Tag Archives: Todd Pletcher

What We Learned From The 2015 Kentucky Derby

American Pharoah beat Firing Line by a length in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. What lies ahead for the 2 year old champion? (David J. Phillip / AP Photo)
American Pharoah beat Firing Line by a length in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. What lies ahead for the 2 year old champion? (David J. Phillip / AP Photo)

What We Learned From The 2015 Kentucky Derby

We are approximately one day removed from the 2015 Kentucky Derby and American Pharoah‘s one length victory, but there are still some lessons that we learned. There are also some questions that remain unanswered.

Below is what we learned from the 141st Kentucky Derby.

1. Pace Makes the Race

It seems so simple, but it was clearly true for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Dortmund led Firing Line and Pharoah through some dawdling fractions for the Derby. His opening quarter was in 23.24 and opening half mile went in 47.34.

For horses of that caliber, that is a cake-walk and makes them very difficult to defeat. The first quarter of a mile in 23.24 was the third slowest since 2000.

Now, it is clear why so few horses were able to make up ground. The leading trio set an easy pace and were able to stride home without much of a chance of fading back to the rest of the field.

2. Todd Pletcher Continues To Struggle in the Derby

This probably is not news to most avid followers of horse racing. After his three horses failed to win on Saturday, trainer Todd Pletcher now stands at 1 for 46 in the Kentucky Derby. His lone win was Super Saver in 2010.

What is amazing is that few trainers, if any, get more highly regarded two year olds than he does. Yet, he has a sub par record of leading those two year olds to Kentucky Derby success. He has had some good horses in the past, but this was regarded as part of his best crop of three year olds.

To be fair, Pletcher has not had the best luck when it comes to the Derby. In 2011, he had highly regarded Uncle Mo only to see that horse scratch prior to the Derby. Just a year earlier in 2010, Pletcher had Eskendereya scratch from the race and he probably would have been favored.

It will be difficult to back any Pletcher trained horse in the Kentucky Derby for a while, at least from this perspective.

3. Foreign Horses Have Yet To Make a Serious Impact

Despite all the hype regarding Mubtaahij’s chances in this year’s Kentucky Derby (full disclosure: this author had him as the top selection. Ouch.), he only managed to finish eighth.

If we go back to 2009 when Regal Ransom tried the UAE Derby to Kentucky Derby route, we will see that a serious trend has developed.

In 2009, Regal Ransom won the UAE Derby and then finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby. In 2011, Master of Hounds finished second in the UAE Derby, then went on to finish a respectable fifth in the Kentucky Derby.

In 2012, Daddy Long Legs won the UAE Derby and then finished last (20th) in the Kentucky Derby when he had to be eased. The 2013 UAE Derby winner Lines Of Battle finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and last year Toast of New York was not pointed towards the Kentucky Derby.

However, Toast of New York did run well at Del Mar on polytrack finishing second in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. He then ran second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt to end the year.

So what does all of this mean?

That foreign horses run decent races, but are not a serious threat to win the Kentucky Derby at this time. This could be due to the large amount of travel they have to do from Dubai (or wherever they ship from) to the United States. That can take a lot out of a horse.

Another reason could be the breeding. Most foreign bred horses are simply not bred to run on dirt. Yes, some do well over the main track (see Toast of New York or Giant’s Causeway), but by and large, most are not suited for it. It is the same way with American turf horses going overseas. They are usually trounced on turf in France, Great Britain, Dubai, or Hong Kong because they are not as royally bred to win on turf (and at longer distances).

That does not mean that it cannot change in the future. It very well could, but not for the foreseeable future.

4. The Win Odds Do Not Reflect Real Chances

This is a nice way of saying some people do not know the way odds work. The best examples that can be provided from the 2015 Kentucky Derby are in the form of Ocho Ocho Ocho and Mr. Z.

Ocho Ocho Ocho went off at odds of 26.10-1, which equates to a $2 win payoff of $54.20. That means that Ocho Ocho Ocho had roughly a 4% chance of winning, based on the odds. However, most people would agree that he had a far worse chance of winning the Kentucky Derby, meaning his odds were not in line with the expected payoff.

The other, and best, example is that of Mr. Z. While we can debate whether he should have been in the Kentucky Derby, his off odds of 36.60-1 did not provide fair value. Unless a person thought he had a 3% chance of winning (or better), then those odds were a steal. However, looking at his form coming into the Kentucky Derby, he had a sliver of a chance in this race, thus making his win odds disproportionately negative for those who bet him.

Seeing disproportionate win odds is nothing new, however. Call it the “Mine That Bird” effect. When Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby in 2009 at odds of 50.60-1, he shocked many with the victory (including this author).

What we saw in the subsequent years were ridiculous odds that were far too low. In 2010, the Kentucky Derby saw only two horses at odds of 30-1 or higher. In 2011, no horse went off at odds higher than 40-1.

