TODAY'S DERBY WORKS (Track: Fast)
* No works by Derby 131 contendersSaturday, April 30 -
Bellamy Road, High Fly, Noble Causeway (weather permitting, could be moved to Sunday) at Churchill Downs; Wilko at Hollywood Park.Sunday, May 1 -
Bandini and Flower Alley at Churchill Downs
FRIDAY'S TOP STORIES:
* Injury Takes General John B Out Of Derby 131
* Works By Zito Trio Depend On Weather
* Don't Get Mad Prepares For Derby Trial
AFLEET ALEX - Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex made two trips to the main track at Churchill Downs on a damp Friday morning under exercise rider Salomon Diego.
Trainer Tim Ritchey took the runaway winner of the Arkansas Derby (GII) out for a two-mile jog shortly after the track opened at 6 a.m. (all times Eastern), returning to the barn in a heavy rain.
The rain dissipated shortly before the renovation break and when Ritchey returned to the track at 8:40 with Afleet Alex, there were no raindrops to dodge. On the second trip, Afleet Alex jogged a mile and then galloped a mile and an eighth.
Jeremy Rose, who has piloted the Northern Afleet colt in nine of his 10 starts, has the Derby call. Rose is riding the first two days of the Delaware Park meet on Saturday and Sunday and will returen to Louisville Sunday night and remain through the Derby.MEDIA ADVISORY: Ritchey has requested that media members with questions about Afleet Alex gather each day at 10:15 a.m. (EDT). Afleet Alex is stabled in Barn 41.ANDROMEDA'S HERO/BELLAMY ROAD/HIGH FLY/ NOBLE CAUSEWAY/ SUN KING - Trainer Nick Zito waited until the morning rains had subsided to send three of his five Kentucky Derby hopefuls to the track.Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road, Live Oak Plantation's High Fly and My Meadowview Farm's Noble Causeway galloped a mile and half, with all exercise done before the 8 a.m. renovation break. Carlos Correa was on Bellamy Road and Noble Causeway and Maxine Correa was on High Fly.
With more rain in the forecast for Friday, Zito said scheduled works for the trio could be pushed back to Sunday from Saturday. "The way it looks now, Sunday," Zito said.
Zito reported that Robert LaPenta's Andromeda's Hero came out of his Thursday work at Churchill Downs in 1:01.80 in good order and walked the shedrow this morning at Keeneland.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King walked the shedrow at Churchill Downs after working five furlongs in 1:00 on Thursday.
No rider has been confirmed for Andromeda's Hero. Other Zito riding assignments for Derby 131 are Gary Stevens (Noble Causeway), Jerry Bailey (High Fly), Edgar Prado (Sun King) and Javier Castellano (Bellamy Road).
MEDIA ADVISORY: Zito has requested that media members who wish to discuss his Derby 131 contenders gather each morning for a question-and-answer session beginning at 9:30 a.m. His horses are stabled in Barn 36.BANDINI/COIN SILVER/FLOWER ALLEY - There was no dodging the rain for trainer Todd Pletcher's three Derby hopefuls, all of whom were on the track before the renovation break.
In the first set when the track opened at 6 a.m. were Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Bandini and Peachtree Stable's Coin Silver. Frederic Buscail was on Bandini and Angel Cordero, Jr., on Flower Alley, both going about a mile and three-eighths in the "sloppy" conditions.
The Melynk Racing Stable's Flower Alley galloped the same distance under Michelle Nihei.
Stopping by Barn 42 was jockey John Velazquez, who will ride Bandini in Derby 131. Velazquez has piloted Bandini to three victories and a second in four starts in 2005.
"I think the Blue Grass was his best race yet and I think he can do a little more than that," Velazquez said. "I think he has a lot of talent."
Velazquez has been named to ride Dance Away Capote in the Kentucky Oaks the day before Derby 131 and will be shooting for an Oaks-Derby riding double that has not been accomplished since 1993 when Jerry Bailey won the Oaks on Dispute and the Derby on Sea Hero.
