Gold Mark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm's Mylute showed his affinity for the Churchill Downs surface the morning of April 21, zipping a half-mile in :47 4/5, second fastest time of the day among 81 horses at that distance.
With jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard as he went to the track before the track maintenance break, the son of Midnight Lute was timed in fractional splits of :12 1/5, :24 1/5, and :36 1/5. He galloped out five furlongs 1:01 3/5 in a workout uncharacteristic of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) runner-up.
"That has not been his MO (Modus Operandi) when he's been on his own," said trainer Tom Amoss. "Normally, he is a horse who doesn't have a great deal of focus when he is by himself. The work was quicker than I anticipated but there were some reasons for that. The track was very fast this morning and in excellent shape."
Rather than wait until the time designated for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contenders to be the only workers on the track following the maintenance break, Amoss said he sent Mylute out early, "when the track was at its best."
Mylute, who currently ranks 16th with 42 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, has two wins, three seconds, and two thirds to his credit, and Amoss said the colt is on the improve.
"That was an encouraging move," the trainer said of the breeze.
Amoss said a change of running style and equipment change helped the colt as he came from far back to just miss in the Louisiana Derby after a seventh-place effort in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II).
"He came from well back, which he did not do in the Risen Star, and we took the blinkers off for that race. The idea was to make one run at them. Not only was his race a good race, but when you look at what the others have done who came out of that race, it was a key race. I'm excited about that.
"The horses that ran in that race, even in mid-pack, came back to run well," Amoss said.
Amoss, an analyst for the TVG horseracing network, said there would be no conflict of interest in his roles leading up to the Derby, as his final pre-Derby work as a broadcaster came April 20.
"It is going to be strictly my horse," Amoss said.
Tom Amoss comments on Mylute: