They were separated by just a head as the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Desperado Stables' Buddy Gil and Phil Chess' Indian Express were not much farther apart on Tuesday as they shared a flight to Kentucky on a plane that landed in Lexington. The two horses then made the journey to Louisville and Churchill Downs on separate vans.
Indian Express was the first to arrive on the grounds at the home of the Kentucky Derby as he stepped off the van at around 1:50 p.m. (all times Eastern). Buddy Gil reached the track about 10 minutes later.
The arrival of those horses brought the number of possible contenders for the Kentucky Derby now on the grounds at Churchill Downs to eight. That group also includes Florida Derby (gr. I) and Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Empire Maker; Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Peace Rules, San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Atswhatimtalknbout; Holy Bull (gr. III) winner Offlee Wild; Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) winner Most Feared; and the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Scrimshaw.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Sir Cherokee is stabled at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center.
Another California flight of Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Thursday. That flight will include The Thoroughbred Corp's Derby contender Kafwain, the Bob
Baffert-trained winner of the San Vicente (gr. II); and a pair of Kentucky Oaks contenders in Everest Stables' Island Fashion, winner of the WinStar Oaks at Sunland Park for trainer Nick Canani; and the Thoroughbred Corp's Atlantic Ocean.
Also on the plane will be 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Sarava,
who is now trained by Baffert.