Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) turned in his most impressive pre-Kentucky Derby work Wednesday morning by working a bullet half-mile in :46.40 over a fast track.
Working with the 4-year-old Southern Passage from trainer Dale Romans’ barn, Crown Pride produced fractions of :11.60, :23.20 and :46.40 and galloped out in 1:00.20 and 1:14.80.
Regular exercise rider Masa Matsuda was aboard Crown Pride, who has had four works at Churchill Downs since arriving here March 30 after winning the UAE Derby (GII).
Also working Wednesday morning was RED TR-Racing’s Rich Strike for trainer Eric Reed.
With Gabriel Lagunes aboard, Rich Strike worked five furlongs in :59.60. He produced eighth-of-a-mile fractions of :11.80, :23.40, :35, :47.20 and :59.60 and galloped out in 1:12.60 and 1:25.80.
Third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) in his most recent start, Rich Strike is 24th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and would need four defections from the anticipated starters to gain a spot in the starting gate for Kentucky Derby 148.
BARBER ROAD – WSS Racing’s Barber Road galloped about 1 ½ miles at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The former $15,000 weanling purchase rallied from about six lengths off the early pace in the Arkansas Derby (GI) to finish second by 2 ¾ lengths behind Cyberknife.
“I’m certainly not going to change his running style going into the Derby,” trainer John Ortiz said. “He was on the lead when he broke his maiden which gave him a lot of confidence since it was a claiming race. I think if he could be about mid-pack in the Derby it would be the ideal position.”
CLASSIC CAUSEWAY – Kentucky West Racing and Clarke Cooper’s Classic Causeway had a 1 ½-mile gallop Wednesday morning under regular exercise rider Calamity Compton.
Classic Causeway would be Australian-native trainer Brian Lynch’s first starter in the Kentucky Derby.
“It’s really exciting for my owners and for us as a barn to have a horse like this,” said Lynch, who moved to the U.S. nearly three decades ago. “We won some pretty big races in the Breeders’ Cup and Queen’s Plate but you could say it would be a dream come true to win the Kentucky Derby.”
Lynch moved from Australia and competed on the rodeo circuit riding bulls. In Australia, Lynch worked around horses and eventually bought horses on his own.
CHARGE IT, MO DONEGAL, PIONEER OF MEDINA – Trainer Todd Pletcher is watching the weather forecast as he plots the final works for his Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
“The forecast looks a little dicey for the weekend,” Pletcher said. “If the forecast looks favorable, I’d work the (Oaks) fillies Friday and the colts Saturday. I am prepared to move up a day or back a day with either of them.”
All three of his Derby hopefuls galloped 1 3/8 miles during the 7:30-7:45 morning training window for Derby and Oaks horses. Amelia Green partnered Donegal Racing’s Mo Donegal; Hector Ramos was aboard Whisper Hill Farm’s Charge It and Carlos Perez was on Sumaya U. S. Stables’ Pioneer of Medina, who is No. 21 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
CROWN PRIDE (JPN) – Teruya Yoshida’s well-traveled Crown Pride (JPN) turned in his most impressive pre-Kentucky Derby work Wednesday morning by working a bullet half-mile in :46.40 over a fast track.
With regular morning partner Masa Matsuda aboard, Crown Pride produced fractions of :11.60, :23.20 and :46.40 and galloped out in 1:00.20 and 1:14.80 while working in company with the 4-year-old Southern Passage.
Crown Pride left Japan on March 17 to travel 5,000 miles to Dubai where he won the UAE Derby (GII). He traveled another 7,300 miles from Dubai to Churchill Downs, arriving here March 30. Wednesday’s work was his fourth since arriving here.
Before the work, Crown Pride warmed up in the mile chute while the track was undergoing a harrow break and following the work had a leisurely trip back to the quarantine barn.
“That is a typical Japanese training regimen,” said Japan-based representative for the Kentucky Derby Kate Hunter. “Masa was very pleased with the work. He said Crown Pride moves well over the surface with no extra effort.”
