Kentucky Derby 131 Notes - Monday, May 2

Kentucky Derby 131 Notes - Monday, May 2
Photo:
Monday Work Tab
Churchill
Closing Argument 5f 1:01.60
Coin Silver 5f 1:01.00
Sort It Out 4f :47.20

Santa Anita
Buzzards Bay 6f 1:11.40

Scheduled to work at Churchill Tuesday (5/3):
Afleet Alex

Kentucky Derby 131 Headlines:
* Consolidator injured; out of Derby 131
* Buzzards Bay works 1:11.40 at Santa Anita
* Afleet Alex scheduled to go half Tuesday

CONSOLIDATOR - A published report indicates that Bob and Beverly Lewis' Grade I winner Consolidator suffered a fractured sesamoid in his right front ankle and will miss Saturday's 131st Kentucky Derby. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was quoted on bloodhorse.com saying, "He was out for a routine gallop yesterday and took a couple of stumbles coming off the track. He appeared to be all right, but seemed uncomfortable in the afternoon. When I arrived this morning, I decided to have an X-ray taken, and it showed he had fractured his sesamoid. It's really a shame, but at least (the Lewises) have another one (Going Wild) and we'll go with him."

The defection of Consolidator drops the number of likely Kentucky Derby entrants to 20, exactly the race's field-size limit. Late Triple Crown supplement Greeley's Galaxy, who by rule can only draw into the Derby field if there are fewer than 20 nominees entered, appears for now to have secured a spot in the Derby starting gate.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who won six races the first two days of the 2005 Churchill Downs Spring Meeting, was to have ridden Consolidator. Trainer Nick Zito quickly named Bejarano to pilot Arkansas Derby third-place finisher Andromeda's Hero upon learning the news. Lukas was unavailable for comment as of noon Monday. Churchill Downs will provide an update as soon as it is available.

AFLEET ALEX - Trainer Tim Ritchey has planned a half-mile breeze Tuesday morning for Arkansas Derby (GII) winner Afleet Alex, who is owned by Cash is King Stable. "It will be an easy maintenance kind of work; slow the first part and pick it up a little bit down the lane," Ritchey said. "He will jog at least a mile and a half, and I will probably take him to the (mile) chute like I did before (prior to an April 26 work), then jog him all the way around and then go a half-mile." Derby rider Jeremy Rose is scheduled to be up for the work.

Afleet Alex made one trip to the track early Monday morning, leaving the barn at 6:25 and returning a shade before 7 a.m. with exercise rider Salomon Diego up. "He jogged about a mile and a half and then went to the paddock and walked around in there for maybe 10 minutes," Ritchey said. "He went back on the track and galloped an easy mile and a half with the pony."

This is Ritchey's first Derby experience and the time away from his string of 38 horses at Delaware Park has been a bit different for the 53-year-old conditioner. "I have always been hands-on and always have every horse that I train in the shedrow where I can look at them every day," Ritchey said. "It's tough. At Oaklawn Park, we had all the horses in training there. Since I have been here (since April 20), we have only two horses. You can only do so much. "I am on the phone a lot.

It is different than what I have ever done before. At Pimlico, I can go back and forth, so I can be at Delaware Park and Pimlico the same day. I may be at Pimlico in the morning, but I will go back to Delaware Park and check everything out in the afternoon. I can be there for the races and go back to Pimlico in the evening. It is no problem, it's only an hour away. Belmont will be the same as here. "My owners have all been very good about it. They understand what we are trying to do. It has not been a problem. We had two wins, a second and a third from four starters yesterday, so obviously, the crew back there is doing everything all right."

MEDIA ADVISORY: Ritchey has requested that media members with questions about Afleet Alex gather each day at 10:15 a.m. (EDT). Afleet Alex is stabled in Barn 41.

ANDROMEDA'S HERO/BELLAMY ROAD/HIGH FLY/NOBLE CAUSEWAY/SUN KING - On the morning after three of his Kentucky Derby hopefuls worked, trainer Nick Zito headed east to Keeneland to oversee morning preparations for the 25 horses he has stabled there.

