Borrego among Derby hopefuls getting in a rain-soaked work on Sunday morning.

Borrego among Derby hopefuls getting in a rain-soaked work on Sunday morning.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Wimbledon, Borrego Log Works After the Break

Sunday morning's heavy downpour subsided just in time for James McIngvale's Wimbledon to work shortly after the renovation break with regular exercise rider Dana Barnes aboard. The big gray son of Wild Rush posted a bullet five furlongs in :59 2/5 over a sloppy main track at Churchill Downs. In company with stablemate Determined, clockers caught Wimbledon splits of :12 2/5, :24 1/5, :36 3/5, :48 1/5 with a six-furlong gallop out time of 1:12 3/5.

Trainer Bob Baffert clocked him galloping out a mile in 1:41 4/5.

"It was his last major work," Baffert said. "Now we'll just put him back on the battery charger.

"I'm happy with how he went," he said. " I was afraid of the way the track might be; today it was a more demanding track and he handled it well."

During the break in training hours Sunday, the track was floated by the track maintenance crew.

Wimbledon's scheduled to return to the track on Tuesday and gallop up to Saturday's race.

Wimbledon, who won the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) in his last start April 3. Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will ride the colt in the Derby.

Out of the Darn That Alarm mare Strawberry Clover, Wimbledon was a $425,000 Fasig-Tipton Calder sale 2-year-old last February.

Also entering the track just after the break was Borrego, who logged five furlongs in an easy 1:03 3/5 under exercise rider Andy Durnin. The chestnut son of El Prado reeled off splits of :13, :25 4/5, :37 4/5 and :51 1/5 before galloping out in 1:19 3/5.

"He doesn't need a lot of work," trainer Beau Greely said. "He's a pretty fit horse. I told Andy to go in 1:02 or 1:03, so it was just right. We got a fresh track, which was good, but this horse seems to handle anything. I think he's sitting on his best race coming up; he needs to be."

Kentucky-bred Borrego, who is bred and owned by the partnership of Ralls and Foster, Greeley, Brad Scott, and Jon Kelly, finished second in the April 10 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and March 7 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) after finishing second in the Sham Stakes back in February. He hasn't won since taking a 1 1/16-mile allowance event at Santa Anita back in late December.

"The Louisiana (Derby) was a good race and in the Sham he ran against good horses," Greely said. "We would have loved to have won the Arkansas, but we just wanted to see him finish. My opinion is that we needed to have that (a strong finish in his final prep) to be here.

"He's a happy horse and is really starting to come into himself," he said. " This is the goal of a lifetime. Just getting here is fun, now we want to win it. As long as the horse is happy, it makes it easier on the trainer."

Borrego, who is out of the Strike the Gold mare Sweet as Honey, will walk on Monday before returning to the track Tuesday. He'll also gallop up to the Derby. Victor Espinoza has the call.