Kentucky West Racing and Clarke Cooper’s Sam F. Davis (Grade III) and Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Classic Causeway will once again target this year’s $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).
Classic Causeway, trained by Brian Lynch, will attempt to avenge his enigmatic 11th-place effort in last month’s Florida Derby (GI) in the Kentucky Derby. The Giant’s Causeway colt was scheduled to run in the $500,000 Pat Day Mile (GII) but Lynch reported Monday Classic Causeway will once again join the Derby fray.
In other Derby news, Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) is scheduled to work Wednesday morning as is RED TR-Racing’s Rich Strike. Rich Strike is No. 24 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
BARBER ROAD – WSS Racing’s Barber Road had an easy gallop Tuesday morning for trainer John Ortiz.
Barber Road, the runner-up to Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby (GI), would be the first starter in the Kentucky Derby for Ortiz.
“This is a dream come true to even be here and participating in the Derby,” Ortiz said.
CLASSIC CAUSEWAY – Trainer Brian Lynch reported Monday afternoon that three-time winner Classic Causeway will now target the Kentucky Derby instead of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG and E & KU (GII).
“My owners have about 160 years, combined, and who am I to hold them back on running in the Derby,” Lynch said Tuesday morning. “You go back to his races at Tampa and he fits right in with this field. I think he can have an advantage on the pace.”
Classic Causeway galloped about 1 ½ miles around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday with Lynch’s exercise rider Calamity Compton in the saddle.
Julien Leparoux has the mount in the Derby.
CHARGE IT, MO DONEGAL, PIONEER OF MEDINA – Donegal Racing’s Mo Donegal and Whisper Hill Farm’s Charge It galloped 1 3/8 miles during the special 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls.
Amelia Green was aboard Mo Donegal and Hector Ramos was on Charge It.
As for Sumaya U. S. Stables’ Pioneer of Medina, he had a walk day Tuesday following a :59.80 five-furlong breeze Monday morning. Pioneer of Medina is 21st on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, a spot that would leave him on the outside looking in should all the horses above him with more points enter on Monday.
“We got bumped yesterday,” trainer Todd Pletcher said alluding to the re-entry into the Derby picture of Classic Causeway.
And should there be one defection from the prospective Derby field, would Pioneer of Medina be a go on the first Saturday in May?
“We’re thinking about it,” Pletcher said.
CROWN PRIDE (JPN) – Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) warmed up in the mile chute and then had a light gallop under exercise rider Masa Matsuda.
Winner of the UAE Derby (GII) in his most recent start, Crown Pride is scheduled to work Wednesday morning. His trainer, Koichi Shintani is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Sunday.
CYBERKNIFE, TAWNY PORT, ZOZOS – Trainer Brad Cox’s Derby trio of Cyberknife, Tawny Port and Zozos all had a 1 ½-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Gold Star’s Arkansas Derby (GI) winner Cyberknife, who’s named after the non-invasive procedure that helped cure owner Al Gold’s prostate cancer, is scheduled to work Saturday along with Peachtree Stable’s Tawny Port.
Zozos, the runner-up in the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (GII) for owners Barry and Joni Butzow, is slated to work Friday.
Cox announced Monday that Zozos will be ridden in the Derby by Manny Franco. Florent Geroux has the call on Cyberknife while the jockey on Tawny Port has yet to be determined.
EPICENTER – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Epicenter returned to the track Tuesday morning following his scheduled Monday walk day.
Epicenter jogged one mile and had a light one-mile gallop under exercise rider Roberto Howell.
The speedy Epicenter showed a new style of running in the Louisiana Derby and was able to track just off of the early leaders.
“To see the way Epicenter was able to sit just off the pace in the Louisiana Derby is very pleasing considering how fast the early pace is each year in the Derby,” Hall of fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. “With 20 horses in the Derby, the post-position draw matters. We obviously hope he’s able to get away from there cleanly but the success he’s had with variable styles is one less thing to worry about.”
SMILE HAPPY, TIZ THE BOMB – Trainer Kenny McPeek’s Derby duo of Magdalena Racing’s Tiz the Bomb and Lucky Seven Stable’s Smile Happy galloped a mile and a half with Edwardo Ruvalcaba aboard the former and Danny Ramsey on the latter.
The colts worked together last Saturday with their final pre-Derby drill penciled in for this Saturday, a day in which rain is in the forecast.
“I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” McPeek said. “I would have no problem working on an off track here.”
SUMMER IS TOMORROW – Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke’s Summer Is Tomorrow galloped a mile and a half under Heinz Runge.
Trained by Bhupat Seemar, who is scheduled to arrive in Lousville Wednesday, Summer Is Tomorrow is scheduled to work Sunday.
UN OJO – Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm’s Un Ojo galloped about a mile and a half under Clay Courville, son of trainer Ricky Courville.
The Rebel (GII) winner is scheduled to have his final pre-Derby drill Saturday.
ZANDON – Jeff Drown’s Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Zandon galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Trainer Chad Brown was on hand and watched his top Derby contender from the Churchill Downs clocker stand.
The Upstart colt is likely to work Saturday.
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 – Winngate Stables’ Kathleen O., the leading point earner on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning galloped an easy mile under exercise rider David Jego.
COCKTAIL MOMENTS – Dixiana Farms’ Cocktail Moments galloped a mile and a half during the special Kentucky Derby and Oaks training window from 7:30-7:45 a.m.
Trained by Kenny McPeek, Cocktail Moments is scheduled for her final pre-Oaks work on Friday.
GODDESS OF FIRE, NEST, SHAHAMA – The Todd Pletcher-trained trio of Kentucky Oaks hopefuls all galloped 1 3/8 miles over a fast track on a brisk Tuesday morning.
Coming out at 7:30 were Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House’s Nest with Nora McCormack aboard and KHK Racing’s Shahama with Humberto Zamora in the saddle. Red Oak Stable’s Goddess of Fire was on the track a half-hour later with Zamora aboard.
HIDDEN CONNECTION – Hidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Hidden Connection galloped about 1 ½ miles early Tuesday morning. She’s slated to work once more prior to the Oaks with jockey Reylu Gutierrez in the saddle.
KATHLEEN O. – Winngate Stables’ undefeated Kathleen O., the leading point earner on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks by virtue of her victories in the Davona Dale (GII) and Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII), got her first feel of the Churchill Downs racing strip Tuesday morning by galloping an easy mile under exercise rider David Jego.
Kathleen O. arrived at Churchill Downs Monday afternoon after spending a couple of weeks at Keeneland where she had two works. Trainer Shug McGaughey is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Wednesday afternoon.
NOSTALGIC – Godolphin’s Nostalgic had a 1 3/8-mile gallop Tuesday morning with veteran exercise rider Penny Gardiner in the saddle.
“She got to Kentucky and seems to be thriving,” trainer Bill Mott said. “We’re happy with her preparation from New York and it’s translating here at Churchill.”
SECRET OATH – Briland Farm’s top Longines Kentucky Oaks contender Secret Oath had a walk day after her six-furlong move in 1:13 early Monday morning.
TURNERLOOSE – Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Turnerloose appeared on the Churchill Downs track around 8 a.m. Tuesday for a 1 ½-mile gallop under regular exercise rider Edvin Vargas.
Trainer Brad Cox has not finalized her jockey for the Kentucky Oaks.
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 12th running of the $160,000 Roxelana Overnight Stakes, run on Saturday, April 30 at six furlongs, entries close Wednesday, April 27: Bayerness (trainer Cherie DeVaux); Carribean Caper (Al Stall Jr.); Cheetara (CHI) (Ignacio Correas IV).
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.
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