Desert Party working at Churchill Downs on April 25.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Desert Party working at Churchill Downs on April 25.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Godolphin's Desert Party on Track for Derby

One of two Kentucky Derby contenders for his owner and his trainer.

Desert Party  was the second of two Godolphin Racing horses on the track at Churchill Downs April 25 to complete his works for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and his :59 3/5 timing for five furlongs was second only behind stablemate Regal Ransom’s bullet work of :59 1/5.

Hooking up with a horse from another stable working at the same time, the son of Darley stallion Street Cry went in fractional split times of :12 3/5, :24 3/5, :36 2/5, and :48 1/5 for a half-mile as he galloped out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 and seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said he wanted the colt to get a good start and then pick it up late in the work. “In the last three furlongs, he started to take off…the way he worked, he worked really good. That time of :59 3/5 was very good.”

Bin Suroor said he was not surprised by the quick times turned in by the pair April 25, noting both are quick in the mornings. Reflecting on their previous workouts at Churchill, with Desert Party breezing five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 April 18, bin Suroor said both horses are improving.

“Both horses show a good turn of foot, always, but this time they both look happier,” he said.

Bred in Kentucky by David Smith and Steven Sinatra, Desert Party was purchased for $2.1 million at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale of 2-year-olds in training. After breaking his maiden, the colt won the grade II Sanford Stakes at Saratoga before finishing sixth in the Hopeful.

Beginning his sophomore campaign in Dubai, the colt, who is out of the Tabasco Cat mare Sage Cat, defeated stablemate Regal Ransom in an allowance and UAE Two Thousand Guineas (UAE- III). In his final Kentucky Derby prep, Desert Party was unable to continue his dominance over Regal Ransom, finishing second in the UAE Derby (UAE-II).