Putting in the Final Works

Shackleford Turns Heads This Morning

Only 7 more days until the 137th Running of the Kentucky Derby.  With the days winding down, contenders have been busy this week taking care of their final preparations.  Training in the sport of kings is no different from any other sport or endurance competitions — workouts are key to sustaining the fitness level and form that a horse has been building all season long.  The weeks or days between their final prep race and the derby is when a trainer can begin to get a sense that a peak performance may be beginning to blossom.

While workouts may not be as important to some, it is still an essential element of consideration for everyone that is visiting the betting window come next Saturday.  Over the last couple of weeks there has been a consistent variety of breezes and gallops that will be catching the eye of handicappers before they place their bets.  So lets take a look at a healthy amount of workout notes over the last seven days.

Today’s Track Condition at Churchill Downs: Fast, Dry

ArchArchArch: On Friday morning, the colt drilled quickly through 5 F, finishing in :59.40.  Under derby jockey Jon Court, he fired though his first 2 Furlongs at 11.60 and :23, followed by splits of :35, :47.60, and :59.40. In the end he galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.80.  A solid one, this was the colt’s final work before The Kentucky Derby.

Animal Kingdom: Trainer Graham Motion got the answer he was looking for.  In his first work on the dirt at Churchill Downs, this morning, Derby rider Robbie Albarado got him through 6 furlongs in 1:13.  Galloping out,  he displayed the comfort level his connections wanted to see, so expect this colt to enter the field.

Dialed In: Staying within his comfort zone, Trainer Nick Zito elected to remain at a quiet Palm Meadows for the colt’s final work on Thursday. Sent out alongside stablemate Miner’s Reserve the two eased through the opening furlong in 12.09 and a quarter in 24.47.  Pulling away, Dialed In went 4 F in :48.40 before galloping out the final furlong in 1:01.46.  Coming out clean the probable favorite looked good.  Dialed In arrived at Churchill Downs today and is not expected to work again.

Mucho Macho Man:  Also taking to the track this morning for his final work, the colt went 5 F in 1:00.2 following :12.4, :25.2, :37.  With jockey Rajiv Maragh in the irons he galloped out 6 Furlongs in 1:14.1.  He responded well to the dry surface today after working last week over a wet track.

Shackleford: Fast.  At Churchill Downs this morning, he was the fastest of 36 total horses that trained at 5 F blazing through at :58.45 and galloping out at 6F in 1:12.25.  With fractions of :11.3, :23 and :34.2 it was a very strong work for the Runner Up in the Florida Derby.  Trained by Dale Romans, this one is picking up more and more attention.  It will be interesting to see where his morning line odds are set and how much they will change before post time.

Twice the Appeal: Trainer Jeff Bonde, sent his colt 6F this morning at Churchill Downs with Calvin Borel aboard.  Racing alongside Bonde’s other derby hopeful Sway Away, Twice the Appeal finished behind his stablemate at 1:15.3.  Bonde noted he and Borel felt the colt took well to the surface.

Breezing over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs earlier this week:

  • 4/24 – Stay Thirsty, 5F, 1:00
  • 4/25 – Nehro, 5F, 1:02.8
  • 4/26 –  Uncle Mo, 5F, 1:01.80
  • 4/26 – Midnight Interlude, 6F, 1:13.60

Todd Pletcher confirmed that Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo will go out together one last time before the Kentucky Derby.  Both are scheduled to breeze tomorrow at Churchill Downs and it seems that Pletcher is happy to see them get their final work in just six days before the derby.

Written by: Little Brink

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