There was a bit more realism in the wagering for 2012 when two horses went off at odds of 55-1 or higher, but 2013 was back to no horses under 40-1 on the tote board. Even last year saw no horse go off at odds of 50-1 or higher.

In 2015, we saw a horse go off at nearly 70-1 odds (Frammento went off at 69.50-1).

There are two reasons for this “Mine That Bird” effect. The first is that people want to be on a long shot, any long shot regardless of the odds. If a horse is 30-1, people want to be able to say “I picked the 30-1 winner of the Kentucky Derby” and it does not matter if that horse should have been 50-1.

The other reason is that there has been a parade of long shots winning prior before 2013. I’ll Have Another won at 15-1 in 2012, Animal Kingdom won at 20-1 in 2011, Super Saver won at 8-1 in 2010, and Mine That Bird won at 50-1 in 2009.

Of course, the favorites have won the last 3 years, which may produce more realistic odds in the future.

5. Luck Will Always Be Needed To Win the Kentucky Derby

This sounds intuitive, and it is, but this is worth repeating. Luck is a big part of winning the Kentucky Derby. A bad step here or there and you will have to take your horse out of the race.

For example, we saw Stanford, El Kabeir, and International Star all scratch prior to the race. The latter two were due to foot issues while the former was made to point to a different race. Had Stanford stayed in, perhaps the pace would have been quicker and allowed closers a better chance. We will never know.

Another reason why luck is a part of it is in the draw for the race. Todd Pletcher had bad luck when his two best horses drew side-by-side at two (Carpe Diem) and three (Materiality) in the gate. It is widely accepted that drawing to the inside is at a disadvantage due to the amount of horses that come over to the rail from the outside going into the first turn. The draw could have affected the pace of the race as well. Then again, maybe it would not have mattered at all.

No matter how you look at it, luck is and always will be part of the Kentucky Derby equation.

This is what we learned from the 2015 Kentucky Derby, but what questions still linger after the running of the 141st Kentucky Derby? Be sure to check back to find out.

2015 Kentucky Derby Preview

2015 Kentucky Derby Preview

The 141st Kentucky Derby is almost here. A field of 20 is expected to run and it is a loaded race. The field of three year olds will be going a mile and a quarter (10 furlongs) over the main track.

Post time is scheduled for 6:34 PM Eastern Time and the Derby is carded as the eleventh of thirteen races on the afternoon. The purse for the race is $2,000,000.

#11 Stanford has scratched out of the race allowing in #21 Frammento to draw in. Free past performances can be found here.

Below is a table that summarizes the entries for the 2015 Kentucky Derby.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Ocho Ocho OchoElvis TrujilloJames Cassidy50-1
2Carpe DiemJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher8-1
3MaterialityJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher12-1
4TencendurManuel FrancoGeorge Weaver30-1
5Danzig MoonJulien LeparouxMark Casse30-1
6MubtaahijChristophe SoumillonMike de Kock20-1
7El KabeirCalvin BorelJohn Terranova30-1
8DortmundMartin GarciaBob Baffert3-1
9BoloRafael BejaranoCarla Gaines30-1
10Firing LineGary StevensSimon Callaghan12-1
11 (SCRATCHED)StanfordFlorent GerouxTodd PletcherSCRATCHED
12International StarMiguel MenaMike Maker20-1
13ItsaknockoutLuis SaezTodd Pletcher30-1
14Keen IceKent DesormeauxDale Romans50-1
15FrostedJoel RosarioKiaran McLaughlin15-1
16War StoryJoe TalamoTom Amoss50-1
17Mr. ZRamon VazquezD. Wayne Lukas50-1
18American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert5-2
19UpstartJose OrtizRick Violette15-1
20Far RightMike SmithRon Moquett30-1
21FrammentoCorey NakataniNick Zito50-1
22 (Also-eligible)Tale Of VerveBrian Hernandez Jr.Dallas Stewart50-1

 

1. Ocho Ocho Ocho – He had the misfortune of drawing the rail here. He won the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot at two, but his rider for that race, Mike Smith, saw fit to jump over to Far Right afterwards. He is a cut below these horses and will need a lot to go his way. Pass on his chances in this race.

2. Carpe Diem – He is still listed as one of the morning line favorites for this race despite the poor draw. He has been solid in his career with four wins and a second in five career races. He was second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a two year old after he broke slowly compared to the others. That may be the case again here and it is hard to endorse him from the win angle. He could still hit the board, but he will need to work out a trip from this spot.

