Kentucky Derby Notes--Tuesday, April 20

Kentucky Derby Notes--Tuesday, April 20
Photo:
Edited from Churchill Downs release

ACTION THIS DAY/MINISTER ERIC -- Eclipse Award winner Action This Day galloped a mile and a quarter before the renovation break under exercise rider Paul Nilluang, a pattern the colt has followed for four days since arriving April 16 from Keeneland.

"I will give him a couple more days and then get a good work in him," said trainer Richard Mandella, who plans a paddock schooling session the middle of next week for Action This Day as well as his other Derby hopeful, Minister Eric.

Nilluang was also on Minister Eric for a mile and a quarter gallop before the break.

Never worse than fourth in eight career starts, Minister Eric is scheduled to work "three or four days out" from the Derby according to Mandella.

David Flores will ride Action This Day and Pat Day has the mount on Minister Eric.

BIRDSTONE/THE CLIFF'S EDGE -- Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Birdstone galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break under exercise rider Maxine Correa.

Stablemate The Cliff's Edge walked the shedrow a day after working five furlongs in 59.60.

Edgar Prado is scheduled to ride Birdstone in Derby 130 and Shane Sellers has the call on The Cliff's Edge.

BORREGO -- Borrego walked the shedrow a day after working three furlongs in :37.40.

Trainer Beau Greely said the El Prado colt came out of the work fine and would return to the track in the morning.

FRIENDS LAKE -- Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Amanda Roxborough at Payson Park in his final Florida activity before shipping to Louisville.

"He should be there around 10 o'clock after training hours tomorrow morning," trainer John Kimmel said. "I will fly in Wednesday afternoon and he will go to the track Thursday."

Richard Migliore, who has ridden the A.P. Indy colt in his past four starts, will ride in the Derby.

IMPERIALISM -- Trainer Kristin Mulhall took double graded stakes winner Imperialism to the track after the renovation break on the Langfuhr   colt's first full day at the track.

"He jogged twice around and he was looking at everything," said Mulhall, whose Derby hopeful arrived at 2:45 p.m. Monday. Mulhall plans to work Imperialism six furlongs on Thursday and then come back with the three-eighths work the Wednesday of Derby Week. Regarding schooling, Mulhall said, "I took him to the gate a lot at Hollywood Park, but probably won't here. I will go to the paddock here." Kent Desormeaux has been named to ride in the Derby.

LIMEHOUSE/POLLARD'S VISION -- Dogwood Stable's Limehouse galloped a mile and three-eighths under exercise rider Michelle Nihei.

Limehouse is one of three Derby hopefuls to have run at Churchill Downs and like possible morning-line favorite The Cliff's Edge, Limehouse is 2-for-2 under the Twin Spires.

Limehouse won the Three Chimneys Juvenile on Derby Day last year and came back nine weeks later to win the Bashford Manor (gr. III). Limehouse will be the first Derby starter since Favorite Trick in 1998 to have run on the previous year's Derby Day card.

Edgewood Farm's Pollard's Vision jogged a mile under exercise rider Patti Krotenko.

The Todd Pletcher-trained colts are scheduled work Sunday. Jose Santos is scheduled to ride Limehouse in the Derby and John Velazquez has the call on Pollard's Vision.

MASTER DAVID -- Georgica Stables, Stephen Mack and Andrew Rosen's Master David, winner of the Sham and runner-up in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), breezed five furlongs on Tuesday in his first major training move since his arrival at Churchill Downs.

The son of Grand Slam, trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, breezed five furlongs under jockey Joe Deegan in 1:01.40 over a "fast" track. The colt worked shortly after the mid-training session break for track maintenance and was recorded in fractions of :12.20, :24, :36.40; and :48:40 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60.

"It's his typical work," said Frankel. "I hope he does the same thing next week and that'll be it."

Master David was forced to miss a planned run in the Florida Derby (gr. I) because of a slight temperature, but Frankel said he has done well since then. He won the Sham at Santa Anita on Feb. 8, but because of that illness he did not race again until his Wood Memorial run at Aqueduct on April 10.

"He just had a temperature for one day and his blood was a little off," Frankel said. "He missed about four or five days of training going into the Florida Derby, so I had to skip that race and we had to train him up to that race the other day (the Wood) and hopefully he can improve on it."

