Silverton Hill’s Dominican, surprise winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 14, worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday morning in :59 3/5 in his final prep work for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Dominican, a sophomore gelding by El Corredor —First Violin, by Dixieland Band, went to the track just after the renovation break at 8:30 a.m. Watching from the front side were Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton, owners of Silverton Hill. On the backstretch was a large contingent of the family’s supporters, many decked out in pink and black “Dominican” shirts, the colors of the Hamilton’s silks.
“I know you always hear that, but it was a great work,” said trainer Darrin Miller. “We had him sit right off of horses and it was a typical work for him. We let him run through the stretch.”
Exercise rider Willie Herrera was up. Jockey Rafael Bejarano was scheduled to be aboard, but had travel troubles and was stuck overnight in Washington, D.C., according to Miller.
The game plan for the rest of the week is to “keep him a good place,” said Miller. “Keep him safe and as happy as we can, and then lead him over. We’re six days out.”
Silverton Hill and Miller’s other Derby entrant, Sedgefield, is scheduled to work tomorrow under jockey Julien Leparoux. Sedgefield galloped over the Churchill surface earlier in the morning.
Dominican, who trains on Polytrack at the Hamilton’s farm near Springfield, Ky., is a perfect three-for-three on the synthetic surface. Prior to winning the Blue Grass at Keeneland, the Kentucky-bred drew off to a five-length score in the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park March 24. At two, he broke his maiden going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland last October. In his final start last season, he ran third behind Tiz Wonderful and Any Given Saturday in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
Dominican was bred by Barak Farm.