Brereton Jones’ Mark Valeski, runner-up in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), drilled five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Churchill Downs April 23 for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trained by Larry Jones, the son of Proud Citizen worked in company with Hamiltonian, rattling off fractions of :12 3/5, :24 1/5, :36, and :47 1/5. He was a length in front at the wire, then galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 3/5.
Mark Valeski burst on the
He will be ridden in the
Also working at Churchill Monday was the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Optimizer, who currently would be on the also-eligible list after failing to pick up any purse money in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I). Despite his ninth-place finish, the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) runner-up, still is pointing for the
Optimizer, a son of
Steve Asmussen, who recently took over the training of Borderland Derby winner Isn't He Clever, sent the son of Smarty Jones out for a half-mile breeze in :51 3/5. Like Optimizer, Isn’t He Clever would have to come in off the also-eligible if a decision is made to point for the
At Calder Monday, Swale (gr. III) and