Blue Grass winner Stately Victor<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Blue Grass winner Stately Victor
Order This Photo

Mathea Kelley

Maker Sets Plans for His Derby Qualifiers

Stately Victor in excellent shape following his 40-1 upset in the Toyota Blue Grass.

Trainer Mike Maker said April 11 that he has plotted a path for Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Stately Victor to get to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May following the son of Ghostzapper 's 4 1/4-length win at odds of 40-1 a day earlier.

“He will work six or seven days out from the Derby and that will be it,” said Maker, who never has had a Kentucky Derby starter but expects to have two this year. He also conditions Dean's Kitten, winner of the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) March 27 at Turfway Park, for Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Back at his Trackside Training Center stable in Louisville, Maker said Tom and Jack Conway’s Stately Victor "came out of the race fine, excellent."

Maker was asked if Stately Victor had not won at Keeneland April 10, what would he have done with the colt.

“I really didn’t go any further than yesterday, but probably a conditioned allowance race,” Maker said. Stately Victor came into the Blue Grass with one win in seven starts and earnings of $43,213.

Now, Maker is looking forward the Kentucky Derby in 20 days. The trainer has also set a program for Dean's Kitten.

"He worked well yesterday (1:01 4/5 for five furlongs at Trackside) and he will work every Saturday or Sunday prior to the Derby,” Maker said.

Regarding some of the other Toyota Blue Grass runners:

Donegal Racing’s Paddy O'Prado and Donald Dizney’s First Dude , who ran 2-3 for trainer Dale Romans, both came out of the race fine. The $150,000 that Paddy O’Prado earned in the race increased his graded earnings to $250,950 and possibly secured the colt a spot in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby starting gate. He ranks 19th as of April 11.

“I am not sure when he will ship back to Churchill Downs,” Romans said from Louisville of Paddy O’Prado, who has been at Keeneland for more than two weeks. “First Dude came back here last night after the race.”

Wertheimer and Frere's Interactif, the 3-1 favorite who finished fourth, returned to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn at Churchill Downs. Aikenite , who ran eighth, remains at Keeneland.

Ellen and Peter O. Johnson’s Make Music for Me, who finished sixth in the Blue Grass, definitely will continue on to Churchill Downs. The Bernstein colt is 25th on the list of graded stakes earnings among Derby hopefuls with $218,750, so he would only earn a spot in the Derby starting gate with the defections of horses ahead of him.

“The horse will probably stay here another week then go to Churchill,” Barba said about Make Music for Me’s immediate schedule.

Trainer Wesley Ward said the Ramseys' Pleasant Prince, who ran seventh, came out of the race well.

“He is perfect this morning. We scoped him after the race yesterday and he scoped clean,” Ward said.

Pleasant Prince picked up $3,750 in the Blue Grass to increase his graded stakes earnings to $166,250, good for only 29th on the list of horses considering a Kentucky Derby run.

“We gave it a shot yesterday to get the earnings,” Ward said. “We are going to train like we are going to the Derby, but we are in trouble. (Jockey) Julien (Leparoux) told Mr. Ramsey after the race to just throw it out because he didn’t handle the track.

“We will probably go on to the Preakness (gr. I). We will get Julien (Leparoux) to breeze him here a couple of times.”

Padua Stables’ Odysseus, who faded to ninth after setting the pace, is likely headed to New York this week.

“He will probably ship back to Belmont Park on Tuesday or Wednesday and we will regroup from there,” said Dan Blacker, assistant to trainer Tom Albertrani. “He came out of the race fine, but yesterday was a real head scratcher. We have no explanation (for how he ran).”