Klaravich Stables’ Highly Motivated, runner-up to likely Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality in the Blue Grass Stakes (GII) in his most recent start, made his first appearance on the main track at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning galloping under exercise rider Peter Roman.
Highly Motivated arrived Monday morning from Keeneland where he had been training since the Blue Grass. Trainer Chad Brown plans to work Highly Motivated on Saturday, weather permitting. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday.
Trainer Brad Cox reported Tuesday morning that Shortleaf Stable’s Arkansas Derby (GI) runner-up Caddo River would run in the Kentucky Derby. He’s scheduled to work Saturday.
Unseasonably cool temperatures are expected to arrive in the Louisville area overnight Tuesday with snow showers early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
BOURBONIC, DYNAMIC ONE, KNOWN AGENDA, SAINTHOOD – Trainer Todd Pletcher sent his quartet of Kentucky Derby hopefuls out in groups of two for 1 3/8-mile gallops Tuesday morning.
Going first during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks hopefuls were St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda with Hector Ramos aboard and Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One with Carlos Perez Quevedoaboard.
Coming out just before 8 o’clock were Calumet Farm’s Bourbonic with Ramos aboard and WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Sainthood with Amelia Green aboard.
Pletcher has penciled in Saturday as the work day for his Derby runners but noted, “There could be some weather coming in and we will watch that and could move the works to Friday.”
CADDO RIVER, ESSENTIAL QUALITY, MANDALOUN – Trainer Brad Cox confirmed Tuesday morning that Shortleaf Stable’s Arkansas Derby (GI) runner-up Caddo River would run in the Kentucky Derby.
“If all goes well after his work on Saturday, we’ll run in the Derby,” Cox said. “He came out of the Arkansas Derby in great shape. He’s a sound horse who is training well.”
All three of his Derby contenders galloped about 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning. Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality trained at 5:15 a.m. with Edvin Vargas in the saddle. About 45 minutes later, Caddo River trained with Gustavo Abrego in the saddle. At 7:30, during the exclusive training session for Derby and Oaks contenders, Juddmonte Farm’s Mandaloun trained with Fernando Espinoza in the boot.
All three horses are scheduled to work Saturday morning, according to Cox.
HELIUM, SOUP AND SANDWICH – Live Oak Plantation’s Soup and Sandwich, along with D J Stable’s Helium, galloped 1 ½ miles early Tuesday beneath the Twin Spires.
Trainer Mark Casse’s assistant David Carroll reported both horses would work this weekend. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione rides Soup and Sandwich in the Derby while Helium will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
HIGHLY MOTIVATED – With exercise rider Peter Roman aboard, Klaravich Stables’ Highly Motivated galloped during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses.
Highly Motivated arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday and following shortly thereafter was trainer Chad Brown.
“He got around there good this morning and I am pleased with the way he shipped in,” said Brown, who has started five horses in the Kentucky Derby with his best finish coming in 2018 when Good Magic was runner-up to eventual Triple Crown winner Justify.
Highly Motivated closed his 2020 campaign with a track record-setting performance in the Nyquist Stakes at Keeneland. A third-place finish in the Gotham (GIII) opened 2021 followed by the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass that marked his first start around two turns.
“I thought the Blue Grass was a really good race and that was the first time he had been on the lead,” Brown said. “I am confident he can handle the two turns and I think he will move forward in this race.
“We shut him down on purpose (after the Nyquist) and worked backward from the Derby. He has hit all the marks getting here.”
KEEPMEINMIND – Spendthrift Farm, Cypress Creek and Arnold Bennewith’s Keepmeinmind galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Enrique Benitez at 5:45.
Sitting at No. 22 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, the Robertino Diodoro trainee’s next work date is to be determined.
KING FURY – Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s King Fury galloped a mile and a half shortly after 5:30 with Danny Ramsey aboard for trainer Kenny McPeek.
Winner of the Lexington at Keeneland in his most recent start, King Fury sits at No. 21 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. He is scheduled to work Saturday.
MIDNIGHT BOURBON, SUPER STOCK – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes-placed colt Midnight Bourbon had a scheduled walk day following his five-furlong move in :59.80 Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Erv Woolsey and Keith Asmussen’s upset Arkansas Derby (GI) hero Super Stock galloped about 1 3/8 miles with Juan Vargas aboard. He’s scheduled to work Saturday.
