Consolidator is Lone Derby Worker at Churchill Downs
by Evan Hammonds
Date Posted: 4/27/2005 10:07:29 AM
Last Updated: 4/27/2005 9:08:52 PM

Consolidator, winning the San Felipe, worked at Churchill Downs Wednesday.
Photo: Benoit
The workout tab at Churchill Downs for horses pointing toward the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) continued to be light Wednesday, with only classic contender Consolidator going through the paces.

One of the first horses on the track, still moist from steady rain that fell in Louisville, Ky. Tuesday, Consolidator worked five furlongs in the pre-dawn darkness. The son of Storm Cat was timed in 1:01 2/5, with fractions of :12 2/5, :24 2/5, :36 2/5, and :48 4/5 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:15 4/5. The workout time was the co-second-fastest of the day among 12 horses breezing that distance, topped by Madcap Escapade's 1:00 4/5 clocking.

Because the track was "a little bit like peanut butter," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the time of the work was not that important. "It (track) was a little bit sticky, so I think the work was a little more significant than the time," Lukas said. "It was pretty much what we wanted -- a good, strong gallop out. At this point, we're just trying to maintain his energy level."

Lukas said Consolidator's fifth-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) is not indicative of the colt's ability that the Derby prep race is a "throwout for everybody -- Consolidator, Sun King" and even winner Bandini.

"I don't think the Blue Grass ever equates to anything," Lukas said. "You see horses all the time who do well in the Blue Grass, or even in the third or fourth race on the card, come over here and you can't find them. And then you see some horses run bad (at Keeneland) and come over here and win. I don't put any stock in the Blue Grass. It's a great race, a nice purse, and a fun day, but let's leave it at that."

Owned by Robert and Beverly Lewis, Consolidator won the San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita and last fall's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.

As for his other Derby contender, the Lewis-owned Going Wild, Lukas said the colt has worked well at Churchill Downs in the past, but that you never know if the track will be the same on Derby Day as it is when the horses train over it in the morning.

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