Illinois Derby winner Recapturetheglory

Illinois Derby winner Recapturetheglory

Four Footed Fotos

Recapturetheglory Works 5 Furlongs

Recapturetheglory breezes Friday instead of Saturday.

Recapturetheglory wasn't scheduled to work Friday morning at Churchill Downs, but trainer and co-owner Louie Roussel changed  his plan for the colt.  With jockey E.T. Baird up, the 3-year-old son of Cherokee Runbreezed five furlongs in 1:01.20, then galloped out in 1:15. His fractions were :12.20, 24.40, 35.80, and :48.40. Had Recapturetheglory just galloped, he probably would have worked over the weekend.

Roussel said he made the change because the weather Friday was warm and sunny and there was a threat of showers in Louisville for the next several days.

“He (Recapturetheglory) didn’t make a phone call to me to tell me ‘I’m ready to go,’ ” Roussel joked.

Recapturetheglory is coming into the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) off a four-length victory in the April 5 Illinois Derby (gr. II). Friday’s move was termed a “maintenance work” by Roussel. Asked to define a maintenance work, he said: “If you can look at an individual and you can see, in your mind, that he’s fit and you can see some ribs showing, then you know he’s not carrying any excess fat. You’re going do something with him that’s going to keep him at that level, but not hurt him.”

Recapturetheglory’s most recent work prior to Friday was a five-furlong move in 1:01 April 17.

“I did a little bit too much with him,” Roussel said. “The van trip down from Chicago was supposed to be six hours; it was eight. And I was worried because I wanted to get his major work done Thursday and I kind of overdid it a little bit with him. Instead of him getting right into it, it knocked him back a little bit, so this last week has been kind of like a time to try to build him back up again.”

“The real secret, I think, in these works,” Roussel continued, “is to keep them happy so they stay in the feed tub. If he’s eating up everything afterward, then it’s been great. If he backs out of the feed tub, then I did too much and I’ll have to take the responsibility for it.”

Recapturetheglory is scheduled to walk Saturday and Sunday before returning to the track Monday.

“It’s hard to get a horse ready to peak for one time in his whole 3-year-old year; he has to be at his best the first Saturday in May,” Roussel said.  “This is the ultimate race. This is it. If you win this race, you define your horse’s career with it. The major things are out of the way now. We’ll just have to be ready for the race. He’ll gallop into the race.”