Overnight rain in Louisville left a sealed and muddy track for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses to navigate Friday morning.

    But, no harm; no foul. No works were scheduled and routine gallops were the norm of the day.

    Saturday figures to be much different with rain clearing out of the Louisville area and as many as 12 Derby works and two Oaks work scheduled. Temperatures are forecast to be in the low 50s under cloudy skies.

    Trainers Todd Pletcher and Brad Cox fill eight of the spots with the breezes scheduled during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks horses.

    Pletcher has half-mile works scheduled for Kingsbarns and Major Dude, who will work together, plus Forte and Tapit Trice, who will work in company but not together.

    Cox plans to work Angel of Empire with Jace’s Road and Hit Show with Verifying.

    Also expected to work are Mage for Gustavo DelgadoConfidence Game for Keith Desormeaux and Cyclone Mischief for Dale RomansBill Mott has penciled Rocket Can in for Saturday but could wait until Sunday depending on track condition.

    Scheduled to work for the Oaks is Mimi Kakushi for trainer Salem bin Ghadayer and Defining Purpose for trainer Kenny McPeek.

    Three Kentucky Derby works took place Friday.

    Trainer Tim Yakeen worked Practical Move five furlongs in :59.60 and Reincarnate a half-mile in :46.40 at Santa Anita. At Gulfstream Park, Lord Miles worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.

    Tomorrow morning at Santa Anita, Skinner is scheduled to work for trainer John Shirreffs.

    At Belmont Park, Promiseher America worked a half-mile in company in :49.60 over the training track for trainer Ray Handal in preparation for the Kentucky Oaks.

    At the San Luis Rey Training Center, And Tell Me Nolies worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Peter Miller.

ANGEL OF EMPIRE/HIT SHOW/JACE’S ROAD, VERIFYING – With the sloppy track condition, trainer Brad Cox’s Derby quartet had a lighter training day ahead of their final Derby works Saturday.

    Angel of Empire trained at 5:30 a.m. and jogged about two miles.

    At 7:30 a.m., Hit ShowJace’s Road and Verifying all had light gallops.

    All four horses are scheduled to work Saturday at 7:30 a.m.

CONFIDENCE GAME – Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Ocean Reef Racing’s Confidence Game returned to the track to gallop Friday morning after walking the shedrow on Thursday. Alex Cano, the regular exercise rider and assistant trainer for Keith Desormeaux, guided Confidence Game one mile and a quarter over the sloppy sealed track. 

    The barn confirmed that Confidence Game will put in his last breeze ahead of the Derby on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. In his prior workout at Churchill Downs on April 14, the son of Candy Raid by the Bernardini dam Eblouissante traveled a mile from the gate in 1:38.20 with company.

    “He had someone come with him from the gate and then on the backside another horse picked him up,” assistant trainer Julie Clark said. “We liked how he looked today ahead of his next work.”

CONTINUAR – Lion Race Horse Co. Ltd.’s Continuar (JPN) spent an hour in the mile chute under Kazunari Yoshida before returning to the Quarantine Barn.

    The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby invitee is trained by Yoshito Yahagi, who is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Monday.

    Continuar, who will be ridden in Derby 149 by Ryusei Sakai, is expected to work Tuesday.

DERMA SOTOGAKE – Hiroyuki Asanuma’s Derma Sotogake (JPN) spent an hour in the mile chute under Masatoshi Segawa before turning to the Quarantine Barn.

    Winner of the UAE Derby in his most recent start for trainer Hidetaka Otonashi, Derma Sotogake will be ridden in the Derby by Christophe Lemaire. He is expected to work Tuesday.

DISARM – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Disarm had routine training session Friday in which he was accompanied to the track by assistant trainer Scott Blasi on his pony and galloped 1 ½ miles with rider Roberto Howell in the irons.

    The son of Gun Runner is scheduled to work Monday.

FORTE/KINGSBARNS/MAJOR DUDE/TAPIT TRICE – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Kentucky Derby trio of Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s ForteWhisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable’s Tapit Trice and Spendthrift Farm’Kingsbarns all galloped “a mile and a quarterish” over a sealed track at 7:30.

    The Hall of Famer and two-time Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner plans to give his charges half-mile breezes in the morning with Forte and Tapit Trice scheduled to work in company but not together. Kingsbarns will work with Spendthrift’s Major Dude, who is on the Derby also-eligible list.