O BESOS – Barrett Bernard, Tagg Team Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds’ O Besos will have his final work prior to the Kentucky Derby Wednesday or Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.
Jockey Marcelino Pedroza will be aboard for the work and also ride O Besos in the Kentucky Derby.
“He’s maturing even more as every day goes by,” Pedroza said. “The first time I worked this horse I couldn’t believe he won going six furlongs. He loved the extra distance in the Louisiana Derby.”
O Besos had a light gallop Tuesday morning with exercise rider Margarito Fierro.
Pedroza and Fierro share a common bond entering the Kentucky Derby as both riders are overcoming life changing events. Pedroza lost his mother last year at 44-years-old to brain cancer while Fierro was once told he’d never gallop again because of colon cancer. TwinSpires.com’s Andrew Brown reported the remarkable story here: https://bit.ly/3dwZBlx.
STARRININMYDREAMS – Stewart Racing and WinStar Farm’s third-place Lexington Stakes (GIII) finisher Starrininmydreams galloped about 1 ½ miles at 6:30 a.m. under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.
Starrininmydreams sits No. 23 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Likely starters in the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, May 1 in order of preference (with possible jockey and trainer): Essential Quality (Luis Saez, Brad Cox); Hot Rod Charlie (Flavien Prat, Doug O’Neill); Super Stock (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Like the King (Drayden Van Dyke, Wesley Ward); Known Agenda (Irad Ortiz, Todd Pletcher); Rock Your World (Joel Rosario, John Sadler); Bourbonic (Kendrick Carmouche, Todd Pletcher); Medina Spirit (John Velazquez, Bob Baffert); Midnight Bourbon (Mike Smith, Steve Asmussen); Mandaloun (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Highly Motivated (Javier Castellano, Chad Brown); Helium (Julien Leparoux, Mark Casse); Soup and Sandwich (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse); Dynamic One (Jose Ortiz, Todd Pletcher); Sainthood (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Hidden Stash (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver); O Besos (Marcelino Pedroza, Greg Foley); Get Her Number (TBA, Peter Miller).
Possible starters within the Top 20 on the preference list: Dream Shake (TBA, Peter Eurton).
Next up in order of preference: King Fury (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Keepmeinmind (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro); Starrininmydreams (TBA, Dallas Stewart).
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE – Klaravich Stables’ undefeated Search Results, the leading point earner on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard, made her first appearance on the track beneath the Twin Spires a day after arriving from Belmont Park.
Trained by Chad Brown, Search Results was partnered by Walter Malasquez in her morning gallop during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses.
Also, trainer Robertino Diodoro said that David Cohen would have the mount on Cypress Creek Equine’s Ava’s Grace in the Oaks.
AVA’S GRACE – Cypress Creek Equine’s Ava’s Grace jogged a mile and galloped a mile under exercise rider Walter Davila at 5:45 Tuesday morning.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro indicated via text that David Cohen would have the mount on Ava’s Grace who finished second in the Fantasy (GIII) in her most recent start.
The date for her final Oaks work remains to be determined.
CLAIRIERE, PAULINE’S PEARL – Stonestreet Stable’s Clairiere and Pauline’s Pearl both returned to the track Tuesday following their Monday walk days for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Clairiere, the runner-up to Travel Column in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), jogged about one mile next to Asmussen on the pony, then galloped about one mile. Twenty minutes later, Pauline’s Pearl came onto the track for the same training regimen.
COACH, TRAVEL COLUMN – Kueber Racing’s Rags to Riches winner Coach officially made the Top 14 on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard Monday afternoon following the defection of The Grass Is Blue.
The Brad Cox-trainee galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. with Edvin Vargas in the saddle.
Her stablemate, Travel Column, one of the top choices for the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, galloped about 1 ½ miles at 6:20 a.m. with Fernando Espinoza aboard.
Both fillies are scheduled to work Friday, according to Cox.
COMPETITIVE SPEED – John Minchello’s Competitive Speed galloped more than a mile shortly after 9 o’clock with exercise rider Juan Vargas aboard for trainer Javier Gonzalez.