Robert LaPenta's Andromeda's Hero galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Megan Smillie at Keeneland. Zito said that Rafael Bejarano, who was scheduled to ride the sidelined Consolidator, would ride Andromeda's Hero. Tracy Farmer's Sun King galloped a mile and a quarter before the renovation break with exercise rider Carlos Correa up. Sun King, who will be ridden by Edgar Prado, comes into Derby 131 off a fourth-place finish behind Bandini in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI).

Reynaldo Abreu, Zito's assistant at Churchill Downs, said that the barn's three Derby prospects came out of Sunday works in good order and walked the shedrow Monday morning. Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road, the likely Kentucky Derby favorite off his record-breaking 17 ½-length victory in the Wood Memorial (GI), worked in 1:00.40 on Sunday, tied for the fourth-fastest of 58 works at the distance. Javier Castellano has the Derby mount.

Live Oak Plantation's High Fly and My Meadowview Farm's Noble Causeway, the 1-2 finishers, respectively, in the Florida Derby (GI), worked in 1:00.40 and 1:00, respectively. Two-time Kentucky Derby winner Jerry Bailey has the call on High Fly, and three-time Derby winner Gary Stevens the assignment on Noble Causeway.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Zito has requested that media members who wish to discuss his Derby 131 contenders gather each morning for a question-and-answer session beginning at 9:30. His horses are stabled in Barn 36.

BANDINI/COIN SILVER/FLOWER ALLEY - The Todd Pletcher-trained Coin Silver had his final tune-up for the Derby Monday morning, while Bandini and Flower Alley had an easy morning after their Sunday breezes. With Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. in the irons, Coin Silver breezed five furlongs in 1:01, going in company with Illinois Derby runner-up Monarch Lane, who was clocked in 1:02. "The clockers had Coin Silver in 1:01, and I caught him in a minute and four (fifths)," Pletcher said, "but it was just what we wanted, somewhere between 1:00 and 1:01. He went very well. When he pulled away from Monarch Lane he got a little idle for a bit, but then picked it up again at the end." The Peachtree Stable color bearer won the Lexington Stakes just nine days ago for his first career stakes victory, and is coming back on short rest.

"I would like to have more time between his races," Pletcher said, "but Coin Silver didn't deserve to be in the Derby until he won the Lexington. "We didn't want to do too much with him today, but he's a big strong horse who eats up every day, and he came back from the race full of himself, so I also didn't want to underdo his training either. We're just looking to keep him happy and on edge." Pat Valenzuela will get his first look at Coin Silver when he climbs aboard on Derby day.

Bandini, owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, and Flower Alley, who runs in the colors of Melnyk Racing Stables, had a relaxing morning after Sunday workouts. Both horses were on the track looking fresh and lively. "They both jogged a little, and then went to the paddock for schooling," Pletcher said. "They'll be schooling at the gate and in the paddock several more times." Bandini, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes last out, drilled five furlongs in 1:00.80 Sunday, while Flower Alley went the same distance in 1:00.60. John Velazquez has the mount on Bandini in the Derby, and Jorge Chavez rides Flower Alley.

BUZZARDS BAY - Fog City Stable's Buzzards Bay, surprise winner of the Santa Anita Derby, tuned up for his engagement in Saturday's 131st running of the Kentucky Derby with a bullet six-furlong workout in 1:11.40 this morning at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. With regular jockey Mark Guidry in the saddle for trainer Jeff Mullins, Buzzards Bay was accompanied in his drill by stablemate Florida Keys, with exercise rider Joe Vaca aboard. "The work was excellent," said Mullins.

