Glencrest Farm’s Devil May Care hit the track at Churchill Downs Saturday morning in her final tune-up for next week. The big question following her 1:00 1/5 five-furlong drill was which race is she going in—the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
We may know early next week when Glencrest’s Johnny Greathouse and trainer Todd Pletcher huddle up, or the racing world may be left hanging toward the end of the week should they decide to enter both races.
“We could enter in both,” Pletcher said after training hours. “I spoke with Donnie Richardson (Churchill Downs’ senior vice president of racing) this morning just to confirm and it is a possibility. You have the option of entering in both. We want to be respectful of everybody’s chances in both races but at the same time we have an obligation of doing what is right for our filly. We are going to consider both races. If we draw post 20 in the Derby and post 6 in the Oaks, that might sway us one way or the other. That’s something else to consider.”
Another thing to consider for the filly is who will ride her. She has been ridden by John Velazquez in four of her five starts but he is committed to likely Derby favorite Eskendereya. With a full slate of 20 expected to start, the best names in the business have already secured mounts.
“It’s a big concern,” Greathouse said. “I’ll get what I want or I’ll be running on Friday, that’s for sure. The colts only have one day they can run. I’ve got options. Believe me, I’d be just as happy to win the race on Friday as I would on Saturday.”
Pletcher had a busy morning. Along with Devil May Care, four of his Derby contenders also worked over the sloppy going at Churchill Downs. Super Saver worked a half-mile while Rule, Mission Impazible, and Discreetly Mine also worked five furlongs.
Devil May Care breezed in five furlongs in 1:00 1/5, getting splits of :12 4/5, :24 3/5, :36 2/5, and :47 4/5. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 and was timed in 1:28 2/5 for seven furlongs.
It was really good according to the Devil May Care camp.
“I caught her in :59 4/5 and I think Todd caught her in 1:00,” Greathouse said. “She galloped out good. She did it pretty easy. The track looks so sticky when it’s like that, but they tend to go quick. They asked me what I thought I’d be happy with before I went up (to watch the work) and I thought ‘1:01 would be nice.’ But it’s more how they do it than the time they do it in. She’s doing it the right way. She went off a little slow and really finished up.”
Devil May Care worked in blinkers.
“She’s worked in them a couple of times,” Greathouse said. “She just wants to look around so much. She’s just a big kid having a good time. She acts like she does everything pretty easy. She just gallops along.”
“When she made the lead at the eighth pole in the Bonnie Miss (gr. II), she flicked her ears and was looking at the starting gate and the signs,” Pletcher said of victory in the March 20 nine-furlong stakes at Gulfstream Park. “Despite doing all that she won and ran a faster time than they ran in the Florida Derby (gr. I). We feel like in a race like this we can’t afford to make any mistakes. She’s just a very curious filly. Even this morning in the blinkers, she had ears pricked and she was surveying stuff as she came down the stretch.”
Devil May Care, a winner of three of five starts, covered the Bonnie Miss in 1:49.06 in the seventh race March 20. The Florida Derby, run as race 11 and won by Ice Box, was run in 1:49.19.
Devil May Care, by Malibu Moon out of the Red Ransom mare Kelli’s Ransom, was purchased by Greathouse for $110,000 out of the 2008 Keeneland September sale. She was bred by Diamond A Racing.