LORD MILES – Vegso Racing Stable’s Lord Miles worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 Friday morning over the fast main track at Gulfstream.

    “He worked well,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said via text. “All being well, we will leave tomorrow.”

    Winner of the Wood Memorial (GII) in his most recent start, Lord Miles will be ridden in Derby 149 by Paco Lopez and represent the third Derby mount for Lopez.

MAGE – The Good Magic colt, owned by OGMA Investments LLCRamiro RestrepoSterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH, is expected to have a final breeze on Saturday morning.

    “That’s the plan, yes,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., assistant trainer to his father, Gustavo Delgado. “It would have to be really bad (track conditions) for him not to go out tomorrow.”

    The Delgados watched the Florida Derby (GI) runner-up gallop again on Friday morning during the session reserved for Derby and Oaks horses. Regular exercise rider J.J. Delgado was aboard him for a trip to the paddock for schooling, and then a routine gallop. J.J. Delgado is expected to ride him in the planned breeze.

PRACTICAL MOVE/REINCARNATE – Trainer Tim Yakteen worked both of his Kentucky Derby hopefuls at Santa Anita.

    Pierre Jean Amestoy Jr., Leslie Amestoy and Roger Beasley’s Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Practical Move breezed five furlongs in :59.60.

    Later in the morning, Reincarnate breezed a half-mile in :46.40 for the partnership of SF RacingStarlight RacingMadaket StablesRobert MastersonStonestreet StablesJay SchoenfarberWarren Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan.

    The two colts are scheduled to fly to Louisville Saturday.

ROCKET CAN – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is going to call an audible, as far as when the colt owned by Frank Fletcher Racing Operations prepares for the Derby with a final breeze on Saturday or Sunday.

    On Friday, the Into Mischief colt was out for a gallop with regular exercise rider Guelser Cardona aboard. A final breeze ahead of the Derby is still planned for this weekend, but track conditions will determine the day.

    “I’m waiting to see how the track is,” said Mott. “I’d rather wait another day, if we can give him a better track.”

SUN THUNDER – The runner-up in the Risen Star (GII) at the Fair Grounds was out for a gallop on the sealed track with exercise rider Martin VargasR.T Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine’s Derby hopeful breezed a half-mile in :48.60 with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. on Wednesday.

    The Into Mischief colt, a $400,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November Sale in 2020, will have maintenance work looking ahead to the Derby in eight days, said Greg Geier, assistant to trainer Kenny McPeek. He said the fourth-place finisher in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) at Keeneland is training well.

TWO PHIL’S – After putting in his final drill before the Derby on Thursday, Patricia’s Hope and Phillip Sagan’s Two Phil’s had a walk day on Friday at Hawthorne Race Course.

    Trained by Larry Rivelli, the son of Hard Spun by the General Quarters dam Mia Torri fired a :59 five-furlong bullet at Hawthorne, where he has been stabled since his win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII). He will be piloted by Jareth Loveberry in the Derby, who traveled from Kentucky to Hawthorne especially for Thursday’s work.  

    “The track was fast and tight,” Loveberry said. “He was relaxed the whole work. We took him out with the pony and he stood there nice and calm watching horses for three or four minutes. He broke off from the pony nice and smooth and he worked the last 3/16ths really well.”

    Loveberry has ridden Two Phil’s in every race but his first, piloted him in every win, and has been aboard for many of the workouts.

    “This work was his best, especially breaking from the pony,” Loveberry said. “I usually have to grab him and set him right behind a horse so he gets dirt and relaxes. He was relaxed the whole work yesterday.”

ALSO-ELIGIBLES – Albaugh Family Stables and Castleton Lyons’ Cyclone Mischief (No. 21 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard) galloped 1 ½ miles this morning under Faustino Herrarte and is scheduled to work Saturday morning for trainer Dale Romans with Tammy Fox aboard.

    Spendthrift Farm’s Major Dude (No. 22) galloped about 1 1/4 miles under Joel Osorio for trainer Todd Pletcher. Major Dude is scheduled to work Saturday morning in company with Kingsbarns.

    Hiroaki Arai’s Mandarin Hero (No. 23) arrived at Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon after 4 o’clock and settled into the Quarantine Barn.

    Runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) in his U.S. debut, Mandarin Hero walked the shedrow at the Quarantine Barn and is scheduled to go to the track Saturday morning. Mandarin Hero is trained by Terunobu Fujita.

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):

          Angel of Empire (jockey Flavien Prat, trainer Brad Cox); Confidence Game (James Graham, Keith Desormeaux); Continuar (JPN) (Ryusei Sakai, Yoshito Yahagi); Derma Sotogake (JPN) (Christophe Lemaire, Hidetaka Otonashi); Disarm (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Forte (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Hit Show (Manny Franco, Brad Cox); Jace’s Road (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox);  Kingsbarns (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Lord Miles (Paco Lopez, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Mage (Javier Castellano, Gustavo Delgado); Practical Move (Ramon Vazquez, Tim Yakteen); Raise Cain (TBA, Ben Colebrook); Reincarnate (John Velazquez, Tim Yakteen); Rocket Can (Junior Alvarado, Bill Mott); Skinner (Juan Hernandez, John Shirreffs); Sun Thunder (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Tapit Trice (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Two Phil’s (Jareth Loveberry, Larry Rivelli); and Verifying (Tyler Gaffalione, Brad Cox)

          Also-Eligible: Cyclone Mischief (TBA, Dale Romans); Major Dude (TBA, Todd Pletcher); and Mandarin Hero (JPN) (TBA, Terunobu Fujita).


BOTANICAL, THE ALYS LOOK, WET PAINT – Trainer Brad Cox’s trio of Longines Kentucky Oaks runners BotanicalThe Alys Look and Wet Paint all walked the Barn 22 shedrow following their Thursday morning works.

    All three fillies are scheduled to return to the track Saturday.

DEFINING PURPOSE – The Ashland Stakes (GI) winner was out on the sealed track, with regular exercise rider Shelby Spalding aboard, for her usual mile-and-a-quarter gallop.

    Plans still call for the Magdalena RacingCollette Marie Vanmatre and James Ball filly to breeze on Saturday, said Greg Geier, assistant to trainer Kenny McPeek.

DORTH VADER – John Ropes’ Dorth Vader arrived at Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon from South Florida for trainer Michael Yates.

    Dorth Vader is expected to train Saturday morning, according to Yates.

FLYING CONNECTION – Brad KingRandy AndrewsG. Chris ColemanJim ConeSuzanne Kirby and Lee Lewis’ Flying Connection walked the shedrow a day after working five furlongs in company in 1:00.60.

    Trained by Todd Fincher, Flying Connection is scheduled to return to the track Saturday morning.

GAMBLING GIRL – Repole Stable’s Gambling Girl walked the shedrow at trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn a day after working a half-mile in company in :50.

    Gambling Girl is scheduled to return to the track Saturday morning.

MIMI KAKUSHI – Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Mimi Kakushi jogged a mile with the pony and then galloped a mile under Xavier Ziani over the sloppy track.

    “She has been on a wet track before, but not like this,” trainer Salem bin Ghadayer said. “She did very well on it this morning.”

    The winner of the UAE Oaks (GIII) in her most recent start, Mimi Kakushi is scheduled to work a half-mile in the morning with Ziani to be aboard.

    Mickael Barzalona has the mount in the Kentucky Oaks.

PRETTY MISCHIEVOUS – Trainer Brendan Walsh sent his impressive filly Pretty Mischievous back to the track to jog once around the sloppy sealed track under exercise rider Albino Martinez a day after breezing four furlongs in :47.80. The daughter of Into Mischief and the Tapit mare Pretty City Dancer won an allowance race at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old over a sloppy sealed track. One of two Godolphin homebred fillies in the Oaks along with Wet Paint, Pretty Mischievous won two of her three Oaks prep races, all at Fair Grounds. She finished second to Southlawn in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) last out. 

    “In the (Fair Grounds Oaks), she just got a little bit lax once she cleared everybody (in the homestretch),” Walsh said. “She ran well, but the race set up for somebody to come from off the pace. We were there to be shot at.”

PROMISEHERAMERICA – Hoffman Thoroughbreds and Tom McCrocklin’s Gazelle (GIII) winner Promiseher America worked a half-mile in :49.60 in company over the Belmont Park training track for trainer Ray Handal.

    “It was exactly what I wanted,” Handal said. “I was looking for :49, 1:01 and 4 and a 1:15 or 16 gallop out and she did it perfectly. She did it all in hand just floating over the ground. All systems are go.”

