Monarchos was the only Derby contender working Friday, although a number of others in the race including probable favorite Point Given, Express Tour, and Thunder Blitz were out for routine exercise.
Florida Derby winner Monarchos displayed his readiness for the May 5 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) when he turned in a solid five furlong work in 1:00 4/5 at Churchill Downs on Friday. With exercise rider Bryan Beccia aboard, the son of Maria's Mon got the first three-eighths of a mile in :36 3/5, galloped out six furlongs in 1:14, and pulled up at seven-eighths of a mile in 1:28. "That's his patented workout," said trainer John Ward Jr., who observed the work from the grandstand along with owner John Oxley. "The work was very good. He's the strongest when he switches to his left lead and gallops out. That is what he did today. I'm happy."Ward said the Friday drill was the final workout for Monarchos, who will be galloped up to the classic. "He keeps himself fit by galloping," Ward said. "He gallops a mile in two minutes."With the activity on the Churchill track picking up during morning training hours, Ward said Monarchos' Derby week exercises will take place a little earlier than the Friday workout, which was conducted afer the track maintenance break.