Third in the Davona Dale (GII) and Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) in her past two starts, Competitive Speed is scheduled to work Friday.
Gonzalez said no decision on a rider for the Oaks has been made but that topic was to be discussed later on Tuesday.
CRAZY BEAUTIFUL – Phoenix Thoroughbred III’s Crazy Beautiful galloped 1 ½ miles at 7:30 under Danny Ramsey for trainer Kenny McPeek.
Winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) in his most recent start, Crazy Beautiful is scheduled to work Saturday.
MALATHAAT – Shadwell Stable’s undefeated Malathaatgalloped 1 3/8 miles under Amelia Green for trainer Todd Pletcher during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Oaks horses.
Malathaat is scheduled to work Friday according to Pletcher.
MARACUJA – Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Marajuca is scheduled to work Saturday at Belmont Park and then van to Churchill Downs the following day according to trainer Rob Atras.
MILLEFEUILLE – Juddmonte Farms’ Millefeuille galloped 1 1/8 miles under Ailsa Morrison for trainer Bill Mott at 7:30.
The date for the final pre-Oaks work for Millefeuille is to be determined.
SEARCH RESULTS – Klaravich Stables’ Search Results, who arrived from New York on Monday, galloped under Walter Malasquez for trainer Chad Brown at 7:30.
Search Results is scheduled to work Friday.
WILL’S SECRET – Willis Horton’s Honeybee (GIII) winner Will’s Secret galloped about 1 ½ miles Tuesday at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Likely starters in the 147th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, April 30 in order of preference (with possible jockey and trainer): Search Results (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown); Travel Column (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crazy Beautiful (Jose Ortiz, Kenny McPeek); Pauline’s Pearl (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Malathaat (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher); Clairiere (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen); Will’s Secret (Jon Court, Dallas Stewart); Millefeuille (Joel Rosario, Bill Mott); Moraz (Umberto Rispoli, Michael McCarthy); Ava’s Grace (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro); Pass the Champagne (Javier Castellano, George Weaver); Maracuja (Kendrick Carmouche, Rob Atras); Competitive Speed (TBA, Javier Gonzalez); Coach (Luis Saez, Brad Cox).
Next up in order of preference: Moon Swag (TBA, Brendan Walsh); Army Wife (TBA, Mike Maker); Spritz (Chris Landeros, Rodolphe Brisset); Oliviaofthedesert (TBA, Kenny McPeek).
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 6th running of the $125,000 William Walker (Listed), run on Saturday, April 24 at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, entries close Wednesday, April 21: Bodenheimer (trainer Valorie Lund); Cees Get Degrees (Michelle Lovell); Charles Chrome (Reeve McGaughey); Field Day (Brad Cox); Gagetown (Brad Cox); The Wolfman (Phil Schoenthal). Possible: Unitedandresolute (Tom Amoss)
The 3rd running of the $120,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, run Tuesday, April 27 at 1 ½ miles, entries close Thursday, April 22: Dack Janiel’s (Jack Sisterson); Plus Que Parfait (Brendan Walsh); Ry’s the Guy (Ian Wilkes); Strong Tide (Mike Lauer); You’re To Blame (Ron Moquett).
The 27th running of the $125,000 Kentucky Juvenile, run Wednesday, April 28 at five furlongs, entries close Friday, April 23: Bohemian Frost (John Ennis); Saucy Lady T (James Chapman); Shesgotattitude (Ennis).
The 16th running of the $120,000 Opening Verse Overnight Stakes, run Thursday, April 29 at one mile on turf, entries close Saturday, April 24: Captivating Moon (Chris Block); Epic Dreamer (Mark Casse); Sayyaaf (Mike Maker); Set Piece (Brad Cox); Spectacular Gem (Jimmy Baker).
The 11th running of the $150,000 Unbridled Sidney, run on Thursday, April 29 at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, entries close Saturday, April 24: A Bit of Both (Mike Maker); Ambassador Luna (James Gulick); Change of Control (Michelle Lovell); Foxxy Belle (Michael Ann Ewing); Into Mystic (Brendan Walsh); Lady Grace (Mark Casse); She’sonthewarpath (Steve Margolis); Wining Envelope (Chris Block); Yes It’s Ginger (Greg Foley).
