If you blinked Monday morning, chances are you missed one of the 10 works turned in by Derby hopefuls. Starting with Proud Citizen's blazing five-furlong work and Sunday Break's six-furlong move in company at about 5:45, and ending with the five rapid-fire works following the renovation break, it was quite a showcase of Kentucky Derby horses.
The first week of training is in the books, and it's on to Derby Week. So, what have we learned, if anything, from this past week's works? We learned, as usual, it's best to stay tuned for Week Two.
With Thursday's moves by Essence of Dubai and Request for Parole, the first wave of works have just about concluded. Tomorrow we'll go over what we've seen so far, and what significance they may play in the Kentucky Derby.
Pedigree vs. Performance. That is the battle within the battle that may very well decide this year's Kentucky Derby winner. The more we see of Came Home, the more we think that maybe performance can conquer pedigree on Derby Day.
In what trainer Paco Gonzalez said was a faster work than he preferred, Santa Anita Derby winner Came Home zipped six furlongs in 1:12 3/5.
Gary and Mary West's Buddha dueled though the Aqueduct stretch with Medaglia d'Oro and Sunday Break en route to a head-length win in Saturday's exciting renewal of the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I). Under Pat Day, the gray son of Unbridled's Song completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.61 on a fast track.
The Kentucky Derby trail heads into the unknown Saturday, as eight 3-year-olds attempt to sort themselves out and prove they belong in the Run for Roses.
The horse is named for a brand of espresso coffee, and in his last
start, he woke up as if he had swallowed a double shot of the stuff.
Saturday afternoon, Medaglia d'Oro will try to keep his Triple Crown
hopes brewing when he steps onto Aqueduct's main track for the 78th running of the grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial.
Sunday Break, winner of his last three starts, worked a sharp six furlongs in 1:15 3/5 at Aqueduct Monday, in preparation for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial, while Saarland breezed a half in :48 at Belmont.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro and Gary West's Buddha were on track for exercise Sunday morning ahead of Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
Harlan's Holiday, winner of the Florida Derby, and Sunday Break, winner of his last three starts, worked Wednesday for their respective engagements in the April 13 Blue Grass Stakes and Wood Memorial.
Danthebluegrassman zipped five furlongs in :58.6 at Santa Anita Park on Monday as he posted the fastest time of the day among the 49 horses working at that distance. His workout was the highlight of a busy workday Monday for 3-year-olds at tracks across the country.
Ten horses were nominated to the 2002 Visa Triple Crown by the late deadline, which closed Saturday, March 30 at midnight. The 10 additions, each at a cost of $6,000, increased the number of nominations to a total of 415.
U S S Tinosa tuned up for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with a four-furlong work at Golden Gate Fields Sunday morning. Also working were stablemate Cappuchino, Medaglia d'Oro, Holdthehelm, Jack's Silver, Charioteer, Habibti, and Raven Power. Also, Patrick Valenzuela has been named to ride Mayakovsky in the Santa Anita Derby.
As usually happens in a year like this, a second wave hit the beach this past weekend, bringing with it some new goodies, while washing some of the old deposits out to sea.
Medaglia d'Oro wins the San Felipe Stakes, shaking up the West Coast 3-year-old scene.
High Star, third in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, turned in a sharp 5-furlong work in 1:00 4/5 at Gulfstream Park Monday in preparation for the March 16 Florida Derby.
The $200,000 Gotham Stakes, to be run Sunday March 17, could draw a talented group of 3-year-olds from different parts of the country, including two big-name colts from last year who will be making their 3-year-old debut. Coming up from Florida will be Remsen winner Saarland, who was unable to get a 7-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream to fill on three occasions.
Since the injury to Edmund Gann's Labamta Babe, Bobby Frankel has been searching for another 3-year-old colt to possibly bring him and Gann back on the Kentucky Derby trail. Once again it was former trainer Mark Reid who came through for him with his recommendation he buy Medaglia D'Oro, a 4 1/4-length winner of a six-furlong maiden race at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 9.
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