"Buzzards Bay broke off about four lengths behind Florida Keys and hooked up with him at the three-eighths. There was a horse in front of them going a half. Mark did a good job, just took him to the outside on the turn - he was in the three path pretty much all the way - and went on from there. He's a good work horse when he has a target. "He came back good. We scoped him and he scoped clean." Mullins timed Buzzards Bay in slightly faster time than the clockers, catching his horse in 1:11 flat and galloping on out to the seven-furlong pole in 1:26 flat. Florida Keys received a time of 1:12.60 from the Santa Anita clockers. Mullins said Buzzards Bay will walk Tuesday and then be shipped to Churchill Downs Wednesday.

CLOSING ARGUMENT - Philip and Marcia Cohen's colt had his final Derby prep Monday morning, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.60 under exercise rider Danny Wright. "He went along fine and came back in great shape," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He's all set now. He'll walk tomorrow, then gallop the rest of the week." This will be McLaughlin's Kentucky Derby debut as a trainer, but he's no stranger to Churchill Downs. "When I was an assistant to Wayne (trainer D. Wayne Lukas), I was here the year Winning Colors won the Derby (1988)," McLaughlin said. "But it's different coming here with your own horse." Closing Argument won the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream in February, and last out was third, nine lengths behind Bandini, in the Blue Grass Stakes. Cornelio Velasquez, who has been his regular rider, has the call again in the Derby.

DON'T GET MAD - Saturday's Derby Trial winner walked the shedrow 30 minutes this morning for trainer Ron Ellis. Ellis said B. Wayne Hughes' son of Stephen Got Even is slated to walk for a third straight day on Tuesday as per the trainer's schedule. "I've got the easiest week of anybody here," Ellis joked. "Don't Get Mad is doing great. He ate everything last night and looks like it will be a real happy week." A rider assignment for Don't Get Mad is pending, Ellis indicated, and could be made later today. Derby Trial pilot Gary Stevens is booked to ride Noble Causeway.

GIACOMO - Mr. And Mrs. Jerry Moss' Giacomo came out of his Sunday workout in good fashion, trainer John Shirreffs reported this morning from his Hollywood Park headquarters. "The legs are clean, the bucket's clean and he had a good night's sleep," said Shirreffs of his Kentucky Derby contender, who breezed six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.80 Sunday. Giacomo, two lengths back of Buzzards Bay while fourth in the Santa Anita Derby, walked Monday morning. He is scheduled to be shipped to Kentucky Wednesday morning from Ontario airport on an early flight, which also will carry Buzzards Bay for trainer Jeff Mullins.

GOING WILD - Bob and Beverly Lewis' Going Wild walked the shedrow on Monday, one day after a bullet five-furlong workout in :59.60. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. will make his second career Derby appearance Saturday aboard Going Wild.

GREATER GOOD - Lewis Lakin's Greater Good galloped two and a quarter miles before the renovation break with exercise rider Betsy Couch up. Trainer Bob Holthus, who ended a 16-year Derby drought by saddling Pro Prado in Derby 130 last year, was asked when he thought he might have another Derby starter on his hands. "Probably when he won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (GIII) at Turfway (Park on Sept. 18)," Holthus said. "He was going down the backside, and I thought he was going to pull up. He got 20-some lengths off the lead, and when he finally decided to run, he caught them in about a sixteenth of a mile.

We felt comfortable then he could handle two turns. "We purposely didn't run him at Keeneland (last fall), because we didn't want to overrace him. He ran twice here (at Churchill Downs), and unfortunately a horse fell in front of him in the Iroquois (GIII). He almost pulled up to a walk and then came on to get third and then he came back and won the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII). Other than the Arkansas Derby (when the colt washed out), he hasn't made any mistakes." John McKee, who has been aboard for all eight starts - which include five victories - has the Derby call.

GREELEY'S GALAXY - B. Wayne Hughes' Greeley's Galaxy, an anticipated $200,000 supplemental to the 131st Kentucky Derby, went through his usual routine this morning, galloping a mile and one-half under exercise rider Mikki Fincher. The Illinois Derby winner is slated for a five-furlong drill Wednesday. Warren Stute, who, at 83, would be the oldest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby should Greeley's Galaxy succeed Saturday, is due back in Louisville to oversee his horse's final Derby prep.

