Brother Derek Breezes 6F for Santa Catalina

(from Santa Anita notes)
Brother Derek, California's leading contender for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 6, worked six furlongs Thursday at Santa Anita in a bullet 1:12 1/5 under regular rider Alex Solis.

Trainer Dan Hendricks is pointing Brother Derek for the March 4 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.

"He was just breezing, not as aggressive as last time," trainer Dan Hendricks said of the California-bred son of Benchmark. "We took a little edge off him and everything looks good. He doesn't require a lot of works. I don't need to work him every five or six days and really pound him. He stays fit on his own. He'll do a little something (blowout) next Wednesday or Thursday and that should be it."

Hendricks, a 47-year-old native of Los Angeles, has never run a horse in the Kentucky Derby or any Triple Crown race, for that matter. He has been training on his own since 1987 after spending nine years with Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.

"It's fun," Hendricks said of the nationwide media attention focused on his colt, who is leading many of the Derby polls after wins in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and the San Rafael (gr. II). "Like I've always said, I'd rather have the favorite going into any race than a 20-1 shot. There's a first time for everything and this is a lot of fun. I just hope we can sustain it, keep it going and stay healthy."

Added Solis about Brother Derek's work: "He was so relaxed he made the track look fast. The track was loose but he still went 1:12 1/5, just breezing. He was real happy."