John C. Oxley's Monarchos, winner of the 127th running of the Kentucky Derby, left Churchill Downs late Wednesday morning on a journey that will take him to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course and the Preakness, the second jewel in the Visa Triple Crown.The John Ward-trained son of Maria's Mon boarded a van around 10:50 a.m. (EDT) for the short ride to Louisville International Airport. He was accompanied on the flight by Hero's Tribute, another Oxley-owned 3-year-old who will compete on the Preakness undercard on May 19.The Derby winner galloped 1 3/8-miles over a "fast" track under exercise rider Bryan Beccia before his plane ride to Baltimore. Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff said Monarchos was strong in his gallop and just as strong as he came off the track.
"He was bucking and whinnying when we pulled up and he was bucking when we came off the track," Azeff said. "He came out of the race as cocky as you want him to be. He knows it's all about him now."Oxley and his wife, Debby, were at the barn to give their Derby winner a proper sendoff.