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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.

Dubai Sky Takes Grade 3 Spiral Stakes

Dubai Sky won the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths (Coady Photography / Turfway Park)
Dubai Sky won the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths (Coady Photography / Turfway Park)


Dubai Sky Takes Grade 3 Spiral Stakes

Dubai Sky had little trouble topping the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes after an excellent ride by jockey Jose Lezcano. The only thing left for the connections is to decided if they will nominate the three year old for the Triple Crown by Monday, March 23 at a cost of $6,000.

Watchyourbobber and Wireless Future went to battle for the lead early on with Royal Son behind that duo in third. Dubai Sky settled in fourth with a perfect position while Conquest Typhoon was fifth Firespike was sixth. Task Force Glory was seventh, the favored Metaboss was eighth, and Another Lemon Drop was ninth. The trio behind Firespike was about 5 to 6 lengths off the leaders. The final duo was Magic of Believing and Big Family.

The opening quarter was a quick 22.99 and the half mile was run in 47.57. Also at the halfway point, Dubai Sky was urged to move up and he was within a head of the lead as they hit the six furlong call. Wireless Future was clinging to the lead with Royal Son at his throat along with Dubai Sky. Firespike was fourth, Conquest Typhoon was fifth, and Watchyourownbobber was starting to back out of the race. 9-5 favorite Metaboss began to make a bold move on the far turn and was taken wide into the stretch.

For Dubai Sky, he was striding out as he was going for home and won by 2 1/4 lengths. Conquest Typhoon held off Firespike for second by a neck and Task Force Glory was back in fourth. Royal Son finished fifth while Metaboss flattened out in the stretch and finished sixth. The remaining horses in order of finish were Wireless Future, Another Lemon Drop, Magic of Believing, Big Family, and Watchyourownbobber.

Dubai Sky completed the one mile and one eighth in 1:50.26. He was ridden by Jose Lezcano and is trained by Bill Mott. He is by Candy Ride out of the Chester House mare House of Danzig. He paid $16.80 to win, $7.40 to place, and $6 to show.

Dubai Sky earned his first 50 points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. Conquest Typhoon earned 20 to bring his total to 26 points, Firespike earned his first 10 points, and Task Force Glory earned his first 5 points.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby is not over for the weekend. On Sunday, March 21, the Grade 3 Sunland Derby will take place at Sunland Park. Post time is scheduled for 7:40 PM Eastern Time.

2015 Spiral Stakes Preview

2015 Spiral Stakes Preview

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues on Saturday with the Grade 3 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes. From this point forward, the race will be referred to as the Spiral Stakes to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from setting in.

A field of 12 horses was drawn for the Spiral Stakes, but #6 Imperia will be scratched per trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. That still leaves a solid field of 11 three year olds going one mile and one eighth on Turfway’s synthetic track for a purse of $550,000.

The horses are also running for up to 50 points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard to ensure their spot in the Kentucky Derby. The winner will receive 50 points, the second place finisher will receive 20 points, third place will receive 10 points, and fourth place will receive 5 points.

Post time for the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes is scheduled for 6:28 PM Eastern Time on Saturday and is the 11th of 12 races on the program. Free past performances for the Spiral Stakes can be found here.

1. Royal Son (7-2 Morning Line) – This son of Tiznow was impressive in the local prep race for the Spiral Stakes. The blinkers were put on and he had no trouble going gate-to-wire to win by 5 1/4 in the John Battaglia Memorial. The pace will be hotter in this race, but his rail slot gives him a chance to control how fast it goes. Definitely has a chance here.

2. Big Family (30-1 ML) – He has made his first four starts in Florida. He won his debut at Gulfstream Park West in November by 6 1/4 lengths. He subsequently was entered in back-to-back stakes races, but failed to make much impact in either race, but did finish third in the Hutcheson (second of the two races). His last race was an optional claimer where he was second by 12 lengths to the now injured Khozan. He is going to need to step up big time to have a chance here.

3. Watchyourownbobber (20-1 ML) – This guy began his career at Arlington Park with a fourth place finish before moving to turf for his next four races. He finished third and fourth in his next two races in Kentucky before breaking his maiden in his fourth race at Gulfstream by three-quarters of a length. He was claimed out of that race and subsequently made it back-to-back wins. He figures to be part of the pace scenario given that he won his two races on the front end. He may hang around for third or fourth if the pace is slow enough.

4. Wireless Future (12-1 ML) – He started his career at Churchill with a sixth place finish before moving to the Fair Grounds and the turf course. He was third next out followed by a maiden breaking score in his third race. He made it back-to-back wins with another score on turf in an optional claimer $50,000. Last out his race was taken off the turf, but he had no trouble winning by 7 lengths to make it three straight wins. If he can rate in this race, he could add value to the underneath exotics in this race.