3. Materiality – Another Todd Pletcher horse that got a poor draw though not nearly as bad as his stablemate directly to his inside. He is three for three in his career and has been very good in every start. He ran a slow mile and one eighth at Gulfstream in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, but received a huge Beyer Speed Figure of 110. The worry here is his lack of foundation with just three career starts and also the crush of horses that will come over on top of him. He will need to be used hard to avoid the crush of horses and that may compromise his chances. It is tough to decide what to do with him…

4. Tencendur – It took him a few races to get going after breaking his maiden on January 15, but he came up with a solid second place finish in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. He did have a good trip and that race and he reunites with his maiden breaking rider Manuel Franco. The question about him is can he repeat that Wood Memorial performance and will he be good enough? The feeling here is probably not.

5. Danzig Moon – He broke his maiden in his third start and his three year old debut on February 7. He then ran fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby behind Carpe Diem and then ran second to him again in the Grade 1 Blue Grass by three lengths. There is some buzz about this horse having a chance, but he will need to run a bit faster to get in the picture.

6. Mubtaahij – He is what most would consider the wild card. He has not raced in the US and we know little about the depth behind him in his victories. He won the Group 2 UAE Derby by 8 lengths in a visually impressive manner and his connections are bullish about his chances. He has two wins at a mile and a sixteenth so the distance should not be a problem. How good is he? We will see on Saturday and is must use on top.

#7 El Kabeir has SCRATCHED from the race due to foot issues.

7. El Kabeir – He has been consistent this year hitting the board in all four starts. He showed more tactical speed in his first two starts in 2015 before coming from off the pace in his latter two. He did not have much of an excuse in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial when he finished third and he will need to step up here. He will need to closer as well if he wants a chance of getting a piece.

8. Dortmund – He is an undefeated six for six and he has been impressive in each race. He has won easily and he has also won in dogfights (twice over Firing Line). He can rate off the speed or take them gate-to-wire while the former is more conducive in a race like the Kentucky Derby. There is lots to like about him and he is a must use on top.

9. Bolo – He began his career on turf finishing fifth in before back-to-back wins on the turf. He was switcher over to dirt for the Grade 2 San Felipe where he ran a solid third behind Dortmund and Firing Line. His Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby produced another third place effort, but he will need to step up big time to have a chance in this race.

10. Firing Line – This colt has done little wrong in his career. He has run second to Dortmund twice with both losses by a head, which enhances his chances here. His last race was an impressive gate to wire score by 14 lengths in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby. He is a speedy horse, but can be rated and has Gary Stevens in the irons. There is a lot to like here.

11. Stanford – Scratched. He will point to the Peter Pan at Belmont or the Preakness in two weeks.

#12 International Star has SCRATCHED from the Derby due to a quarter crack.

12. International Star – He spent the winter at the Fair Grounds and he made the most of that by winning all three of the stakes races there. He will be flying late here, which will probably mean traffic problems in the stretch, but he can certainly close. He is also by a Kentucky Derby winner in Fusaichi Pegasus. He is a must include underneath with his ability to close.

13. Itsaknockout – He had a great start to his career by going two for two and then was put up to first in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth to make it three for three. His last race was atrocious when he was fourth by 21 lengths in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. It is hard to endorse him off an effort like that.

14. Keen Ice – He has been sub par in his three year old season. He started with a fifth place finish in the Grade 2 Holy Bull before closing to finish third in the Grade 2 Risen Star behind International Star and War Story. He then ran fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby with a wide trip, but was never a threat to the winner. He does a win over the main track at Churchill and will be closing late, but will it be too late?

15. Frosted – He started the winter down in Florida with a second place and then ran a surprisingly bad fourth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth despite holding the lead into the stretch. He supposedly had breathing problems in that race, which led to a throat operation. He came back in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial to win from off the pace. It has been a while since the Wood Memorial produced a Kentucky Derby winner (2000 with Fusaichi Pegasus), but he has the look of a contender.

16. War Story – He has not done a lot wrong in his 5 career starts and he has never missed the board. He raced down in Louisiana where he ran up against International Star finishing second twice and third once. He is taking the blinkers off for this race and he owns a win over the main track at Churchill. This is a typical horse that this author gets sucked into betting, but not this year.

17. Mr. Z – He is the most experienced runner by far with 12 races (next closest is 9), but his form has been declining since the start of the year. He was demolished in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby by 20 lengths and then ran third behind the morning line favorite American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. It is very difficult to endorse his chances here.

18. American Pharoah – The morning favorite has been spectacular in his two starts in 2015. He cruised against his foes in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes in the slop by 6 1/4 lengths and then demolished the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby field by 8 lengths. He has worked well, he has been brilliant, and he should not have too much in the way of traffic trouble out here. However, can he win when a horse looks him in the eye? Will he get too close to a hot pace? Can you take a short price in a 20 horse field? He is a must use on top in multi-race wagers.

19. Upstart – He is another consistent horse in here. After running a solid third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he won the Grade 2 Holy Bull and was disqualified (controversially) from the win spot in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. He was unable to run by Materiality last time out. He should have a good spot in the Kentucky Derby, but if he could not run by Materiality at 9 furlongs last time, can he do it against better at 10 furlongs? Tough decision on him in this spot.

