Trainer Todd Pletcher worked his pair of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls on Sunday morning before an early morning deluge at Churchill Downs. Dogwood Stable's Limehouse was officially clocked in 1:01 for five furlongs, while David Moore's Edgewood Farm's Pollard's Vision was timed going the same distance in 1:00 4/5. Also on the track early was Read the Footnotes.
Both horses went to the track early, as rain, very heavy at times, began just after 6 a.m. Limehouse went out at 5:45 a.m., while Pollard's Vision hit the track at around 6:15 a.m.
"We went at the last minute we could have," Pletcher said back at Barn 42 after their works. "We got it in before the rain hit hard. When I came in and saw the weather forecast, I thought it was going to be a matter of when. Pollard's Vision went out about five minutes before the track turned to slop."
Pletcher said he timed Limehouse in 1:01.35 and Pollard's Vision in 1:01.22.
"We were looking for anything between a minute and 1:01," Pletcher said. "I don't worry about a few hundredths of a second. They worked well and cooled out fine."
With their major works in the books for the Derby, both horses will gallop up to the race, according to Pletcher.
Limehouse, a chestnut son of Grand Slam out of the Dixieland Band
mare Dixieland Blues, has won five of nine career starts and has earned $575,435. On his resume is a pair of wins at Churchill Downs last year as a 2-year-old: The Three Chimneys Juvenile, run on Derby day, and the six-furlong Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) on July 6.
Limehouse was a $140,000 purchase out of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale in August of 2002.
Pollard's Vision, who is blind in his right eye, is coming off a 2 3/4-length score in the Illinois Derby (gr. II). The son of Carson City
--Etats Unis, by Dixieland Band
has a 3-2-3 slate from 10 career starts and has earned $445,811.
Pollard's Vision was a $70,000 buy out of last year's Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training. Pletcher said the fact he was blind in one eye compromised his sale price. He guessed he would have been a $300-$400,000 sale 2-year-old with full sight.
"Both horses are consistent and I think both are the kind of horse that can stand up to the heat of the situation," Pletcher said of Saturday's Kentucky Derby. "They're both tough and have a lot of seasoning. The fact Limehouse is two-for-two at Churchill Downs is encouraging."
Also taking a tour of the Churchill Downs oval in the gloom of the pre-dawn heavy rain on Sunday was Read the Footnotes
for trainer Rick Violette. Klaravich Stables' Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner galloped 1 1/2 miles.
"We got drowned," Violette said. "I usually don't work horses on that wet a track, but the Derby isn't a usual circumstance. But he handled it great."
Violette said the son of Smoke Glacken
will breeze a half-mile either Monday or Tuesday, depending on the weather. "We'll just blow off some steam and get some exercise," Violette said. "We'll be looking for something between :47 and :49. The window is large. We just want him to stretch his legs and pick it up a little up the lane."