Under exercise rider Joanna Trout, Flying Spur worked four furlongs in :48.40 and was timed in 1:01.80 galloping out another furlong in preparation for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs April 27.
“It looked nice,” trainer Bill Mott said. “We had a long wait before we worked, but she handled it well. It turned out okay. It was not a problem.”
Flying Spur’s breeze was scheduled to take place after the track reopened at 8:30 a.m. right after the renovation break, but was delayed when a loose horse ran into another horse in the stretch.
Garrett Gomez has the Oaks riding assignment on Mike Rutherford’s filly.
“She came out great,” Baffert said of the Sunland Oaks winner. “She looked great today.”
Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Gabby’s Golden Galwill be ridden in the Oaks by Victor Espinoza.
Baffert said he was impressed by the unbeaten Rachel Alexandra, who worked Monday morning.
“Man, she just looks fantastic,” Baffert said. “What a racemare. She’s a superstar.”
After walking the shedrow for the previous two mornings, Justwhistledixie was sent to the track to gallop 1 1/2 miles just before the renovation break at Churchill Downs Monday morning. Exercise rider Danny Wright was aboard the daughter of Dixie Union, who had worked four furlongs in :49 April 24.
“She was happy today; she was fresh,” said Neal McLaughlin, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s assistant and brother. “She was excited. She didn’t want to stand and look like she normally does; she just wanted to get on with her gallop. That’ll get her back into her routine. (Tuesday) I’m sure she’ll stand longer and relax, but she’s real happy right now.”
Although exuberant about her morning exercise Monday, Justwhistledixie poses no problems for her connections.
“She’s really laid back,” said McLaughlin. “She’s really easy on herself. She’s not a difficult to train. She doesn’t try to do too much. She’s just very smart and very easy to train. She does everything right. In her races, she’s more of a stalking filly. If there’s no pace, she can be up front. If there’s pace, she can sit back. She doesn’t need anything, where a lot of other horses need the pace to themselves or other horses to go out there to set a lot of pace so they can close. She dictates her own race, so that’s really nice to have in a big race like this.”
Julien Leparoux, who was aboard Justwhistledixie for the first time during her victory in the Bonnie Miss (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, has the return mount aboard the filly who will be seeking her sixth straight win in the Oaks.