Frankel was happy with the way Master David handled the track at Churchill Downs during his Tuesday work and now hopes for some good days heading into the Derby on Saturday, May 1.

"You hope he goes the right direction," he said. "He's a nice tough horse. He has to improve to win this race, but he's a nice tough horse and he tries real hard. So, he's got that going for him."

Frankel, always an astute handicapper as well as a four-time Eclipse Award winning trainer, did express some concern that the speed figures, or "numbers," from the Wood Memorial were not as impressive as those from the Toyota Blue Grass gr. I won by The Cliff's Edge and the Arkansas Derby gr. II won by the unbeaten Smarty Jones.

"The numbers weren't that good in that race," Frankel said. "But, I don't know. I think that's sometimes the way the wind blows and stuff like that from one race to the other. The sprints (that day at Aqueduct) were very fast, but the long races weren't fast - but in the long races they get the wind in their face twice. So it's hard to judge it. In my mind, I'm going to throw it out because, if I don't, I've got no chance."

The Hall of Fame trainer has yet to win the Kentucky Derby, but finished second and third last year with the favored Empire Maker and Peace Rules and also was the runner-up in 2000 with Aptitude. He noted that there are several horses that have run well in prep races, but he has settled on the horse that he thinks should play the role of the favorite this year.

"I think The Cliff's Edge is the horse to beat because he ran fast and he ran good over here (at Churchill Downs) as a 2-year-old," he said. "We know he likes the track, so I think he's the horse to beat right now."

Frankel was asked if he had learned any lesson from his recent Derby experience at Churchill Downs that he would apply this spring with Master David.

"You just don't panic," he answered. "You just do the things you do all the time. I see trainers get caught up in going real fast. The horses just ran and they want to really drill 'em into the race. You know, just do what you do every day and hopefully you've got the best horse."

The Derby's brilliant spotlight and intense media scrutiny provide plenty of temptation for horsemen to second guess or stray from their normal training patterns in the final days before the Derby.

"Especially now as you're going to get TVG here (with "The Works" program) and all the geniuses are going to critique your works," said Frankel. "But what they don't realize is some horses work real fast and some horses don't work fast. They're going to get caught up in the horses that really work fast."

Master David brings a career record of 2-4-1 in seven races and earnings of $268,756 into Kentucky Derby 130.

PREACHINATTHEBAR/WIMBLEDON -- Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert sent his pair of Derby 130 contenders out for routine gallops on Tuesday.

James McInvgale's Wimbledon, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), and Mike Pegram's Preachinatthebar, winner of the San Felipe (gr. II), each galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Mick Jenner.

PRO PRADO -- Pro Prado galloped his regular mile and three-quarters before the renovation break under exercise rider Lee Lockwood.

Pro Prado was fourth to The Cliff's Edge in last fall's Iroquois (gr. III) in his lone Churchill Downs start.

The Robert Holthus trainee is scheduled to work Thursday.

QUINTONS GOLD RUSH -- Trainer Steve Asmussen's Derby hopeful walked the shedrow at Barn 38. Winner of last Saturday's Coolmore Lexington (gr. II), Quintons Gold Rush is scheduled to return to the track in the morning. No rider has been confirmed for Quintons Gold Rush.

READ THE FOOTNOTES -- Robby Albarado has been named to ride Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes.

"He's a local rider, a rising talent and he was good enough to ride (Horse of the Year) Mineshaft last year," trainer Richard Violette said. "It was not that difficult a decision to make."

Read the Footnotes galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Morna McDowall at Palm Meadows and is scheduled to work five furlongs on Wednesday. The Smoke Glacken colt is scheduled to ship to Louisville on Friday.

ROCK HARD TEN -- With exercise rider John Byrne up, Rock Hard Ten jogged a mile before the renovation break. It was the colt's first day back to the track after working seven furlongs in 1:27 3/5 on Sunday. Corey Black, who had been the morning partner for Rock Hard Ten his first week here, returned to California to resume his duties as agent for jockey Patrick Valenzuela.

SINISTER G - Lane's End (gr. II) winner Sinister G galloped a mile and a half on the main track at Belmont Park under exercise rider Lou Chiari.

Trainer John Toscano said Sinister G would work Saturday over the main track at Belmont and is scheduled to ship to Louisville next Wednesday.

Paul Toscano has the call for the Derby.

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