The 27th running of the $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint presented by Sysco (Grade II), run Friday, April 30 at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, entries close Monday, April 26: American Butterfly (D. Wayne Lukas); Carotari (Brian Lynch); Classy John (Dallas Stewart): Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone); Firecrow (Ron Moquett); Just Might (Michelle Lovell); Sombeyay (Peter Miller).
The 37th Running of the $300,000 Edgewood presented by Newport Racing & Gaming (Grade II), run on Friday, April 30 at 1 1/16 miles on turf, entries close Monday, April 26: Aunt Pearl (IRE) (Brad Cox); I Get It (Mark Casse); Oliviaofthedesert (Kenny McPeek); Postnup (Cherie DeVaux); Queen of the Green (Jason Barkley). Possible Jouster (Todd Pletcher), Zaajel (Pletcher).
The 66th running of the $300,000 Eight Belles presented by Smithfield (Grade II), run on Friday April 30 at seven furlongs, entries close Monday, April 26: Abrogate (Steve Asmussen); Dayoutoftheoffice (Tim Hamm); Euphoric (Bernie Flint); Slumber Party (Kelly Breen); Sun Path (Brad Cox); Windmill (Larry Jones). Possible: Joyful Cadence (John Ortiz).
The 18th running of the $400,000 Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet (Grade II), run on Friday, April 30 at 1 1/16 miles, entries close Monday, April 26: Attachment Rate (Dale Romans); Chess Chief (Dallas Stewart); Maxfield (Brendan Walsh); Roadster (Bob Baffert): Sonneman (Steve Asmussen); Visitant (Bill Morey).
The 36th running of the $500,000 La Troienne presented by TwinSpires.com (Grade I), run on Friday, April 30 at 1 1/16 miles, entries close Monday, April 26: As Time Goes By (Bob Baffert); Dunbar Road (Chad Brown); Envoutante (Kenny McPeek); Paris Lights (Bill Mott); Sanenus (CHI) (Michael McCarthy); Shedaresthedevil (Brad Cox). Possible: Finite (Steve Asmussen).
The 30th running of the $500,000 American Turf presented by Derby City Gaming (Grade II), run on Saturday, May 1 at 1 1/16 miles on turf, entries close Tuesday, April 27: Fire At Will (Mike Maker); Holy Vow (John Ortiz); Lucky Law (Patrick Biancone); Palazzi (Mark Casse); Winfromwithin (Todd Pletcher).
The 97th running of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU, run on Saturday, May 1 at one mile, entries close Tuesday, April 27: Excellent Timing (Chad Brown); Gretzky the Great (Mark Casse); Jackie’s Warrior (Steve Asmussen); Prevalence (Brendan Walsh); Whiskey Double (Steve Asmussen). Possible: Dream Shake (Peter Eurton); Dreamer’s Disease (Robertino Diodoro).
The 36th running of the $500,000 Longines Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II), run on Saturday, May 1 at one mile on turf, entries close Tuesday, April 27: Abscond (Eddie Kenneally); Blowout (Chad Brown); Got Stormy (Mark Casse); Princess Grace (Mike Stidham).
The 35th running of the $500,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (Grade I), run on Saturday, May 1 at seven furlongs, entries close Tuesday, April 27: Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin); Gamine (Bob Baffert), Sconsin (Greg Foley). Possible: Finite (Steve Asmussen); Hibiscus Punch (Justin Nixon); Unique Factor (Peter Miller).
The 86th running of the $500,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (Grade I), run on Saturday, May 1 at seven furlongs, entries close Tuesday, April 27: Charlatan (Bob Baffert); Hog Creek Hustle (Vickie Foley); Lexitonian (Jack Sisterson); Tap It To Win (Mark Casse). Possible: Bango (Greg Foley); Shashashakemeup (Peter Miller).
The 35th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (Grade I), run on Saturday, May 1 at 1 1/8 miles on turf, entries close Tuesday, April 27: Arklow (Brad Cox); Colonel Liam (Todd Pletcher); Digital Age (Chad Brown); Ivar (BRZ) (Paolo Lobo); Masteroffoxhounds (Richard Baltas); Ride a Comet (Mark Casse); Smooth Like Strait (Michael McCarthy). Possible: Flavius (Chad Brown), Spooky Channel (Brian Lynch).