Line of David works at Churchill Downs on Monday, April 26.

Line of David works at Churchill Downs on Monday, April 26.

Mathea Kelley

Line of David Struggles in the Mud

Effort "wasn't really the work we wanted," says trainer John Sadler.

Line of David’s effort at Churchill Downs April 26 “wasn’t really the work we wanted,” said his trainer, John Sadler, after the son of Lion Heart posted a time of 1:15 for six furlongs. With exercise rider Lupillo Alferez aboard, providing left-handed urging with a whip, the chestnut colt turned in splits of  :11 4/5, :23 3/5, :35 3/5, :48 1/5, and 1:01 1/5.

Owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, Line of David is coming into the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) off a three-race win streak that includes a neck victory over Super Saver  in the April 10 Arkansas Derby (gr. I). But Sadler’s charge wasn’t at the top of his game in his final major move before Saturday's Run for the Roses.

“He looked fine and everything, but he didn’t work that well,” Sadler said. “We think he didn’t like the sealed racetrack. It’s a wet, hard track, and he just didn’t really care for it. He didn’t really grab it that great. He galloped on it Saturday (April 24) and he didn’t love it when it was sloppy wet. I was hoping we would catch some good weather today, but it didn’t happen. The best we can do is hope we don’t catch this kind of a track for the Derby.”

Sadler plans to keep a close eye on the weather forecast for Derby Day (May 1), and how Line of David acts for the next several days. According to, Derby Day will be breezy with variable clouds.

“We’re going to look at him real closely today, check him out physically, and then go from there,” Sadler said. “We want to see him have some good gallops here the rest of this week, and hopefully we’ll have some kind of normal type fast tracks that he can go over. He’ll walk tomorrow and then he’ll gallop the rest of the days up to the Derby.”

Asked if Line of David would be scratched if the track was wet Derby Day, Sadler replied: “We’re too far out for that (decision). We’ll wait and see how the week goes.”

Even if there is rainy weather May 1 the track “would probably have a little more cut to it,” the trainer said.

Out of the Capote mare Emma's Dilemma, Line of David was bred in Florida by Sabine Stable.