Derby Winner Goes Back to the Track; Fifty Stars Sidelined

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos returned to the scene of his biggest career victory Tuesday when he exercised at Churchill Downs. With exercise rider Bryan Beccia aboard, the gray son of Maria's Mon was lively, nipping at the boots of assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, aboard the lead pony as the pair made their way to the track that was labeled fast, despite overnight rain.

Monarchos was initially scheduled to jog but ended up galloping. "We had decided we would jog him and if he was feeling too good, we'd go ahead and gallop," said trainer John Ward, Jr. "He galloped good. He galloped as good as he did three or four days before the Derby. So it looks like the Derby experience did not take a whole lot out of him. He's happy. He's very bright. He isn't what you call 'track sore' or muscle sore from the race, running over a hard racetrack like that. It's nice that the racetrack was a little bit softer this morning with some rain on it."

Ward said the colt will exercise again Wednesday morning before shipping to Baltimore, Md. later in the day for the May19 Preakness Stakes. Ward said shipping to the Preakness "might be the hardest thing he's had to do in the last three weeks." Ward said the Tuesday and Wednesday exercise regimens were designed to calm the colt, who does not handle shipping very well.

"All of that is designed to make him a better passenger," Ward said. "(On) The flight out of here to New York for the Wood, they hit some pretty severe turbulence and it got him pretty upset. Every day when we paddock him over here at Churchill, he'll do everything fine. But when he would go to walk through the tunnel, he'd stop to look at that thing like, 'Oh, that might be an airplane.' So he's definitely got a little phobia about that."

Meanwhile, trainer Steve Asmussen reported that Louisiana Derby winner Fifty Stars will be sidelined for at least 90 days following the discovery of a bone chip in his right front ankle after his ninth-place Derby finish. He said the Quiet American colt will undergo surgery "in the next 10 days" for the chip the colt apparently suffered in the Derby. "He walked fine after the race," said Asmussen. "But there was some inflammation. We took a look at it and there it was."

Triple Crown Notes
Lone Star Derby winner Percy Hope is scheduled to depart Louisville for Baltimore on Wednesday, according to trainer Tony Reinstedler. The son of Ide, who skipped the Derby, is eligible for a $1-million bonus from Lone Star Park if he wins any of the Visa Triple Crown race... Trainer Dallas Stewart said there's a "slight chance" that Mary and Gary West's Dollar Bill could run in the Preakness. The son of Peaks and Valleys encountered major traffic problems in his15th-place Derby finish. Stewart said the colt came out of the race without any cuts or physical problems. "We'll just watch him closely and see what he tells us," said Stewart, estimating Dollar Bill's chances of running in the Preakness as "20 percent"...Bob Baffert's Kentucky Derby also-rans Congaree (3rd) and favored Point Given (5th) walked on Tuesday.

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