Late-developing Ten Cents a Shine worked his worked into the field for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby when he breezed five furlongs in :59 1/5 at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
With jockey Calvin Borel aboard, the son of Devil His Due was the first horse to work when the track opened at 5:15 a.m. (ET). Owner Ken Ramsey observed from the grandstand as Ten Cents a Shine worked with stablemate Involvement. After both horses warmed up, Involvement left from the five-eighths pole about six or seven lengths in front of Ten Cents a Shine. Borel and Ten Cents a Shine never caught Involvement until the pair was just past the finish line.
The workout was sufficient enough to convince trainer D. Wayne Lukas that Ten Cents a Shine deserves a spot in the Derby field despite being beaten more than 43 lengths in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 12. "This horse is coming along well and I think he should go (in the Derby)," Lukas said.
The Hall of Fame trainer said considering the number of lengths Ten Cents a Shine spotted Involvement, it is understandable that he did not catch him during the breeze. "If he catches the rabbit (Involvement), that means we going in :58 (seconds for five furlongs) and we are not going in :58 unless we are getting a check (in a race). This horse is a true mile and quarter horse and we know he can get the distance."
"He worked good. He has turned around a lot," Borel said in reference to the progress that Ten Cents a Shine has made since t he Blue Grass.
After the Blue Grass, it was detected that a sharp edge on a tooth was cutting into the side of the colt's mouth, causing discomfort. A cap on the tooth was removed and the sharp edge filed off. The colt then returned to track, turning in a sharp workout of :58 3/5 for five furlongs, the fastest time of the day at the distance on April 19.
Owner Ramsey acknowledged that he would not be as optimistic of the Derby prospects for Ten Cents a Shine were it not for Lukas, who has four Derby winners to his credit.
"The man is a legend in his own time," said Ramsey, who had two other Derby prospects -- Badge of Silver and Nothing to Lose -- fall off the Derby trail due to injuries. You just have to throw those last three races (Blue Grass, unplaced in the Fountain of Youth and San Felipe) out. I hate to keep making excuses and I believe if you have got a bad horse that doesn't belong, you've got a horse that doesn't belong. But Wayne says we won't be embarrassed and that he will hit the board."