Given the forecast for more rain Friday, Pletcher said Bandini and Flower Alley likely would work Sunday rather than Saturday with Coin Silver penciled in for Monday.BUZZARDS BAY - Fog City Stable's Buzzards Bay jogged one mile and galloped a mile and half at Santa Anita. Trainer Jeff Mullins said the Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner would repeat the routine up to a scheduled six-furlong breeze on Monday. The son of Marco Bay is due to board a plane for Louisville on Wednesday.CLOSING ARGUMENT - Philip and Marcia Cohen's Closing Argument galloped a mile and half at Keeneland. The Successful Appeal colt will board a van for Churchill Downs on Saturday at 1 p.m. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said he will gallop and/or work five furlongs on Sunday, weather permitting. Otherwise, the breeze will get pushed back to Monday.CONSOLIDATOR/GOING WILD - Bob and Beverly Lewis' two Kentucky Derby hopefuls, Consolidator and Going Wild, galloped early Friday morning.
Stacy Maker was on Consolidator and Derek Smith on Going Wild.
No rider has been confirmed for Going Wild. Rafael Bejarano has the call on Consolidator.DON'T GET MAD - B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad put in his preparations for Saturday's Derby Trial by visiting the paddock and galloping a mile and eighth under exercise rider Shane Borel.
"We were disappointed in his last race (a sixth in the Santa Anita Derby). It was kind of flat and we hope to rebound Saturday if the Derby is an option," trainer Ron Ellis said. "We found no reason why he ran so poorly. He runs well here and he worked well the other day with Robby Albarado on him. We are excited that he will turn it around. We are going to take him off Lasix. Maybe that had an adverse effect on him."GENERAL JOHN B - A tendon injury has knocked Ross McLeod's Turf Paradise Derby winner General John B out of the Kentucky Derby (GI).
Trainer Roger Stein said the colt suffered a strain of the tendon under the left front knee. The injury was discovered after a Friday morning jog.
"It's not a big injury," said Stein. "I just can't run a horse against the top 3-year olds in America if he's not 100 percent."
Stein said the colt's condition would be re-evaluated within two weeks to determine how long the son of Sweetsouthernsaint would be out of competition. Stein believes the injury occurred during a Tuesday workout at Santa Anita."Whatever damage is there probably happened during it," said Stein. "This morning he jogged and seemed fine. But there's a big difference between jogging and running in the Kentucky Derby."
The defection left the colt's connections disappointed, but optimistic.
"I was going to have a suit tailored on Tuesday," Stein commented. "I had bought tickets for my two best friends. The timing is obviously bad. The owners took it great and said 'We'll be back,' and that's good enough for me."
General John B has a record of 3-1-1 in seven starts and has earned $258,228.GIACOMO - Mr. And Mrs. Jerome Moss' Giacomo galloped a mile and a half at Hollywood Park. The son of Holy Bull is scheduled for a five-furlong work on Sunday, according to trainer John Shirreffs. The fourth-place finisher in the Santa Anita Derby is set to travel to Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 4.GREATER GOOD - Lewis Lakin's Greater Good walked the shedrow a day after working six furlongs in 1:17.40."I went back and looked at the tape of the work and he did 26 (seconds) for the last quarter and seven-eighths in (1) 31, so I think he got enough out of it," trainer Bob Holthus said. "Since the break in the Southwest, he gets anxious and that is uncharacteristic of the style that he was used to up to that time. We are trying to get him back to that level."
John McKee has the Derby call.GREELEY'S GALAXY - Trainer Warren Stute looked in on his Kentucky Derby hopeful at Barn 47 before heading back to California. Greeley's Galaxy worked a mile in 1:40.60 on Thursday.
"He is very good this morning," said Stute, who at age 83 could become the oldest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby. Charlie Whittingham was 76 when Sunday Silence won the Run for the Roses in 1989.
Stute said Greeley's Galaxy would return to the track in the morning to gallop and work five furlongs Wednesday if the colt makes the Derby field. As a supplemental nominee to the Kentucky Derby, Greeley's Galaxy would be excluded from the field if the names of more than 20 horses are dropped in the entry box Wednesday. Preference for Derby entries is given to original nominees.
"I'd like to see a work in 59 (seconds) or a minute," Stute said. "If he doesn't get in, maybe an easy half. Plan B would be wait for the Preakness or Texas (for the Lone Star Derby)."
