<br><a target="blank" href="!i=2469047330&k=GJWVSmj">Order This Photo</a>

Order This Photo

Anne M. Eberhardt

Pletcher Contenders on Track at Churchill

Trainer sends out two of five Kentucky Derby contenders for April 21 workouts.

Two of trainer Todd Pletcher's top contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) continued to progress toward the May 4 classic with solid workouts at Churchill Downs the morning of April 21.

Verrazano , second on the Derby points list and undefeated in four starts, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 in company with Authenticity (1:00 2/5). The impressive Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner was timed in fractional splits of :13, :25 1/5, and :36 4/5. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 1/5, seven furlongs in 1:26 4/5, and a mile in 1:41 3/5. The breeze was third best of 40 horses working that distance on a nice, sunny morning under the Twin Spires.

The son of More Than Ready  also won the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) for the Let's Go Stable of Kevin Scatuorchio and Bryan Sullivan, Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor.

"I thought he went great; he seemed to get over the track well and I liked what I saw," Pletcher said of Verrazano. "We wanted a good, five furlong breeze and we wanted him to sit behind another horse, finish up good, and gallop out strong. And we accomplished that."

Also working for Pletcher was WinStar Farm's Revolutionary , the game winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) who breezed four furlongs in :48 4/5, 22nd fastest work of the day among 81 horses working that distance The son of War Pass, who has won or placed in all six career starts, worked inside of stablemate Red Rifle in fractional splits of :12 3/5, :24 4/5, and :37. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 and six furlongs in 1:15 1/5.

Pletcher said three-time Derby winner Calvin Borel was aboard Revolutionary for the first time for the workout and that horse and rider paired well.

"We wanted Calvin to get familiar with him and we wanted a little less from him," Pletcher said. "I loved the way he galloped out and Calvin was real happy with him. You need to see horses work well over this track and gallop out well and that's what we saw this morning. To me that's very important."

Borel, who won the 2010 Derby for Pletcher and WinStar with Super Saver , picked up the Derby mount on Revolutionary after Javier Castellano opted to ride Normandy Invasion .

"Calvin is a terrific rider and is at his best at Churchill Downs," Pletcher said. "With the success we had with Super Saver, it seemed like a no-brainer to me."

Pletcher, who also will be represented by Overanalyze , Palace Malice , and Charming Kitten in the Derby, said no decision has been made on whether Winning Cause would be his sixth representative in the classic. The 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway  earned 20 points toward the Derby with his win in the April 20 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. Immediately following the Lexington, contested two weeks before the Derby, Pletcher said it was 80% unlikely the colt would be pointed toward the Derby.

"Winning Cause came out of the Lexington well, but I have not talked to the owners about it (Derby)," Pletcher said. "We'll see."

Todd Pletcher comments on his Kentucky Derby contenders: