O'Brien Horses Prepare for Derby at Keeneland

O'Brien Horses Prepare for Derby at Keeneland
Photo: Breck Smither
Johannesburg galloped over a muddy track at Keeneland in preparation for Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
From Churchill Downs
Trainer Aidan O'Brien's Kentucky Derby hopefuls galloped over the muddy main track at Keeneland Race Course before an audience of media and other spectators.

Before the track was opened after the renovation break, both horses hit the track. Johannesburg was the first one out, walking to the Beard Course chute and then galloping seven-eighths of a mile after the track was harrowed.

Next up was Castle Gandolfo, who came on to the track and did the same thing, galloping a little farther. Castle Gandolfo had a paddock schooling session Thursday afternoon.

The two are scheduled to van to Churchill Downs Saturday morning and need to be on the grounds by 10 o'clock, 90 minutes before the first race on the 11-race Derby Day card.

Three-time Kentucky Derby winning rider Gary Stevens has the mount on Johannesburg, and Jerry Bailey, a two-time Derby winner and, like Stevens, a Hall of Famer, will ride Castle Gandolfo.

Traveling head lad Pat Keating is supervising the two colts at Keeneland.

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