Crown Pride’s previous works here were six furlongs in 1:18.60 on April 16, a half-mile in :49.80 on April 19 and a half-mile in :49.20 on April 24. He is scheduled to work again Sunday.
Trainer Koichi Shintani is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Sunday night and will be at the post position draw Monday afternoon.
Jockey Christophe Lemaire is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Monday.
CYBERKNIFE, TAWNY PORT, ZOZOS – Trainer Brad Cox’s Derby trio of Cyberknife, Tawny Port and Zozos all visited the Churchill Downs starting gate and had a 1 ½-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Cox reported all three horses would likely work Saturday.
EPICENTER – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Epicenter trained later than his normal 5:30 a.m. to school in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, which is located in the one mile chute.
Epicenter was on the track at 7:30 a.m. during the restricted window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks training. After his schooling session he had a standard gallop with exercise rider Roberto Howell in the boot.
SMILE HAPPY, TIZ THE BOMB – Lucky Seven Stable’s Smile Happy and Magdalena Racing’s Tiz the Bomb both galloped a mile and a half during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks hopefuls.
Danny Ramsey was aboard Smile Happy and Edwardo Ruvalcaba was aboard Tiz the Bomb for trainer Kenny McPeek.
SUMMER IS TOMORROW – Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke’s Summer Is Tomorrow galloped a mile and then had a paddock schooling session under Heinz Runge.
Runner-up in the UAE Derby (GII) in his most recent start, Summer Is Tomorrow is scheduled to work Sunday.
Trainer Bhupat Seemar is scheduled to arrive in Louisville tonight.
UN OJO – Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm’s Un Ojo stood in the starting gate and then galloped two miles under Clay Courville, son of trainer Ricky Courville.
“He walked right in there with no problem,” said Clay Courville, who rode Un Ojo through the paddock Tuesday and plans to bring him back Thursday morning after training hours as part of a walk day.
Ricky Courville is expected to make the 11-hour drive from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Louisville tomorrow.
ZANDON – Jeff Drown’s Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Zandon galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“I’m really excited the way he’s taken to the surroundings here at Churchill,” trainer Chad Brown said. “We’ll likely keep him on the Saturday work pattern.”
ALSO ELIGIBLES: RED TR-Racing’s Rich Strike worked five furlongs in :59.60 with Gabriel Lagunes aboard for trainer Eric Reed. Working on his own at 7:30, Rich Strike produced eighth-of-a-mile fractions of :11.80, :23.40, :35, :47.20 and :59.60 and galloped out in 1:12.60 and 1:25.80.
“You couldn’t do any better than that,” Reed said of Rich Strike, who is No. 24 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. “Now we’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) in his most recent start, Rich Strike would need four defections from the anticipated starters to gain a spot in the starting gate for Kentucky Derby 148.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Here’s the current Top 20 horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby (with jockey and trainer): Epicenter (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Zandon (Flavien Prat, Chad Brown); White Abarrio (Tyler Gaffalione, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Mo Donegal (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Tiz the Bomb (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Cyberknife (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crown Pride (JPN) (Christophe Lemiere, Koichi Shintani); Taiba (Mike Smith, Tim Yakteen); Simplification (Jose Ortiz, Antonio Sano); Smile Happy (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek); Classic Causeway (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch); Tawny Port (TBA, Brad Cox); Barber Road (Reylu Gutierrez, John Ortiz); Un Ojo (Ramon Vazquez, Ricky Courville); Early Voting (TBA, Chad Brown); Messier (John Velazquez, Tim Yakteen); Zozos (Manny Franco, Brad Cox); Summer Is Tomorrow (Mickael Barzalona, Bhupat Seemar); Charge It (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Happy Jack (Rafael Bejarano, Doug O’Neill).
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE
COCKTAIL MOMENTS – Dixiana Farms’ Ashland (GI) runner-up Cocktail Moments galloped a mile and half Wednesday morning for trainer Kenny McPeek. She is scheduled for her final pre-Oaks work Friday.
GODDESS OF FIRE, NEST, SHAHAMA – Trainer Todd Pletcher, whose four Kentucky Oaks victories rank second all-time behind only Woody Stephens’ five, sent his three hopefuls for this year’s running out for 1 3/8-mile gallops.