Charlie Whittingham was 76 when he won the 1989 Derby with Sunday Silence.

HIGH LIMIT - Gary and Mary West's High Limit, who suffered his lone defeat after three victories in finishing a distant second to Bandini in the Blue Grass Stakes, continued his progress toward the Kentucky Derby with a mile and one-half gallop this morning under exercise rider Jose Cuevas. High Limit, a bay son of Maria's Mon, is on schedule to breeze a half-mile Wednesday for trainer Bobby Frankel. Ramon Dominguez again has the call on the Louisiana Derby winner.

SORT IT OUT - Lexington Stakes runner-up Sort It Out, trainer Bob Baffert's lone hope for a fourth victory in the Kentucky Derby, boosted his stock this morning with a sharp half-mile breeze in :47.20 at Churchill Downs. With exercise rider Dana Barnes in the saddle and accompanied by workmate Apalachee Tiger, Joe Deegan up, Sort It Out, a long-striding son of Out of Place, came on the track after the renovation break. Positioned on the outside, the colt appeared to be full of run in a workout that greatly pleased Baffert. "He really surprised us this morning," said the trainer. "He was aggressive all the way. That's the best he's ever worked. Apalachee Tiger usually beats him, but not today. He was reaching out and really did it nice. "He was wanting to do more and I was talking to Dana telling her to take a hold. He was wanting to go faster. I really feel this horse has moved forward and is turning the corner. I'm very upbeat about him and think he has a chance to get a piece of the purse Saturday. He proved he deserves the chance in the Derby and he's brought excitement to the barn.

"This horse is enjoying what he's doing now, not like when I first started training him. He's had a lot of races and he has a good mind so the big field won't bother him Saturday. He's still going to have to improve a lot to threaten the big horses like Bellamy Road and High Fly, but he's healthy and doing good." Sort It Out's time, the same given Apalachee Tiger, was second fastest of 61 horses breezing a half-mile this morning. Baffert believes this field of three-year-olds in
the 131st Kentucky Derby is the deepest since 1997 when his Silver Charm defeated Captain Bodgit, Free House and Pulpit.

Concerto, sire of current Derby favorite Bellamy Road, was ninth. Brice Blanc will be aboard Sort It Out Saturday for owners Stonerside Stable and Preferred Pals Stable.

SPANISH CHESTNUT - The Horse Chestnut colt had an easy morning back at his Keeneland home Monday, the day after his final serious Derby work. Trainer Patrick Biancone said the colt had a "promenade" at Keeneland Monday morning, a light exercise consisting of a little walking, a little jogging and a little sightseeing. On Sunday morning, the colt owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith (who also have Bandini in the Derby) shipped to Churchill Downs to work five furlongs in 1:00.40.

"He is coming to the race very well and I'm happy with what I see," Biancone said. "He is certainly a fit horse." Spanish Chestnut has made five starts this year, winning the San Rafael Stakes in his 3-year-old debut. A dedicated front-runner, he set much of the pace in the Blue Grass last out before tiring to finish sixth behind Bandini. Joe Bravo, who won Grade I races aboard Lion Heart last year for Biancone, will ride Spanish Chestnut for the first time Saturday.

WILKO - Last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner arrived at Churchill Downs late Sunday night, and was bedded down in Wally Dollase's Barn 29. Wilko is trained by Craig Dollase (son of the veteran conditioner), who also arrived in Louisville late Sunday night. The Awesome Again colt just walked under the shedrow Monday morning, led around by his trainer. "He shipped fine," Craig Dollase said. "But it's a long trip, and with the time change he's a little sleepy. He'll probably gallop tomorrow, but we'll play it by ear." Wilko, owned by J. Paul, Roy and Susan Reddam, came into Dollase's barn after the Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park. In three California races, he was third in the Hollywood Futurity, fourth in the San Felipe and third in the Santa Anita Derby last out. Corey Nakatani will have the mount in the Derby.

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