Blue Grass Contenders in Final Workouts
With a light, cold drizzle falling, Patena put in his final major preparation for Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:00 on April 6, with jockey Robby Albarado up.
It was Patena’s second work at Keeneland since running eighth in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 14. Patena worked a half-mile in :51.80 on March 28.
“It is hard to compare the works because there were two different riders,” trainer Rick Dutrow said. “As long as the jock is happy, I’m happy.”
And the verdict on Monday’s work?
“We’re all good here,” Dutrow said.
Owned by IEAH Stables, John Sikura, et al, Joseph Bulger and James Covello, Patena has started twice this year at Fair Grounds with Albarado aboard for both races. Prior to the Louisiana Derby, Patena had run second in the grade III LeComte on Jan. 10.
The Louisiana Derby, run on a sloppy track, was Patena’s poorest effort in six career starts.
“I haven’t lost any confidence in him,” Albarado said after the work. “In the Louisiana Derby, he had been off awhile and the track was a little quirky that day. He is proven on the Polytrack and I am looking for a big effort on Saturday. He’s a nice colt.”
Trainer Ken McPeek had planned to work Theregoesjojo a half-mile on Tuesday, April 7, but a look at the weather forecast changed that and worked a day earlier.
“We’re working this morning,” McPeek said as Theregoesjojo came on the track with exercise rider Amanda Tamburello up. “I’m afraid it’s going to snow in the morning and be 22 degrees. I didn’t want to take a chance of the track being frozen.”
So, the work went on and Theregoesjojo breezed the half-mile in :48 and galloped out in 1:00.40, according to Keeneland clockers. McPeek had the gallop out in a minute flat.
“That was good. He did it easy and I got the last quarter in :23,” McPeek said. “I just didn’t want to take a chance with the weather. Before the Florida Derby, I had to work him in the mud around the dogs.”
McPeek said that Calvin Borel would have the mount on Theregoesjojo in the Blue Grass. Theregoesjojo is owned by the partnership of Samotowka Stable LLC, Delfiner Partners, George Krall and Magdalena Racing.
Trainer Todd Pletcher was at Keeneland April 6 to check in with his stable and to oversee the works by several runners, including Blue Grass hopeful Join in the Dance. The colt worked four furlongs in :49.60.
“We were just looking for a nice easy half and he did it well, finished up strongly and galloped out good,” said Pletcher, who won the Blue Grass in 2005 with Bandini and last year with Monba. “We think we’re going to run in the Blue Grass. He seems to like it here. He’s training well over the surface, so we’re going to give it a try.”
Join in the Dance is owned by Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis, in partnership with brothers Jake and Reed Ballis and Reagan and William Swinbank, all of Houston. The Ballis’ father raced Texas-bred champion sprinter Groovy and Grade 1 winner Cutlass Reality.
John Velazquez will ride Join in the Dance in the Blue Grass.
Hello Broadway, whose next start will either be in an allowance race on Friday or the Blue Grass, was sent for an April 6 workout for Barclay Tagg, going five furlongs in :59.40, and galloping out in 1:14, with Carl Allsop aboard.
“I was very happy with his work,” Tagg said. “It was a little faster than I wanted, but I thought he did it very nicely. … He does :59s very easy.”
Hello Broadway is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14. Prior to that race, he was second in the Hutcheson (gr. II) at Gulfstream.
“I’ll probably run him in the allowance race if it goes,” Tagg said. “There’s a possibility of the Blue Grass. I’m not sure. I just worked him. I want to make sure he came out of the work good.”
A homebred racing for Elizabeth J. Valando, Hello Broadway is a half-brother to 2007 Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Nobiz Like Shobiz , also a grade II winner on turf.
“Mrs. Valando is very nice to train for,” Tagg said. “I’ve got no pressure to go in the (Kentucky) Derby or in the Blue Grass. We just want to get him (Hello Broadway) running better.”
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