Going out at 7:30 were Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House’s Nest with Nora McCormack up and KHK Racing’s Shahama with Humberto Zamora aboard. Red Oak Stable’s Goddess of Fire came out a half-hour later with Zamora aboard.
Should one of these three find the winner’s circle on May 6, Pletcher would become the first trainer since D. Wayne Lukas to win the Oaks in consecutive years. Lukas, also a four-time Oaks winner, notched his third and fourth victories with Open Mind in 1989 and Seaside Attraction in 1990.
Pletcher won last year with the champion Malathaat.
HIDDEN CONNECTION – Hidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Hidden Connection galloped about 1 ½ miles early Wednesday morning.
The filly by Connect is scheduled to gallop once again Thursday and school in the paddock.
KATHLEEN O. – Winngate Stables’ Kathleen O. galloped 1 ¼ miles during the 7:30-7:45 training window under regular exercise rider David Jego.
The undefeated Kathleen O is trained by Shug McGaughey, who won the 1993 Oaks with Dispute. She is scheduled for her final pre-Oaks work most likely on Saturday according to assistant Anthony Hamilton.
NOSTALGIC – Godolphin’s Nostalgic had a 1 3/8-mile gallop Wednesday morning with exercise rider Penny Gardiner in the saddle.
SECRET OATH – Briland Farm’s top Longines Kentucky Oaks contender Secret Oath jogged about one-mile early Wednesday and is scheduled to gallop Thursday.
TURNERLOOSE – Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Turnerloose has a 1 ½-mile gallop Wednesday with trainer Brad Cox’s regular exercise rider Edvin Vargas in the saddle.
Cox reported Turnerloose would have her final Oaks tune up Friday morning.
VENTI VALENTINE – NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Gazelle (GII) runner-up Venti Valentine had a 1 3/8-mile gallop Wednesday morning. She’s scheduled to work Friday or Saturday.
ALSO ELIGIBLE: Charles Matses’ Fantasy (GIII) runner-up Beguine galloped a mile and a half under Katelyn Golka at 5:15 this morning for trainer Danny Peitz.
Peitz said that Beguine would work Friday at 7:30 with James Graham aboard.
Beguine is No. 18 on the Oaks leaderboard and would need four defections from horses with more points to gain a spot in the Oaks starting gate.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Here’s the Top 14 horses on the leaderboard for the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) (with jockey and trainer): Kathleen O. (Javier Castellano, Shug McGaughey); Echo Zulu (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Nest (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Yuugiri (Florent Geroux, Rodolphe Brisset); Desert Dawn (Umberto Rispoli, Phil D’Amato); Nostalgic (Jose Ortiz, Bill Mott); Venti Valentine (Tyler Gaffalione, Jorge Abreu); Secret Oath (Luis Saez, Wayne Lukas); Goddess of Fire (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher); Turnerloose (TBA, Brad Cox); Hidden Connection (Reylu Gutierrez, Bret Calhoun); Cocktail Moments (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek); Candy Raid (Rafael Bejarano, Keith Desormeaux); Shahama (Flavien Prat, 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 4th running of the $160,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes, run on Tuesday, May 1 at 1 ½ miles, entries close Thursday, April 28: Lone Rock (Robertino Diodoro).
The 1st running of the $160,000 St. Matthews Overnight Stakes, run on Wednesday, May 2 at six furlongs, entries close Friday, April 29: Bango (Greg Foley); Tiger Dad (Robertino Diodoro); Tulane Tryst (Cherie DeVaux).
The 7th running of the $200,000 William Walker, run on Wednesday, May 2 at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, entries close Friday, April 29: B D Valeski (Greg Foley); Run Curtis Run (Mike Maker); Sooley (Greg Foley).
The 17th running of the $160,000 Opening Verse, run on Thursday, May 3 at one mile on turf, entries close Saturday, April 30: Captivating Moon (Chris Block).
