racetrack. It's a tough time to put them on in your biggest race, but we've had them on her to work a few times, so we know they seem to help."

horse racingMy Miss Lilly (post 11) galloped 10f with exercise rier Emerson Chavez. Trainer Mark Hennig said, I don't think (rain) would be an issue at all. The day she broke her maiden it was sloppy and she got away from the gate last and worked her way through the crowd in the slop. And she's always trained very well in the mud. She got over this track well when it was wet last week."

horse racingEskimo Kisses (post 13) galloped 12f under exercise rider Mario Conbento. Jeff Hiles, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek said, "She's happy, so we're happy." Corey Lanerie gets the call Friday aboard the 15-1 shot.

horse racingMonomoy Girl (post 14) is the morning line favorite, and galloped 9f under exercise rider David Garcia. Trainer Brad Cox said, "She's strong. I keep a stopwatch on her. She's aggressive and likes to train. But, she responds to her rider. She's a smart filly. This means a lot," Cox said. "I feel very fortunate to be in this position and I think all three fillies are going to show up. They're all happy. The Oaks has been our plan for Monomoy Girl since the Golden Rod (G2)  last fall (when second). The plan was always the Rachel Alexandra (G2), the Ashland (G1) and then here.

horse racinghorse racing
Left: Looking across at the Twin Spires during the morning works.

Right: Bath time at the shady James E. Backer Racing Stable barn on the backside.

horse racinghorse racing
Left: Looking toward the paddock over the Aristides garden.

Right: The Breeders' Cup Statue next to the paddock.

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