20. Far Right – He has run at Arkansas for the Derby prep season. He won the Smarty Jones Stakes with a nice closing kick near the rail and then did the same in the Grade 3 Southwest. He was no match for American Pharoah last time out and he still retains the services of Mike Smith, who has done will with closers in the past (Zenyatta and Giacomo in the 2004 Derby). If there is a complete meltdown in the pace, he could win, but at big odds he is a must include underneath in the exotics.

21. Frammento – The lucky recipient of Stanford’s scratch, he will breaking from post 20. He did little in the Grade 2 Holy Bull when he finished sixth by 18 lengths, but had a strong rally in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth when he came from more than 15 lengths out of it to finish third by 4 1/2 lengths. He tried the same thing in the Grade 1 Blue Grass, but he could only muster a fourth place finish. He may have a chance to close in this race, but he will need to be quicker if he is to blow up the tote board.

22. Tale Of Verve (Also-eligible) – SCRATCHED.

Selections

This race really can come down to a few horses though there are plenty that have a chance to shake up the exotics. The top choice here is #6 Mubtaahij who will come from off the pace here. #8 Dortmund is hard to discredit here and has a big chance as does #18 American Pharoah. A few others to consider in the multi-race wagers are #10 Firing Line, #15 Frosted, and #19 Upstart.

Top selection – #6 Mubtaahij

2nd selection – #8 Dortmund

3rd selection – #15 Frosted

4th selection – #18 American Pharoah

Plays will be:

Win, place, show on #6 Mubtaahij

$1 exacta 6, 8, 15, 18 with 3-5-6-8-10-12-14-15-18-19-20 ($40)

Good luck to everyone betting and be sure to check back on Saturday evening for a recap of the 2015 Kentucky Derby!

Kentucky Derby News For April 28, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 28, 2015

Mr. Z was the lone Kentucky Derby horse to work. He had a short blowout of two furlongs in :24.

American Pharoah had a simple jog on Tuesday morning while Dortmund galloped a mile and a half.

Bold Conquest walked the shedrow after his workout on Monday. Bolo galloped a mile and a half.

The quartet of Todd Pletcher runners, Carpe Diem, Itsaknockout, Materiality, and Stanford, all went to the track. Itsaknockout galloped a mile and a half while the other three were schooled at the gate and then galloped.

Danzig Moon galloped a mile and a half while El Kabeir walked the shedrow on Tuesday morning.

Far Right galloped a mile and a quarter while Firing Line galloped a mile and a half.

Frammento, currently the 22nd horse on the entry list, galloped at Keeneland and was vanned over to Churchill later in the day.

Down at Palm Meadows, Frosted galloped a mile and three eighths while Upstart walked the shedrow. Both are flying into Louisville later on Tuesday.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter while Keen Ice went further with a 2 mile gallop.

Mubtaahij made his first appearance on the Churchill Downs main track with a one mile jog and one mile canter around the oval.

Ocho Ocho Ocho galloped around the track and is scheduled to work on Wednesday morning.

Tencendur jogged one mile on the main track as soon as it opened. War Story schooled at the gate and then galloped a mile and a half.

Kentucky Oaks Notes

By far the biggest news of the day on Tuesday was the draw for the 2015 Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1. The entries can be found below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Forever UnbridledMike SmithDallas Stewart15-1
2Shook UpRobby AlbaradoSteve Asmussen30-1
3Include BettyRosemary Homeister Jr.Tom Proctor20-1
4EskenformoneyJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher20-1
5Condo CommandoJoel RosarioRudy Rodriguez4-1
6Angela ReneeJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher15-1
7Lovely MariaKerwin ClarkLarry Jones5-1
8I'm A ChatterboxFlorent GerouxLarry Jones4-1
9Money'soncharlottePaco LopezKelly Breen50-1
10OceanwaveRafael BejaranoWayne Catalano30-1
11Sarah SisGary StevensIngrid Mason30-1
12Stellar WindVictor EspinozaJohn Sadler7-2
13BirdatthewireIrad Ortiz Jr.Dale Romans6-1
14PucaJunior AlvaradoBill Mott15-1
15. Also-EligiblePeace and WarJulien LeparouxOlly Stevens50-1

As for news on the fillies, Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both galloped. The former went a mile and a quarter while the latter galloped a mile and a half.

Birdatthewire jogged a mile while Condo Commando galloped a mile and three eighths. Forever Unbridled also galloped a mile and three eighths.

I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria both galloped a mile with trainer Larry Jones aboard for both gallops. Include Betty had an easy gallop early on Tuesday morning.

Money’soncharlotte was an unexpected entrant for the Oaks on the weekend, but drew in with the defection of Luminance and Maybellene. She is on her way to Churchill and will arrive late Tuesday evening.

Oceanwave galloped a mile and a half while Puca had a simple gallop.

