Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Pants On Fire showed his affinity for the off track at Churchill Downs on May 1 when the Jump Start colt breezed four furlongs in :47 4/5.
With jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard, the Kelly Breen trainee posted fractional splits of :11 4/5 and :24 for the first half mile and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 2/5. The work time was seventh best among 37 working the distance over a track made sloppy by an early morning thunderstorm and several hours of rain.
“For us, that was a very good workout,” Breen said. “I liked the work. Rosie liked the work. He has won on an off track (in a maiden win at Belmont Park) and it probably was better today than it will be tomorrow (Monday, May 2) when it could be a little cuppy as it dries out.”
Owned by George and Lori Hall, Pants On Fire has won or placed in six of seven starts, with earnings of $678,100.
Breen said recent veterinary tests performed on the 3-year-old colt show that Pants On Fire has had no recurrence of an infection that was indicated by a “bad blood count” following a sixth-place finish in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) victory of Derby contender Mucho Macho Man .
In his subsequent start in the Louisiana Derby, Pants On Fire avenged that loss by defeating Nehro by a neck, with Mucho Macho Man third.
Noting that some observers have not been optimistic about the chances of Pants On Fire in the Kentucky Derby, Breen said he did not think “you can knock any of the horses that are here.”
He added that the Louisiana Derby win looks even better in view of how other horses from that race have fared since it was run March 26. Nehro came back to finish a close second in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) and Machen, fifth in the Louisiana Derby, won the Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (gr. III) on the April 30 opening day card at Churchill Downs.
“But any of these horses have a chance to win this race,” Breen said. “If we are in front at the wire, I can say ‘I told you so.’ Right now, we’re sitting on a horse that’s doing well.”
Pants On Fire, who is out of the Cape Town mare Cabo de Noche, was bred in Kentucky by K & G Stables.
Pants On Fire, and two horses trained by Derby-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher, Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty , were the only Derby horses to work May 1. A scheduled workout by Watch Me Go was postponed for a day due to the track conditions.