Derby Hopefuls Thunder Blitz, Tincin Work

Flamingo Stakes (gr. III) winner Thunder Blitz worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Saturday morning, getting the distance in 1:00 3/5. The Stronach Stable homebred was sent out after the renovation break and completed the work under exercise rider Keith Ricks.

"It was excellent," trainer Joe Orseno said. "He never goes out by himself and works real fast. He went out and handled the track perfect. I got him in 1:00 4/5 and out six furlongs in 1:14. More importantly, I got him out the mile in 1:44 and a mile and an eighth in 2:00. He definitely keeps going, and that has been his quality that I have liked all along."

The work was the first for Holy Bull colt since winning the Flamingo. Orseno said his next work will occur next weekend.

"He has galloped since the Flamingo," said Orseno. "I have been putting a lot of miles into him, and two-minute licked him once. His first scheduled work was today, and that was by design."

Another possible Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starter was on track at Churchill Downs Saturday morning -- Tina Larue and Cynthia Clements' maiden Tincin. He worked four furlongs in :48, the co-fastest of 38 such works on the day.

"I was pleased," said trainer Steve Larue. "The last five days at Churchill Downs, that's right on the money. There has been only one horse work faster the last five days. He's a good horse."

Though he may be a good horse, Tincin is also winless in seven career starts, which does not fit the historical profile for a Derby winner. It also begs the question -- why start in the Derby?

"He has always black-letter worked all his life," Larue explained. "We have had this dream since he was a yearling. He always worked good as a 2-year-old, and never failed to work black letters everywhere he has been. On Breeders' Cup day here last November, he worked the last three-eighths in :34 2/5 and had the fastest work of the day."

"I think the crowds bother him," Larue continued. "We worked on that today. We changed all the equipment on him. He had blinkers, shadow roll; we threw the kitchen sink at him."

Attendance at last year's Derby was 153,204.