Sarah Sis began her day with a jog and then galloped two miles while the morning line favorite for the Oaks, Stellar Wind, galloped a mile.

Stakes Probables

Below is an updated list of stakes probables for Kentucky Derby Day (Saturday, May 2) courtesy of Churchill Downs PR.

$500,000 WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC (GI) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Chocolate Ride, Finnegans Wake, Optimizer, Seek Again, Slumber (GB), Stephanie’s Kitten, Umgiyo (AUS). Possible: Grand Arch.

$500,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Bayern, C. Zee, Pants On Fire, Private Zone.

$300,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS DISTAFF TURF MILE (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Coffee Clique, Grand Elmendorf, I’m Already Sexy, Kitty Wine, Lady Lara (IRE), Maid On a Mission, Personal Diary, Rosee Is Cozee, Sandiva (IRE), Solid Appeal, Strike Charmer, Tepin.

$300,000 HUMANA DISTAFF (GI) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Classic Point, Clearly Confused, Dame Dorothy, Judy the Beauty, Princess Violet, Sweet Reason, Sweet Whiskey, Thank You Marylou, You Bought Her.

$250,000 AMERICAN TURF (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – A Lot, Conquest Typhoon, Firespike, Force the Pass, Metaboss, Royal Son, Tuba, Wireless Future, World Approval.

$200,000 PAT DAY MILE (GIII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Competitive Edge, Conquest Bigluck E, Hillbilly Royalty, Lord Nelson, Pain and Misery, Prospect Park, Toasting Master, Where’s the Moon.

Kentucky Derby News For April 27, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 27, 2015

After a busy weekend, it was relatively quiet in terms of workouts for the Kentucky Derby. The lone horse to work was Bold Conquest who is ranked 22nd on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard.

Bold Conquest went five furlongs in 1:01.80 while working in company with Gold Hawk. The splits were :13.20, :25.40, :37.60, and :49.60 with a gallop out of 1:16 for six furlongs.

American Pharoah walked the shedrow after his blazing five furlong workout on Sunday morning. Dortmund shipped in from California on Sunday and jogged around the track.

Bolo, also in from California, jogged one mile around the track while Danzig Moon galloped a mile and a half.

Carpe Diem finally made his way over to Churchill Downs early on Monday morning. All he did was walk around his barn.

The other Todd Pletcher trio of Itsaknockout, Materiality, and Stanford all galloped a mile and a half.

El Kabeir arrived early Monday morning after leaving New York on Sunday afternoon. He walked after his arrival. Far Right galloped a mile and a half.

Firing Line jogged around the track once while Frammento galloped over at Keeneland.

Frosted galloped a mile and three eights at Palm Meadows while Upstart also galloped. The duo will be flying into Louisville on Tuesday.

International Star jogged at the Trackside Training Center and then vanned over to Churchill Downs later in the morning.

Keen Ice galloped two miles while Mr. Z galloped and schooled in the paddock.

Mubtaahij jogged two miles at Arlington Park before being vanned to Churchill Downs with him leaving at 10 AM.

Ocho Ocho Ocho just walked around his barn on Monday morning while Tencendur did the same. War Story galloped a mile and a half.

Kentucky Oaks News

The Bob Baffert duo of Luminance and Maybellene were the only Kentucky Oaks workers. Luminance went five furlongs in 1:02.80 with splits of :12.80, :25.80, :38.40, and :50.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60.

Maybellene worked four furlongs completing the distance in :48.80. The fractions for her were :24.20, :36.40, and a gallop out in 1:02.20.

Baffert was not too thrilled with the works.  “I might not run a horse in the Oaks,” he said. “I worked them today. I wasn’t really sure; I wanted to see how they worked. It’s a tough Oaks and I might not enter a horse in the Oaks.”

The works were OK, but I don’t know if they are ready for that yet,” Baffert said. “There are a lot of races coming up. I wanted to get them here and watch them train. They are doing well, but I want to be in a more competitive (situation). It’s a really strong Oaks field. I’ll pick some other spots for them.”

The Pletcher duo of Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both galloped a mile and a half after some schooling at the gate.

Birdatthewire walked the shedrow for the second straight day while Condo Commando galloped a mile and three eighths.

Forever Unbridled galloped a mile and three eighths as well while the pair of I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria walked the shedrow.

Include Betty jogged the track early and Oceanwave did the same. Puca galloped on Monday morning.

Sarah Sis was schooled at the starting gate and then had an easy gallop. Shook Up simply walked the shedrow after her workout on Sunday.

Stellar Wind, in from California, jogged a mile on Monday morning.

Kentucky Derby News For April 24, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 24, 2015

Friday was a busier than expected morning with several works, primarily from the Todd Pletcher barn, moved up to Friday due to concerns over the weather forecast this weekend.