The 28th running of the $200,000 Kentucky Juvenile, run on Thursday, May 3 at five furlongs, entries close Saturday, April 30: Abinadi (Luis Mendez); King Adrock (Luis Mendez); Lone Leader (John Hancock); Mr. Gordy (John Hancock); Simply Super (Mike Maker).
The 12th running of the $200,000 Unbridled Sidney, run on Thursday, May 3 at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, entries close Saturday, April 30: Change of Control (Michelle Lovell); In Good Spirits (Al Stall Jr.).
The 28th running of the $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GII) presented by Sysco, run on Friday, May 6 at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Chasing Artie (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone); Johnny Unleashed (Eric Foster).
The 65th running of the Modesty (GIII) run on Friday, May 6 at 1 1/8 miles on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Bleecker Street (Chad Brown); Crystal Cliffs (Graham Motion); Hendy Woods (Mark Casse); She Can’t Sing (Chris Block).
The 19th running of the $500,000 Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet (GII), run on Friday, May 6 at 1 1/16 miles, entries close Monday, May 2: Fulsome (Brad Cox); Happy Saver (Todd Pletcher); Olympiad (Bill Mott); Title Ready (Dallas Stewart); Weyburn (Brendan Walsh).
The 38th running of the $500,000 Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank (GII), run Friday, May 6 at 1 1/16 miles, entries close Monday, May 2: Beachnut Trophy (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Dream Lith (Robertino Diodoro).
The 67th running of the $500,000 Eight Belles (GII, run Friday, May 6 at seven furlongs, entries close Monday, May 2: Ain’t Easy (Phil D’Amato); Lac Vieux Desert (Robertino Diodoro); Marissa’s Lady (Bill Morey); Pretty Birdie (Norm Casse).
The 37th running of the $750,000 La Troienne (GI), run Friday, May 6 at 1 1/16, entries close Monday, May 2: Ava’s Grace (Robertino Diodoro); Battle Bling (Rob Atras); Shedaresthedevil (Brad Cox); Temper Time (Dale Romans).
The 1st running of the $160,000 Knicks Go, run Saturday, May 7 at one mile, entries close Monday, May 2: Collaborate (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Perfect Speighty (Dallas Stewart); Three Technique (Jason Cook).
The 31st running of the $500,000 American Turf (GII), run Saturday, May 7 at 1 1/16 miles on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Grand Sonata (Todd Pletcher); Stolen Base (Mike Maker).
The 98th running of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GII), run Saturday, May 7 at one mile, entries close Monday, May 2: Doppelganger (Tim Yakteen); Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart); Jack Christopher (Chad Brown); McLaren Vale (Tim Yakteen); Newgrange (Tim Yakteen); Pappacap (Mark Casse); Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr.)
The 37th running of the $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII), run Saturday, May 7 at one mile on turf, entries close Monday, May 2: Mona Stella (Patrick Biancone); Wakanaka (Bill Mott).
The 36th running of the $750,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (GI), run at seven furlongs on Saturday, May 7, entries close Monday, May 2: Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin); Center Aisle (Paulo Lobo); Four Graces (Ian Wilkes); Obligatory (Bill Mott).
The 87th running of the $750,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (GI), run at seven furlongs on Saturday, May 7, entries close Monday, May 2: Aloha West (Wayne Catalano); Jackie’s Warrior (Steve Asmussen); Long Range Toddy (Dallas Stewart); Prevalence (Brendan Walsh).
The 36th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI), run at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Saturday, May 7, entries close Monday May 2: Cavalry Charge (Dallas Stewart); Ivar (BRZ) (Paulo Lobo); Santin (Brendan Walsh).
KENTUCKY DERBY, OAKS MORNING WORKOUTS OPEN TO PUBLIC – Churchill Downs will be open free-of-charge daily from 7-10 a.m. through Wednesday, May 4 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. with 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 are identified by special saddle towels which include their names: yellow saddle towels for Derby horses and pink saddle towels for Oaks contenders.
Kentucky Derby Morning Works presented by TwinSpires.com will begin Monday and air on www.kentuckyderby.com/works, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Fans in attendance will be able to watch the show on the track’s Big Board and infield televisions.