5. Another Lemon Drop (6-1 ML) – He opened with back-to-back starts on turf with a fourth place and a win in his second start. A move to dirt in his next three produced mixed results: a third in an optional claimer, a win in an optional claimer over a sloppy track, and an even fourth place finish in the Grade 3 Lecomte at the Fair Grounds. A move back to turf las time produced a second place finish by half a length in the Black Gold Stakes. He is certainly interesting given his turf performances and could make some noise here.

6. Imperia (4-1 ML) – Scratched.

7. Magic of Believing (20-1 ML) – It took him five starts to break his maiden, but he did so at Oaklawn Park going a mile and a sixteenth. Last time out in an Allowance non-winners of two race, he made a strong rally in the lane to win by a head and make it two straight wins. He will need to make a substantial leap forward to challenge in this spot.

8. Task Force Glory (30-1 ML) – He needed five starts on turf before he won his first race, but he also had three second place finishes in his first four starts. After breaking his maiden he was third in an allowance race at Gulfstream and most recently ran sixth in the John Battaglia Memorial here at Turfway. He will need a lot to break his way to win the Spiral Stakes.

9. Conquest Typhoon (5-1 ML) – Here is one of the more battle tested horses in the race. He made his debut at Woodbine in a stakes race where he finished second by a length and a half. He finished second in his second race before breaking his maiden in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths in his third race. He later ran in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and finished fourth before capturing a Grade 3 at Del Mar. His last race was the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate where he finished third by 2 3/4 lengths as the 9/5 favorite. That race came off a two and a half month layoff and he should be ready to roll here.

10. Firespike (20-1 ML) – Yet another exiting the John Battaglia Memorial, he finished fifth beaten 21 lengths. Prior to that race he won two stakes races down in Florida at the Ocala Training Center and Gulfstream Park West. He needs a better effort to hit the board here.

11. Metaboss (4-1 ML) – One of the favorites in the Spiral Stakes, he has shown immense promise since going two turns. He finished third in his debut down the hill at Santa Anita and then was fourth in an off the turf stakes race at Santa Anita. His first start around two turns at Del Mar resulted in a second place finish before breaking his maiden going a mile and an eighth at Santa Anita. His last race was the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby where he swung out wide and roared past his foes to win by 2 1/2 lengths. A similar setup seems likely here and he will be rolling late.

12. Dubai Sky (8-1 ML) – He began his career at Saratoga with a third place finish by 4 3/4 lengths at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. He followed that up with a one length victory at Belmont before getting a 3 month break. He came off the bench to win by 2 lengths at Gulfstream in an optional claimer and then made it three wins in a row with a victory by a head in the Kittens Joy at Gulfstream. That race was nearly 2 months ago, but there is clearly talent for him when right. Tough to ignore here.


For the most part, this race appears to favor the favorites. #11 Metaboss will get a good setup with some speed ahead of him while #12 Dubai Sky is clearly talented and dangerous at 8-1 on the morning line. #1 Royal Son will be able to get the lead from the rail, but do not discount #9 Conquest Typhoon in his second start off the layoff. #5 Another Lemon Drop is interesting here and #4 Wireless Future could add some value to the exotics.

1. Metaboss

2. Dubai Sky

3. Conquest Typhoon

4. Wireless Future

Come back on Saturday evening for a recap of the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes.

Metaboss Storms Home In El Camino

Metaboss was all alone at the finish line to win by 2 1/2 lengths (Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography)
Metaboss was all alone at the finish line to win by 2 1/2 lengths (Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography)

Metaboss Storms Home In El Camino

A fast closing finish put Metaboss in the winner’s circle of the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. The three year old won by 2 1/2 lengths over Cross the Line and Conquest Typhoon.

The race began with multiple horses going for the lead. Indianaughty and Ernest Shackleton both went for the lead and Conquest Typhoon only a length off those two while three wide. Donji was in fourth, Cross the line was in fifth, and Stand and Salute was sixth with those three about 2 lengths off the lead. Mischief Clem, Metaboss, Soul Driver, and Harmonic were the final quartet.

Despite the trio of horses battling for the lead, there was not much pace to the race. The opening quarter went in 25.29 while the half mile was timed in 49.25. The half mile was still the top three batting for the lead with Mischief Clem making a middle move into fourth. Stand and Salute was fifth, Cross the Line was sixth, Soul Driver was seventh, Metaboss was still in eighth, Donji was ninth (and dropping out), and Harmonic was in last by 7 lengths.

On the far turn the race was blown wide open with nearly every horse (save Donji) in contention with a chance to win. Conquest Typhoon was still battling for the lead as they turned for home with horses lining up seven across the track as they were approaching the final furlong.

Eventual winner Metaboss made a sweeping move that began on the started turn and ended with him in front by 2 1/2 lengths. Cross the Line had some trouble in the stretch, but got up for second by a head over Conquest Typhoon. Harmonic came from last to grab fourth as the second longest shot on the board.

The remaining order of finish was Soul Driver, Stand and Salute, Mischief Clem, Ernest Shackleton, Indianaughty, and Donji.

