Trainer Todd Pletcher reported he was pleased with the April 27 workouts by three of his possible starters in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and said a decision on which would actually start in the 1¼-mile classic would be made April 28.
Pletcher’s trio of Advice, Join in the Dance, and Take the Points were on the track when there was an horrific accident in front of the grandstand that resulted in one horse being euthanized. The accident did not affect the Pletcher Derby horses.
WinStar Farm’s Advice, winner of the Lexington Stakes (gr. II), worked a half-mile in :47 1/5 while galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:00. Stablemates Join in the Dance and Take the Points were each timed in 1:00 1/5 for five furlongs.
"The track was pretty lively this morning. They were skipping right over it pretty easily,” said Pletcher, whose other Derby contender, Dunkirk, is expected to arrive in Louisville April 28. “I thought all three of them breezed very well. Join in the Dance has always been an enthusiastic work horse. He actually settled very well and galloped out strongly. I thought Advice seemed to handle the track very well…it looked like he was getting over the ground well. Take the Points settled nicely off another horse and finished nicely.”
While it appeared at one point that Join in the Dance and Take the Points might not meet the graded stakes earnings necessary to make the 20-horse Derby field, it now appears that any of the Pletcher horses could run.
“We are pleased enough with all of the works this morning…I was satisfied with what I saw. Now it is a matter of talking to the connections and see whether we want to go ahead and take a shot with any of the three or go ahead and wait on another occasion.”
A son of Chapel Royal, Advice was bred in Florida by Carolyn and Sam H. Rogers Jr. and was a $170,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. February purchase. From six starts, he has two victories – a maiden special weight and the Lexington – to his credit, with earnings of $261,885.
Advice is the first stakes winner for his dam, the Hennessy mare Word o’ Wisdom, who has produced three starters, all winners.
Owned by Starlight Partners, Take the Points was bred in Kentucky by Phoenix Farm and was sold for $160,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale. The son of Even the Score was produced from the Fred Astaire mare Ginger Ginger, who was winless in one start and is the dam of Hoosier Park stakes winner Tin Man Coming.
He has won a maiden special and an allowance race in six starts and earned $156,190. He finished second in the grade III Sham Stakes before a fourth-place effort – 2¾ lengths behind Pioneerof the Nile in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
An experienced colt with eight starts, Join in the Dance races for John Ballis, Reagan Swinbank, and NBA star Rashard Lewis. With one win, three seconds, and a third and earnings of $164,220, Join in the Dance comes into the Derby off a second in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and a fifth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II).
One of two winners produced from the unraced Devil’s Bag mare Dance Darling, the Sky Mesa colt was bred in Kentucky by The Answer.