The quartet of Itsaknockout, Materiality, Madefromlucky, and Stanford all worked on Friday morning. Itsaknockout and Materiality worked in company with the latter on the inside. The duo completed four furlongs in :48 with splits of :12, :23.60, and :35,60. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 and six furlongs in 1:14.60

Madefromlucky and Stanford also breezed four furlongs in company with one another. Stanford was on the inside and the two did not cross the wire together. Madefromlucky completed the four furlongs in :48.40 with internal splits of :12.40 and :24.40. Madefromlucky galloped out in 1:01 for five furlongs and 1:13.80 for six furlongs.

“He had trouble getting a hold of the track on the turns for whatever reason,” John Velazquez said of Madefromlucky. “I wouldn’t say it was a bad workout, but the other horse worked better.”

Stanford went :12.40 and :24:20 for the internal splits while galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.60 and six furlongs in 1:15.

“Stanford breezed really well today and I thought his gallop out was particularly good,” Pletcher said.

Also working at Churchill was Far Right, who went four furlongs in :49. He had splits of :12.40, :24.20, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.

Danzig Moon worked as well, going four furlongs in :48.80 while working in company with Bollente. He had internal fractions of :12.80, :25, :37, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80. Bollente went the four furlongs in :49.

Bolo worked five furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday, going the distance in :59.60. “A minute—that’s what I wanted,” trainer Carla Gaines said. “The other horse started kinda slowly and I didn’t want (rider Rafael Bejarano) to grab him, but he settled down.”

Frammento, currently the next horse in line for the Kentucky Derby, worked four furlongs in :48 at Keeneland.

American Pharoah galloped a mile and a half with a scheduled workout on Sunday morning while Bold Conquest galloped the same distance.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter. He is scheduled to work on Saturday, but that may not happen if the weather is poor. Keen Ice galloped a mile and a half with a scheduled work on Saturday morning.

Ocho Ocho Ocho flew in from California is now stabled at Churchill Downs. He will gallop on Saturday morning. Tencendur galloped one mile and three eighths and is scheduled to work on Saturday morning as well.

War Story simply jogged on Friday morning, two days after his 1:02 five furlong work at Churchill Downs.

Outside of Kentucky, there are several notable works scheduled for Saturday morning. The first is El Kabeir who will work at Belmont Park and then ship to Churchill Downs on Sunday. El Kabeir galloped one mile and three eighths at Belmont on Friday morning.

In addition, Carpe Diem is scheduled to work at Keeneland. At Arlington Park, Mubtaahij is scheduled to work while the California duo of Dortmund and Firing Line are also on the workout docket.

The other works on Saturday morning will be Frosted and Upstart down at Palm Meadows in Florida. The Daily Racing Form‘s David Grening reported that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin moved the workout back from Friday morning to Saturday morning due to the amount of moisture in the track.

Madefromlucky Out Of the Derby, Keen Ice In

In light of Madefromlucky’s lackluster workout on Friday morning, Todd Pletcher and the connections of the horse decided to bypass the Kentucky Derby and point towards the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 9. The hope is that Madefromlucky will be ready to go in the Belmont Park on June 6.

With Madefromlucky not entering the Kentucky Derby, that puts Keen Ice in field. Keen Ice is a winner of one race in 7 career starts. He has made 5 consecutive starts in Graded Stakes competition.

Keen Ice most recently ran fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and was third in the Grade 2 Risen Star prior to that race.

Kentucky Oaks News

There were also plenty of Kentucky Oaks contenders working as well on Friday morning.

Angela Renee worked four furlongs in company with Curalina while completing the distance in :48.80. The internal splits for those two were :12.40, :24.40 with five furlongs in 1:00.20 and six furlongs galloped out in 1:14.20. The Daily Racing Form‘s Mike Welsch had a slightly different clocking, but was impressed with this duo.

Another Todd Pletcher worker that went out was Eskenformoney who went in company with Roberta Turner. The duo went a half mile in :48.40 with internal splits of :11.60, :23.60, :36, and a five furlong gallop out in 1:01.60.

Then there was Forever Unbridled who worked five furlongs in 1:01. Her splits for the workout were :12.20, :24, :36.20, and :48.40 with a final gallop out of 1:15.80 for six furlongs.

Then there were three more horses during the special Oaks/Derby training session.

Sarah Sis went five furlongs in 1:02.60 with internal splits of :12.40, :24.80, and :37. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.80.

Oceanwave worked five furlongs in company with Purse Strings. She completed the five furlongs in 1:02 with internal splits of :12.40, :24.20, :36, and :48.60 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:18.20. Mike Welsch has postulated that she may not be entered in the Oaks off this work.

Condo Commando worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 with internal fractions of :25, :36.40, and :48.60 with a six furlong gallop out in 1:13 flat. Mike Welsch was impressed the most by Condo Commando of these three fillies during the special training session.