Metaboss is a three year old son of Street Boss out of the Free House mare Spinning Yarns. He was ridden by Alex Solis and is trained by Jeff Bonde. Metaboss paid $15.20 to win, $7.80 to place, and $4.80 to show. The final running time was 1:49.92 for the one and one eighth miles.

Metaboss earned 10 points for the victory, Cross the Line earned 4 points, Conquest Typhoon earned 2 points, and Harmonic earned one point. Only Conquest Typhoon had perviously earned points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard and he now has 6 points total.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues on Monday with the grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

2015 El Camino Real Derby Preview

2015 El Camino Real Derby Preview

The Road to the 2015 Kentucky Derby continues on Saturday with the 2015 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, California. A field of 10 horses is entered with the chance to earn up to 10 points towards the Kentucky Leaderboard.

The 10 horses will be going 1 mile and one eighth over Golden Gate’s main track (Tapeta synthetic surface). This is a grade 3 event with a purse of $200,000. Post time for the 2015 El Camino Real Derby is at 6:50 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the seventh of nine races.

A look at each of the ten entrants into the El Camino Real Derby is below. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Donji (30-1 Morning Line) – He sits as the longest shot on the morning line and for good reason. He is the only horse to have not broken his maiden. All 7 of those races took place at the maiden $30,000 level with two second place finishes and a third. Pass on his chances in this race.

2. Indianaughty (4-1 ML) – He began his career in Great Britain where he finished third and first in his first two races. After a 5 month break he was seen again at Gulfstream last time out and he got up to win by a head at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. He should be fitter after that last race and will be closing late. Will he be closing too late though?

3. Metaboss (8-1 ML) – He broke his maiden last time out with the switch to Rafael Bejarano as the jockey. That race was at this 1 1/8 miles distance where he had a strong surge in the stretch to win by a length and a half over the Santa Anita turf course. There is always the worry of how a horse will handle a new surface, but given his turf performances, this surface should not be too much of a problem. He is an intriguing horse in this spot, though Alex Solis will have the mount in this race.

4. Ernest Shackleton (12-1 ML) – He started his career in Ireland where it took him 4 starts to break his maiden in September and did so in a dead heat. After 3 months off, he was shipped to Santa Anita where he finished 7th of 11 in the Eddie Logan. He rebounded last time out to win by a half length in an optional claiming $80,000. The feeling here is that he is a step behind the top horses at this level.

5. Cross The Line (5-1 ML) – He has 4 starts and all have come here at Golden Gate. When stretched out to a mile on December 26, he crushed the maiden field by 4 1/2 lengths. He followed that up with another victory in the Cal Derby on January 17 where he beat horses that he will face on Saturday in Soul Driver and Stand and Salute. He is hard to ignore here in this spot.

6. Harmonic (20-1 ML) – He started his career in Southern California where he ran off the board to begin his career. His third start was a disaster when he clipped heels and fell. Unhurt, he returned a month later to finish third by 2 lengths. He broke his maiden here at Golden Gate by a length and three quarters under Russell Baze. He may outrun his odds, but he is still up against some of the top contenders in this race.

7. Soul Driver (6-1 ML) – His first start was an 11th place finish before a switch to turf and two turns woke him up in his second start. He won that start by a head before finishing fifth in the grade 3 Cecil B. Demille at Del Mar. His last 2 races have produced back-to-back second place finishes, including the Cal Derby at Golden Gate last time out. He is another in here with a chance to win.

8. Stand and Salute (6-1 ML) – He is another one who exits the Cal Derby. He finished third that day by 2 lengths and won the Gold Rush two starts back at one mile here. He will be in good position and should have a say in the outcome. Yet another horse who can win this race.

9. Conquest Typhoon (7-2 ML) – The tepid morning line favorite has done his running at Woodbine and Southern California. He started his career with back-to-back second place finishes before breaking his maiden in the grade 2 Summer. His final start at Woodbine was the grade 3 Grey Stakes in which he finished second by 2 1/4 lengths. Two starts back he was fourth in the grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf before winning the grade 3 Cecil B. Demille. He certainly has the class edge in this race and is a deserving morning line favorite.

10. Mischief Clem (9-2 ML) – He is 3 for 6 in his career with five of the starts coming against fellow California bred horses. His first route race was at Los Alamitos going a mile where he finished fourth that day. Last time out he was winning the Cal Cup Derby going a mile and a sixteenth against California breds by a head. The post position does him no favors, but he has some time to find a good spot by the first turn.



This is a tough race with many different ways to go. #9 Conquest Typhoon is the class of the race and will be tough in here. #5 Cross the Line has won his last two starts here at Golden Gate, both of which came at a mile or longer. #3 Metaboss is an intriguing last out maiden winner who could relish the longer distances. #7 Soul Driver will by rallying late while #2 Indianaughty, #8 Stand and Salute, and #10 Mischief Clem could also finish on the board, if not win outright.

1. Conquest Typhoon

2. Cross The Line

3. Metaboss

4. Soul Driver