Pablo Del Monte
, third-place finisher in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), worked six furlongs at Keeneland
April 25 to prepare for a possible start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The son of Giant's Causeway
breezed six furlongs in 1:11 1/5 on the Polytrack for breeder and trainer Wesley Ward, who co-owns the colt with Coolmore and partners. He ranks 22nd on the Derby leaderboard with 20 qualifying points and would need two defections to gain a place in the 20-horse field for the May 3 classic.
John Velazquez rode Pablo Del Monte, who worked in company with High Wire Kitten
"We broke him off about 15 lengths behind (High Wire Kitten) today, and he kinda creeped up on her and got her at the wire," Ward said. "The time was maybe a little quicker than I wanted, but he had a nice breeze."
Clockers caught Pablo Del Monte in fractions of :47.60, 1:11.20, and out in 1:25.
Ward said Pablo Del Monte would probably ship to Churchill Downs
the evening of April 29. If Pablo Del Monte makes the Derby field, he would become Ward's first starter in the race.
"It looks like we are waiting for the Preakness (gr. I, May 17), still," Ward said, "but you gotta be there and be ready. It would be an honor to be in the race, especially with a horse like him. He just ran a valiant race (in the Blue Grass, April 12). (Churchill is) sort of a speed-favoring track, so you gotta be ready. With him being a front-runner, he probably would be on the lead in the race. If you could win or run second or third in the Kentucky Derby, it would just be the thrill of a lifetime."
Florida-bred Pablo Del Monte has a 2-0-2 record from six career starts and $158,700 in earnings. As a 2-year-old, he won his first two starts and then finished fifth in his stakes debut in the Generous Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 30 at Betfair Hollywood Park
. He opened 2014 finishing fourth behind General a Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby Jan 1 and followed up with a third to Wildcat Red
in the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 1 in his start prior to the Blue Grass.