At Santa Anita, Stellar Wind breezed six furlongs in 1:12.80 for trainer John Sadler. She did so in company with Scooter Bird. She will leave California on Sunday morning and arrive in Kentucky later that day.

Birdatthewire galloped a mile and a half with a scheduled work on Saturday morning. The duo of Luminance and Maybellene also galloped a mile and a half.

I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria both galloped a mile and a half for trainer Larry Jones at Keeneland on Friday morning. They were vanned over to Churchill in the afternoon. Both will be working on Sunday morning.

Include Betty galloped early on Friday morning as did Shook Up. Meanwhile, Puca galloped a mile and three eighths. Puca is expected to work on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather.

Other Stakes Probable Workouts

Todd Pletcher sent out four other horses, with a couple that are expected to appear next weekend. Competitive Edge worked four furlongs in :48.20 with a quarter of a mile in :23.60 and a five furlong gallop out in 1:01.60.

Prontonico and Stopchargingmaria worked as a pair going four furlongs in :49.00. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.60.

Sandiva also worked out going four furlongs in :49.20. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.20 and six furlongs in 1:15.60.

Other workers included Noble Bird and Coastline who went four furlongs together in :48.40. Sweet Whiskey worked four furlongs in :48, Pain and Misery went four furlongs in :50, and Promise Me Silver went four furlongs in :48.80 with a gallop out in 1:02.80 for five furlongs.

Gold Medal Dancer went five furlongs in 1:01.40 while the pair of Conquest Typhoon and World Approval went four furlongs in :49.

Kentucky Derby News For April 23, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 23, 2015

It was another slow morning on Thursday in the way of works with no Kentucky Derby horses working out. However, there are plenty of workouts expected this weekend.

American Pharoah galloped a mile and a half on Thursday and also stood in the gate. He will workout on Sunday. Bold Conquest galloped a bit after visiting the starting gate as well.

Todd Pletcher’s quartet of Itsaknockout, Madefromlucky, Materiality, and Stanford all took to the track at Churchill Downs. They all went about a mile and a quarter for their gallop. All four will be working out on Saturday.

Carpe Diem worked at Keeneland later in the morning with Pletcher on hand to see it. Carpe Diem went a mile and a half over the main track. He is expected to work on Sunday morning at Keeneland with an approximated time of 6:30.

Danzig Moon galloped a mile and a half while his workout for this weekend is not solidified due to the weather. According to trainer Mark Casse, it will occur on either Saturday or Sunday.

Also working a mile and a half was Keen Ice. He is expected to work on Saturday morning.

Far Right finally got to a gallop after walking and jogging the previous few days. He galloped a mile and three quarters with an expected work on Saturday. Once again, however, it could be pushed back to Sunday if the weather does not cooperate.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter at the Trackside Training Center. Like Far Right, he is scheduled to work Saturday, but could also work Sunday if the weather is better.

Mr. Z simply walked the shedrow on Thursday morning after working five furlongs in 1:01 on Wednesday. War Story also walked the shedrow. He worked five furlongs in 1:02 on Wednesday.

Tencendur galloped one and three eighths miles on Thursday. He will probably work on Saturday unless there is lightning, according to his trainer George Weaver.

Mubtaahij went around the Arlington Park track twice on Thursday. He is scheduled for another breeze on Saturday and will then ship to Churchill Downs on Monday.

Kentucky Oaks News

Eskenformoney galloped early this morning along side Madefromlucky. She went about a mile and a quarter as did Angela Renee later in the morning. Both fillies are expected to work on Friday morning.

Birdatthewire galloped a mile and a half with her work scheduled for Saturday. Condo Commando also galloped a mile and a half and will work on Friday morning. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said she will work either 5 or 6 furlongs.

Forever Unbridled galloped a mile and a half and will work on Friday morning. She currently needs one horse ahead of her on the Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard to make the field.

Include Betty simply jogged early this morning while the Bob Baffert duo of Luminance and Maybellene both galloped a mile and a half.

Oceanwave and Puca both went a mile and a half for their gallops. Oceanwave will work on Friday while Puca will work over the weekend depending on the weather.

Sarah Sis galloped a mile over Churchill Downs after arriving before 5:30 on Thursday morning. She will have a five furlong workout on Friday morning.

Shook Up went to the starting gate and then galloped for a little bit.

One last note about the Kentucky Oaks is that Wonder Gal, a longshot to make the field, will not race at Churchill Downs next weekend, according to David Grening of the DRF. She was expected to enter the Kentucky Oaks or Eight Belles, but an illness will keep her in New York.

Oaks and Derby Day Stakes Probables

From Churchill Downs’ daily news report, the following are the probables for the stakes races on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days.

$400,000 ALYSHEBA (GII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Call Me George, Honor Code, Noble Bird, Ride On Curlin. Possible: Den’s Legacy.

