Friends Lake in Easy Breeze at Payson

(from Gulfstream Park notes)
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake breezed five furlongs Saturday morning at Payson Park in a slow 1:04 3/5 as he prepares for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1.

The dirt track was labeled fast, although it had been dulled by recent rains, Kimmel said.

"We had some rain and the track was on the deep and wet side and he was about four or five paths off the rail," said traner John Kimmel. "I think it will translate into a decent workout. The main thing is he came out of it comfortable and it was a useful barometer that my horse is pretty fit right now. He handled it really well – he was hardly blowing after it. He's right on target for where he needs to be at this point."

Kimmel plans to breeze the son of A. P. Indy one more time in South Florida before shipping to Churchill Downs. Kimmel has opted to train Friends Lake up to the Derby and has no more prep races on the colt's schedule.

"Anybody can second-guess, but I don't think it's a big deal," Kimmel said. "I just want a fresh horse for a very tough race.

"I want my horse to have his weight right. I know the three Triple Crown races are going to make him lose a lot of it if you're fortunate enough to prove you belong after the first one. This plan should get my horse's weight where it needs to be."

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