David Lanzman and IEAH Stables’ I Want Revenge, the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in his first serious training move since his arrival at Churchill Downs when he worked an easy half-mile over a muddy track on April 14.
Jockey Joe Talamo was in the saddle as the 3-year-old son of Stephen Got Even breezed after the mid-morning break for track maintenance, and covered the distance in :50. Churchill Downs clockers caught the winner of the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Gotham (gr. III) in fractions of :12.40, :24.40 and :36.80. I Want Revenge galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.60 for trainer Jeff Mullins. The easy work ranked 18th out of 25 moves at the distance.
“I think it was pretty much what we wanted,” said Talamo. “He didn’t really need much coming out of his last race and he’s plenty fit. He handled it great. Actually, for all the rain we had I thought it felt pretty good. They ‘floated’ it and this track takes the water pretty well.”
“That’s all we wanted to do today,” said Mullins. “He just needed to do enough to keep himself safe. He’s been tearing the barn down and we had to do something with him. If they get to feeling too good, they might get themselves hurt. We had to let him do a little something today, so we just let him go an easy half and galloped out long.”
Mullins decided to bring I Want Revenge directly to Churchill Downs after his win in the Wood Memorial at New York’s Aqueduct rather than go back to his home base at Southern California’s Hollywood Park, where the I Want Revenge trains over the synthetic Cushion Track surface. He admitted to second-guessing that move when heavy rain swept through Louisville on the eve of his colt’s work.
“I was actually wishing I had taken him back home to Hollywood again,” Mullins said. “But I think he got enough out of it this morning to keep him calm for a few more days. If we can get him to next week where he can have a decent breeze, I think we’ll be all right.”
Mullins said I Want Revenge would probably work again, mostly likely at five furlongs on Tuesday, April 21. If all goes well, the colt’s final work would be scheduled on Tuesday of Kentucky Derby week.
Talamo flew into Churchill Downs from Southern California on April 13. The work aboard I Want Revenge marked the first time that the 19-year-old Louisiana native had ridden on the historic track at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
“It was great,” he said. “I just pretty much took it all in at first. It was great to look at the Twin Spires and everything.”
His back-to-back victories in the Gotham and Wood Memorial lifted the career record for I Want Revenge to 3-1-4 in eight races with earnings of $816,000.
In other Kentucky Derby and Oaks news, Bo Hirsch’s Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on the evening of April 14.
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, the probable favorite for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), is scheduled to work on April 16. Trainer Hal Wiggins said the winner of the Fantasy (gr. II) and Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) is set to work around first light.
A flight from California will bring Zayat Stables’ Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, to Kentucky on April 16.