Kent Desormeaux has the Derby call if the Mr. Greeley colt gets in.HIGH LIMIT - Gary and Mary West's High Linmit walked the shedrow a day after working six furlongs in 1:13.80. Ramon Dominguez has the riding assignment for Derby 131.SORT IT OUT - Stonerside Stable LLC & Preferred Pals Stable's Sort It Out galloped a mile and half before the renovation break with exercise rider Mick Jenner up.WILKO - Wilko galloped a mile and a quarter at Hollywood Park. The Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner will breeze Saturday. According to trainer Craig Dollase, the work will cover five furlongs with jockey Corey Nakatani aboard. The son of Awesome Again is due in to Churchill Downs on Sunday.
KENTUCKY OAKS 131 NOTES - April 28, 2005KENTUCKY OAKS 131 WORK TAB
FRIDAY, April 29 (Track: SLOPPY)
* Rugula breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60.SATURDAY, April 30 -
Memorette will breeze Saturday or Sunday at Churchill Downs, depending on weather; Gallant Secret at Keeneland.FRIDAY'S TOP STORY:
* Rugula Joins Oaks Cast At "Bullet" Churchill Work
* Memorette Prepares For Weekend Work
* Gallant Secret Set For Keeneland BreezeDANCE AWAY CAPOTE - Pandora Farms' Dance Away Capote jogged "one turn" with exercise rider Leigh Offutt up from trainer Graham Motion a day after working five furlongs in 1:02.
John Velazquez has the Oaks riding assignment.GALLANT SECRET - Elkhorn Oaks Inc.'s Gallant Secret galloped on the training track at Keeneland under exercise rider Carlos Rodriguez for trainer James Jackson.
Jackson plans to work Gallant Secret five furlongs in the morning over the Keeneland training track.
Mike Smith has the Oaks riding assignment on the filly who will van over to Churchill Downs the morning of the Oaks.IN THE GOLD - Live Oak Plantation's In the Gold walked the shedrow at Keeneland, a day after working six furlongs in 1:14.80 at Keeneland. The Nick Zito trainee will be ridden in the Oaks by Rafael Bejarano.
MEMORETTE - Instead of working over a sloppy track in rainy conditions, handler of Betty Currin's Memorette opted for a slow gallop before the renovation break.
"We just wanted to stretch her legs," said Ignacio Correas, assistant to trainer Bill Currin. "She can go (work) Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather."
Memorette has been at Churchill Downs since Monday and has adapted well according to Correas.
"She likes it here, much better than Keeneland," Correas said. "She is like the filly we had in California."Kent Desormeaux has the Oaks riding assignment.RUNWAY MODEL - Naveed Chowan's Runway Model walked the shedrow a day after working a bullet four furlongs in 48.20.
Trainer Bernie Flint plans to send the daughter of Petionville back to the track Saturday for a two-mile gallop under regular exercise rider Georgia Jackson.
Patrick Valenzuela has the Oaks riding assignment.RUGULA - Working after the renovation break with regular rider Greta Kuntzweiler up, Rugula fired a bullet five-eighths of 1:00.60, the best of 23 moves at the distance over the sloppy track."I was very pleased," trainer Grant Forster said. "Obviously, it was not a perfect track. Obviously, it is a big race and you want to have a big work, but at the same time you want to protect her a little bit. It wasn't ideal conditions. But I thought she handled it really well. She is bred to handle an off track. I had never worked her over one before, but she has galloped over one. It would not hurt my feelings if it is like that Oaks day."
After consulting with owners Al and Saundra Kirkwood after the work, Forster said the decision was made to run in the Oaks over the LaTroienne (GIII) scheduled for Thursday.
"The big key is the size of the field and the work today," Forster said. "We're here and she is doing well and it is not every day you get a chance to run in a Grade I. There will be other Grade III's and hundred-granders this summer, but the race seems to be coming up a little weaker than usual and I feel we have a legitimate shot to finish in the first three."SIS CITY - Stonerside Stable's Sis City jogged a mile under exercise rider Michelle Nevin. Trainer Rick Dutrow is scheduled to return to Louisville from his New York base on Saturday.
Edgar Prado is slated to ride Sis City in the Oaks.SUMMERLY - Winchell Thoroughbreds' Summerly galloped under exercise rider Carmen Rojas before the renovation break.
Jerry Bailey will ride in the Oaks.