Guests can enter Churchill Downs through the Paddock Gate and should park for free in the nearby White Lot for convenient entry. Guests will be directed to Sections 115-117 to watch the morning workouts.
No outside food and beverage is allowed. Churchill Downs’ Paddock Grill will be open each morning with breakfast food and beverage options.
Also, the Churchill Downs Store will be open daily featuring all of the best official race merchandise, collectibles, drinkwear, party supplies, gifts, apparel and gear for men and women in advance of the Kentucky Derby.
On Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2, fans can enjoy a premium breakfast in Millionaires Row or the Stakes Room for Dawn at the Downs. Tickets start at $41 and can be purchased on www.KentuckyDerby.com/tickets.
The 148th runnings of the $1.25 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) will be held Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, respectively. Opening Night of Derby Week and the 44-day Spring Meet is Saturday, April 30.
KENTUCKY DERBY MORNING WORKS PROGRAM AIRS DAILY – Former leading jockey Rosie Napravnik, a two-time winner of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), along with the voice of the Kentucky Derby, Travis Stone, join host Joe Kristufek as the featured analysts on the Kentucky Derby Morning Works presented by TwinSpires.com for the 11-day online broadcast that begins Monday.
The one-hour program will be streamed live on KentuckyDerby.com/works from 7-8 a.m. (all times Eastern) starting Monday and will feature the 15-minute exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders from 7:30-7:45 a.m. Fans can also watch the broadcast across several of the Kentucky Derby social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Napravnik’s first appearance on the broadcast will be April 29 while Stone will be on-set April 27-28. A wide array of other experts will lead fans through the show including TwinSpires.com handicappers James Scully, Scott Shapiro and Brandon Stauble.
Fans will be invited to join in the discussion using the hashtag #KyDerby.
NEW $3 ALL 3-YEAR-OLD PICK 3, 50-CENT ALL DIRT PICK 5 HIGHLIGHT DERBY DAY WAGERING MENU – A new $3 All-3-Year-Old Pick 3 and a 50-cent All-Dirt, All-Stakes Pick 5 that close with the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I), highlight the spectacular Derby-week wagering menu that kicks off the 44-day Spring Meet at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The All-3-Year-Old Pick 3, which has a unique $3 minimum, will span across the $500,000 American Turf presented by BMW (GII), $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GII) and the Kentucky Derby. Like the 50-cent rolling Pick 3s, the All-3-Year-Old Pick 3 will have a 22% takeout.
Also new on the wagering menu is the All-Dirt, All-Stakes Pick 5 on Kentucky Derby Day, which closes with the “Run for the Roses.” With a low 15% takeout, and 50-cent minimum, the sequence will cover the $160,000 Knicks Go, $750,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (GI), $750,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (GI), the Pat Day Mile and the Kentucky Derby.
The 20-cent Derby City 6, a jackpot wager where bettors must correctly tab the only winning combination to take down the entirety of the pool, handled more than $1.06 million on Kentucky Derby Day in 2019.
The bet will begin this Saturday for Opening Night and if multiple winning combinations correctly select six winners, 90% of the daily pool gets paid, while 10% will carry over to the next day. If no one correctly selects all six winners, the entirety of the day’s pool will carry over to the next day. The Derby City 6 pool will have a mandatory payout on Kentucky Derby Day.
Along with the Derby City 6, the return of the two-day Oaks/Derby Pick 6 will also be a top wager. The $2 minimum bet (2019 handle: $479,561) spans six Grade I events across Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days. The bet begins on Oaks Day with the $750,000 La Troienne (GI) and the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). It continues Kentucky Derby Day with the Derby City Distaff, Churchill Downs, $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI) and the Kentucky Derby.
There will be four traditional Pick 5 and Pick 4 wagers on Kentucky Derby Day. The third Pick 5 (2019 handle: $3,980,809) and third Pick 4 (2019 handle: $4,091,771) will feature an all-stakes sequence and culminate in the Kentucky Derby.
Superfecta wagers will be a $1 minimum on Kentucky Derby and Oaks days but will be a 10-cent minimum on all other days.
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