$300,000 LA TROIENNE (GI) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – America, Frivolous, Molly Morgan, My Miss Sophia, Pearl Turn, Sheer Drama, Stopchargingmaria, Wedding Toast. Possible: Interest Free, Tiz Windy.

$200,000 EIGHT BELLES (GIII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Ekati’s Phaeton, Fancy and Flashy, Lavender Chrissie, Mizz Money, Promise Me Silver, Streetheart, Super Saks, Taylor S.

$150,000 EDGEWOOD PRESENTED BY FORCHT BANK (GIII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Lady Zuzu, Pangburn, Quality Rocks. Possible: B Rockett, Sweet Opportunity, Whimsicality.

$150,000 TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT (GIII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ), Buster Rose, Channel Marker, Good Deed, Heitai, Positive Side, Power Alert (AUS), Something Extra, Undrafted.

$500,000 WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC (GI) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Chocolate Ride, Finnegans Wake, Seek Again, Umgiyo (AUS).

$500,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Bayern, C. Zee, Pants On Fire, Private Zone. Possible: The Big Beast.

$300,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS DISTAFF TURF MILE PRESENTED BY LONGINES (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Coffee Clique, I’m Already Sexy, Lady Lara (IRE), Maid On a Mission, Personal Diary, Sandiva (IRE), Solid Appeal, Strike Charmer, Tepin.

$300,000 HUMANA DISTAFF (GI) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Classic Point, Dame Dorothy, Judy the Beauty, Princess Violet, Sweet Reason, Sweet Whiskey, You Bought Her. Possible: Clearly Confused.

$250,000 AMERICAN TURF PRESENTED BY RAM TRUCKS (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – A Lot, Conquest Typhoon, Firespike, Force the Pass, Indianaughty, Metaboss, Tuba, Wireless Future, World Approval. Possible: Royal Son.

$200,000 PAT DAY MILE PRESENTED BY LG&E AND KU (GIII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Competitive Edge, Conquest Bigluck E, Hillbilly Royalty, Pain and Misery, Toasting Master, Where’s the Moon.

Kentucky Derby News For April 22, 2015

Kentucky Derby entrant War Story during his workout on April 22, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs PR)
Kentucky Derby entrant War Story during his workout on April 22, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs PR)

Kentucky Derby News For April 22, 2015

Two Kentucky Derby entrants worked out on Wednesday morning in War Story and Mr Z. War Story went out very early while Mr. Z waited until after the renovation break to workout. Both horses went five furlongs for their workouts.

War Story worked at 5:45 in the morning completing the five furlongs in 1:01.60. The internal fractions were :24.60 and :36.40 with him being clocked at 1:15.60 for six furlongs on the gallop out. Dylan Davis was aboard for the work for trainer Tom Amoss.

Mr. Z completed his five furlongs in 1:01 with his internal fractions going in :12.80, :25, :37, and :48.60. He galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:15.60 and was clocked with a final quarter of :24.20. Edvin Vargas was the rider for Mr. Z during the work for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

At Santa Anita, Ocho Ocho Ocho went six furlongs from the gate. He completed the move in 1:13.60 for trainer Jim Cassidy. His rider is unconfirmed for the Kentucky Derby, but it will either be Elvis Trujillo or Santiago Gonzalez. Ocho Ocho Ocho will be in Kentucky on Friday and work at Churchill next Wednesday.

No other Kentucky Derby horses had a work, but plenty made an appearance on the track.

American Pharoah and Danzig Moon both galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break. American Pharoah is expected to workout on Sunday while Danzig Moon will most likely work on Saturday.

Bold Conquest galloped after the break as well. He worked on Monday, going five furlongs in 1:02.60.

Far Right jogged two miles and is scheduled to work over the weekend. Which day he works will depend on the weather, according to his trainer Ron Moquett.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter as did Tencendur. Tencendur is expected to work on Saturday morning if all goes well with the weather.

Todd Pletcher‘s four horses of Itsaknockout, Madefromlucky, Materiality, and Stanford all galloped a mile and a quarter on Wednesday morning. All four are expected to workout on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Carpe Diem galloped a mile and a half on Wednesday and will work out at Keeneland on Sunday morning.

Keen Ice galloped a mile after the renovation break.

Away from Churchill Downs, Mubtaahij went a lap around the Arlington Park polytrack on Wednesday morning after his three furlong workout on Tuesday. Upstart went two miles at Palm Meadows in Florida and he will work over the weekend down there.

Kentucky Oaks News

There were not workers for the Kentucky Oaks on Wednesday morning. Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both galloped a mile and a quarter for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Birdatthewire galloped a mile, Condo Commando galloped a mile and an eighth, while Shook Up also galloped over the track.

Forever Unbridled, Include Betty, Luminance, Oceanwave, and Puca all galloped a mile and a half over the track. Forever Unbridled will work on Friday morning while Puca is scheduled for a workout on Saturday.

Maybellene walked the shedrow after her four furlong workout on Tuesday.