    She is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs Sunday.

SOUTHLAWN – Robert Masterson’s Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Southlawn walked trainer Norman Casse’s Barn 5A shed row following her easy half-mile move in :48.80 Thursday.

WONDER WHEEL – A day after traveling four furlongs in the second-fastest time, D.J. Stable’s Wonder Wheel headed back to the track to jog two times around the outside rail under exercise rider Kim Carroll. Coming into the Oaks dappled out with a healthy coat and sharp morning works, the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) winner will look to return to her 2-year-old form after finishing sixth in April’s Ashland Stakes (GI) and second in February’s Suncoast Stakes for trainer Mark Casse.

    “She came out of yesterday’s work really well,” assistant trainer David Carroll said. “She’s a champion and is so talented. Unfortunately we didn’t see the best of her in her last race. There was no real reason why she ran the way she did. She cooled out in five minutes and bounced back to the barn. She cleaned up her feed. She scoped clean. She was two for two (at Keeneland) so you can’t blame the track. After the race Tyler (Gaffalione) thought she just had a bad day.”

    The dark bay daughter of Into Mischief by Wonder Gal is also two-for-two at Churchill Downs, breaking her maiden from off the pace and winning the Debutante Stakes wire-to-wire. Joel Rosario, who was aboard for Thursday’s workout, will be aboard Wonder Wheel in the Oaks, his first mount on the four-time winner.

    “He’s as good as they come—a terrific rider,” Carroll said. “We’re of the opinion that maybe the way that she ran in the Breeders’ Cup was probably best race that she has run, even though (rallying from far back to win) wasn’t by design. I think if she were to relax and settle near the back, there’s no better pilot than Joel to get her switched off early and flying home late.” 

ALSO-ELIGIBLE – Richard Bahde’s Taxed (No. 15 on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard) galloped 1 ½ miles under Saturino Vergara for trainer Randy Morse.

    Taxed, runner-up in the Fantasy (GIII) in her most recent start, worked a half-mile on Wednesday in :47.60 under jockey Rafael Bejarano.

    Stonestreet Stables’ Julia Shining (No. 16) walked the shedrow at trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn a day after working a half-mile in company in :49.60.

    Julia Shining is scheduled to return to the track Saturday morning.

    Gold Standard Racing Stable’s Hoosier Philly (No. 17) walked the shedrow a day after working a half-mile in :48.40.

SHAPING UP: 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):

          Affirmative Lady (John Velazquez, Graham Motion); And Tell Me Nolies (Ramon Vazquez, Peter Miller); Botanical (Chris Landeros, Brad Cox); Defining Purpose (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Dorth Vader (TBA, Mike Yates); Flying Connection (Florent Geroux, Todd Fincher); Gambling Girl (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Mimi Kakushi (Mickael Barzelona, Salem bin Ghadayer); Pretty Mischievous (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh); Promiseher America (TBA, Ray Handal); Southlawn (Rey Gutierrez, Norm Casse); The Alys Look (Luis Saez, Brad Cox); Wet Paint (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox); Wonder Wheel (Joel Rosario, Mark Casse).

          Also-Eligible: Taxed (Rafael Bejarano, Randy Morse); Julia Shining (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Hoosier Philly (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss).

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 37th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI) on Saturday, May 6 for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Santin (Brendan Walsh); Spooky Channel (Jason Barkley); Up to the Mark (Todd Pletcher); and Wolfie’s Dynaghost (Jonathan Thomas).

The 88th running of the $750,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (GI) on Saturday, May 6 for 4-year-olds and up at seven furlongs (entries close Monday, May 1): Cody’s Wish (Bill Mott), Endorsed (Mike Maker); Get Her Number (Peter Miller); Here Mi Song (Billy Stinson); Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart); Sir Alfred James (Lynn Cash); and Steal Sunshine (George Papaprodromou).

The 37th running of the $750,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (GI) on Saturday, May 6 for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at seven furlongs (entries close Monday, May 1): Frank’s Rockette (Bill Mott); Hot and Sultry (Norm Casse); and Matareya (Brad Cox).

