It was a busy day Monday at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park for horses pointing toward the Kentucky Derby. In one development, German-bred Flying Dash was taken out of consideration for the Derby after his workout.
First, the horses that worked at Churchill Downs, with workout times, fractional splits, and gallop out times, where available:Easy Grades:
7 furlongs, 1:29 2/5; fractional splits of :25 3/5, :38 2/5, :52 4/5, and 1:17 2/5.Flying Dash:
6 furlongs, 1:15 1/5Lusty Latin:
4 furlongs, :49 1/5Private Emblem:
4 furlongs, :51 2/5; splits of :13, :26, and :38 2/5.Windward Passage:
4 furlongs, :50; fractional split of :25 4/5 and gallop out time of 1:03 2/5 for 5 furlongs.
Workingat Belmont Park were:Blue Burner:
5 furlongs, 1:02.97.Saarland:
4 furlongs, :47.21.
Now for the details.
After Flying Dash worked 6 furlongs in 1:15 1/5 over the main track, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale said that he will recommend against running the Transylvania Stakes winner in the Kentucky Derby.
"At this point I think I'm inclined to leave this horse on grass," Drysdale said of Flying Dash. Drysdale, who is also pointing Sunday Break toward the Derby, said the final decision on Flying Dash would be made by owner Fusao Sekiguchi, who won the 2000 Derby with Fusaichi Pegasus.
Drysdale, who had said before Monday's workout that he was using it as an opportunity to see how Flying Dash would take to dirt, had initially considered this Saturday's Derby Trial as a Kentucky Derby prep for the colt. Now, he will consider running Flying Dash in the Crown Royal Turf. He said that decision would be determined by the weight assignment for the race.
Meanwhile, trainer Steve Asmussen said Arkansas Derby winner Private Emblem appeared "flat" in his half-mile work in :51 2/5, with stablemate Windward Passage looking better as he went four furlongs in :50. Jockey Donnie Meche was aboard for both workouts. "He's usually a little more aggressive a work horse than that," Asmussen said of Private Emblem. "Hopefully he will be a little stronger and a little sharper through the week leading up to the Derby."
"Windward Passage is very workmanlike," Asmussen said of the third-place finisher (in a dead heat) in the Arkansas Derby. Asmussen said both horses will have one more workout prior to the Derby.
Trainer Ted H. West said Easy Grades appeared to take to the Churchill surface fine when he worked seven eighths of a mile in 1:29 2/5. "We just wanted to get him over the track and get a little bit into him," West said. Jockey Jorge Chavez, who picked up the mount on Easy Grades after Booklet dropped out of consideration for the Derby, was aboard for the workout. West said Easy Grades will work again, probably Sunday.
Likewise, trainer Jeff Mullins expressed satisfaction with how Lusty Latin took to the track. He noted that the horse's performances took a turnaround for the better after he underwent surgery to remove an undescended testicle.
"I thought he worked very well for us," said regular jockey Glenn Corbett, who was aboard for the work.
Trainer Bill Mott was satisfied with Blue Burner's workout in New York. "He worked very well and I was pleased with the way he finished up," Mott said.
Blue Burner and Saarland will both ship to Churchill Downs on Thursday.