The principal action for Kentucky Derby 148 occurred more than 2,000 miles west of Churchill Downs Thursday morning as Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Taiba worked six furlongs in 1:12.80.
“It was very straight forward,” trainer Tim Yakteen said. “He worked three-quarters from the five-eighth pole. It was a typical Taiba work and we accomplished what we wanted. I got him in 1:12.60 and out in 1:26. We’re good.”
Drayden Van Dyke was aboard Taiba who worked in company with the 4-year-old American Admiral.
Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Taiba is undefeated in two career starts will be attempting to become the first horse since Leonatus in 1883 to win the Kentucky Derby in his third start.
Yakteen plans to work Messier, the Santa Anita Derby runner-up, Friday morning with both colts scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Indianapolis on Sunday and then van south to Churchill Downs.
“My general feeling is that both horses are doing really super (following the Santa Anita Derby),” Yakteen said. “They are both very professional and make my job easy.”
In addition to Messier working on Friday, Tami Bobo’s Fountain of Youth (GII) winner Simplification is scheduled to work at Gulfstream Park for trainer Antonio Sano.
BARBER ROAD – WSS Racing’s Barber Road galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. Thursday under exercise rider Daniel Ortiz.
CLASSIC CAUSEWAY – Kentucky West Racing and Clarke Cooper’s Classic Causeway sported his new Kentucky Derby 148 saddle towel and had a 1 ½-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. with exercise rider Calamity Compton in the saddle.
Jockey Julien Leparoux was on hand to watch his Derby mount gallop.
The three-time winner is scheduled to work Saturday.
CHARGE IT, MO DONEGAL, PIONEER OF MEDINA – “All is good so far,” trainer Todd Pletcher reported Thursday morning after his trio of Kentucky Derby hopefuls galloped 1 3/8 miles during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls.
Pletcher plans to work the trio Saturday morning but overnight rain Friday is in the forecast. “We are monitoring the weather,” Pletcher said.
On Thursday morning, Donegal Racing’s Mo Donegal was partnered by Amelia Green; Hector Ramos was aboard Whisper Hill Farm’s Charge It; and, Carlos Perez was on Pioneer of Medina.
CROWN PRIDE (JPN) – Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) had a walk day following a half-mile work in :46.40 on Wednesday.
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. Thursday.
Cox reported all three horses would work Saturday.
EPICENTER – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Epicenter returned to his normal 5:45 a.m. training time Thursday.
The talented Not This Time colt is scheduled to work Sunday.
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 Thursday morning with Edwardo Ruvalcaba aboard Tiz the Bomb and Danny Ramsey on Smile Happy.
They are scheduled to have works on Saturday.
SUMMER IS TOMORROW – With trainer Bhupat Seemar on hand, Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke’s Summer Is Tomorrow galloped a mile under Heinz Runge.
Following training hours, Summer Is Tomorrow had a paddock schooling session.
“Do all the homework now and get the prize next Saturday,” said Seemar, who was returning to Churchill Downs for the first time since 2002 when he was an assistant to Bob Baffert for War Emblem’s Derby.
“It has been a long time, but that wasn’t my first Derby,” Seemar said. “I was here as a spectator for Charismatic (in 1999).”
Summer Is Tomorrow is scheduled to work Sunday.
UN OJO – Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm’s Un Ojo had a walk day Thursday according to Clay Courville, son of trainer Ricky Courville.
Clay Courville had thought about bringing Un Ojo over to the paddock after training hours but opted to wait until Monday “when I have some help.”
Help is on the way as his dad left Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday morning and will be in Louisville tonight.
Un Ojo is scheduled to work Saturday.
ZANDON – Jeff Drown’s Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Zandon galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Zandon is slated to have his final Derby 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
COCKTAIL MOMENTS – Dixiana Farms’ Cocktail Moments galloped a mile and a half and is scheduled to have her final work for the Longines Kentucky Oaks on Friday.
GODDESS OF FIRE, NEST, SHAHAMA – The Todd Pletcher-trained Kentucky Oaks trio of Goddess of Fire, Nest and Shahama galloped 1 3/8 miles Thursday morning and are scheduled for works Friday morning.
Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House’s Nest was partnered by Nora McCormack and KHK Racing’s Shahama had Humberto Zamora aboard at 7:30. A half-hour later, Zamora sent Red Oak Stable’s Goddess of Fire through her paces.
HIDDEN CONNECTION – Hidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Hidden Connection galloped about 1 ½ miles at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Following her training session, Hidden Connection schooled in the Churchill Downs paddock at 10 a.m.
“She handled things very well,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “She showed a lot of talent in the Fair Grounds Oaks and really gave it her all against Echo Zulu. I think she got a lot out of that race into the Kentucky Oaks.”
Hidden Connection is scheduled to work Friday with jockey Reylu Gutierrez in the saddle.
KATHLEEN O. – Winngate Stables’ Kathleen O. galloped 1 ¼ miles with regular exercise rider David Jego aboard.
Trainer Shug McGaughey was on hand to watch the morning’s activity and said the undefeated Kathleen O. would work Saturday morning.
NOSTALGIC – Godolphin’s Nostalgic had a 1 3/8-mile gallop Thursday morning with exercise rider Penny Gardiner in the saddle.
The Gazelle (GIII) winner is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday.
SECRET OATH – Briland Farm’s top Longines Kentucky Oaks contender Secret Oath jogged one-mile at 5:15 a.m. and had a light gallop in the chute.
TURNERLOOSE – Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Turnerloose has a 1 ½-mile gallop Thursday morning.
Trainer Brad Cox reported Turnerloose would have her final Oaks tune up Friday morning.
VENTI VALENTINE – NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Gazelle (GIII) runner-up Venti Valentine had a 1 1/2-mile gallop Thursday morning. She’s scheduled to work Friday or Saturday, according to trainer Jorge Abreu.
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 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.
For the full wagering menu and list of daily post times, visit https://www.churchilldowns.com/racing-wagering/toteboard/post-timeS.
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