The 32nd running of the $500,000 American Turf (GII) on Saturday, May 6 for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Far Bridge (Todd Pletcher); Johannes (Tim Yakteen); Major Dude (Todd Pletcher); Mendelssohns March (Kenny McPeek); Mo Stash (Vicki Oliver); Scoobie Quando (Ben Colebrook); Talk of the Nation (Shug McGaughey); and Wadsworth (Brad Cox).

The 38th running of the $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) on Saturday, May 6 for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at one mile on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Haughty (Chad Brown); Sharp Hero (Bradley Ross); Spenderella (Graham Motion); Sweet Dani Girl (Carlo Vaccarezza); and Wakanaka (IRE) (Bill Mott).

The 99th running of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile (GII) on Saturday, May 6 for 3-year-olds at one mile (entries close Monday, May 1): Bourbon Bash (D. Wayne Lukas); Dreaming of Kona (Aldana Spieth); Frosted Departure (Kenny McPeek); General Jim (Shug McGaughey); Gilmore (Brendan Walsh); Kangaroo Court (Tim Yakteen); and Tall Boy (Doug O’Neill).

The 29th running of the $500,000 TwinSpires Turf Sprint (GII) on Saturday, May 6 for 3-year-olds and up at 5 ½ furlongs on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Artemus Citylimits (Mike Maker); Bad Beat Brian (Brittany Vanden Berg); Big Invasion (Christophe Clement); Carotari (Brian Lynch); Evan Sing (Al Stall Jr.); Go Bears Go (Wesley Ward); and Oceanic (Jordan Blair).

The second running of the $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes on Saturday, May 6 for 4-year-olds and up at one mile (entries close Monday, May 1): Caddo River (D. Wayne Lukas); Gulfstream Way (Rachel Sells); Masqueparade (Al Stall Jr.); Noble Drama (David Fawkes); Petulante (Victor Barboza Jr.); Promise Keeper (Dallas Stewart); Surly Furious (Glenn Wismer); Three Technique (Jason Cook); and Zozos (Brad Cox).

The 38th running of the $750,000 La Troienne (GI) on Friday, May 5 for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at 1 1/16 miles (entries close Monday, May 1): A Mo Reay (Brad Cox); Classy Edition (Todd Pletcher); Kathleen O. (Shug McGaughey); Played Hard (Phil Bauer); and Secret Oath (Wayne Lukas).

The 20th running of the $600,000 Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet (GII) on Friday, May 5 for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles (entries close Monday, May 1): Milliken (Ian Wilkes); Rich Strike (Eric Reed); Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek); and West Will Power (Brad Cox).

The 39th running of the $500,000 Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank (GII) on Friday, May 5 for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Cairo Consort (Todd Pletcher); Girl Named Charlie (Tom Amoss); Heavenly Sunday (Brad Cox); Mission of Joy (Graham Motion); and Sabalenka (Whit Beckman).

The 68th running of the $500,000 Eight Belles (GII) on Friday, May 5 for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs (entries close Monday, May 1): Ami Please (Doug O’Neill); Grand Love (Rodolphe Brisset); Munnys Gold (Todd Pletcher); Olivia Twist (Todd Fincher); Positano Sunset (Ian Wilkes); Red Carpet Ready (Rusty Arnold); and Yvonne’s Miss (Bill Morey).

The 13th running of the $300,000 Unbridled Sidney presented by Sysco (Listed) on Friday, May 5 for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 5 ½ furlongs on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Bay Storm (Jonathan Thomas); Caravel (Brad Cox); Mamba Wamba (IRE) (Brendan Walsh); and New Boss (Bret Calhoun).

The 66th running of the $300,000 Modesty (GIII) on Friday, May 5 for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf (entries close Monday, May 1): Australia Mia (Michael McCarthy); New Year’s Eve (Chad Brown); and Transient (GB) (Chad Brown).

The second running of the $175,000 St. Matthews Overnight Stakes on Thursday, May 4 for 4-year-olds and up at six furlongs (entries close Sunday, April 30): Bagboss (Brendan Walsh); Bango (Greg Foley); Heart Rhythm (John Oritz); Miles Ahead (Paul McGee); and Pirate Rick (Lynn Cash).

The 18th running of the $300,000 Opening Verse (Listed) on Thursday, May 4 for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on turf (entries close Sunday, April 30): Camp Hope (Kenny McPeek); Churchtown (Roger Attfield); Gray’s Fable (Brian Lynch); and Stitched (Greg Foley).

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