In his final breeze for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Goldencents breezed six furlongs in 1:16 1/5 April 25 at Santa Anita Park under regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
Last year's Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill, Goldencents' jockey Kevin Krigger, and several owners watched from the grandstand. Goldencents
Working from the half-mile pole to the three-quarter pole, W. C. Racing, Dave Kenney, and RAP Racing's Goldencents was timed through splits of :27 1/5, :40 1/5, :51 1/5, and 1:03, according to Santa Anita clocker Dane Nelson.
"We had him galloping out seven furlongs in 1:29 and two (fifths) and the mile in 1:43 and two," said Nelson.
O'Neill said he typically does not look to work the son of Into Mischief fast.
"We try to make his workouts similar to a gallop," O'Neill said. "We try not to zap him. This is very similar to what he does every day, just a little quicker.
"I thought he went great. My biggest focus was to have him finish up stronger than he started off, and he did just that. I got him in :40 (seconds) for the first three furlongs, and :36 for the second three furlongs, so he definitely picked it up when Jonny asked him to. And I liked the gallop out. I'm very happy."
O'Neill said Goldencents will leave Santa Anita for Churchill Downs April 27 at 4 a.m. The Kentucky Dreby is May 4.
Krigger was ecstatic about the move and how it was executed.
"Jonny gets along with this horse so well and he gets him to relax early," said Krigger, who will be riding in his first-ever Kentucky Derby. "Ever since the San Felipe (a disappointing fourth-place finish on March 9), Doug has been trying to gear him down and get him to relax. Jonny did a great job this morning and he finished up real strong, which is what Doug wanted."
A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief , Goldencents will attempt to follow in the footsteps of I'll Have Another and become the 10th Santa Anita Derby winner to go on and win the Louisville classic.
In other Derby news April 25:
• Trainer Tom Amoss plans to work Mylute April 27, a change from his previous plans to work the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) runner-up a day later.
"Number one, I don't care for the weather forecast and I'd rather work further out than closer out," Amoss said Thursday in explaining the change in plans. "Secondly, with night racing (at Churchill Downs) on Saturday, the jockeys aren't going to get done until after 11 p.m. I don't want to work the following morning and feel like everyone is not totally focused on the task at hand."
• Trainer Todd Pletcher's Kentucky Derby contenders Verrazano , Overanalyze , Revolutionary, and Palace Malice galloped around the Churchill Downs oval during the 15-minute period following the morning renovation break when the track is reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders.
Elliott Walden, president/CEO of WinStar Farm, was on hand to see WinStar's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Revolutionary, who galloped under Nick Bush.
"I feel real good about him," Walden said. "I think a big key is getting in the race and having a shot and I think he's got as good of a shot as any of them. Calvin (Borel) is excited about riding him and really liked the way he went when he worked him last Sunday. So, we're excited about that."
Galloping before the renovation break for Pletcher were Charming Kitten and Winning Cause.
Pletcher said he will monitor the weather, but, as of now, his six Kentucky Derby contenders are scheduled to breeze April 28.