Churchill Downs Workers Continue Derby/Oaks Preps

Spendthrift Farm’s duo of GII Louisiana Derby winner Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) and GII Jeff Ruby Steaks  runner-up Major Dude (Bolt d’Oro) had their penultimate works prior to Kentucky Derby Day when they each breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 Thursday morning at Churchill Downs. The duo clipped through opening eighth-mile fractions of :12.60, :24.40 and :36.20. They galloped out together through six furlongs in 1:13.40.

“I think people gave Kingsbarns a discount because of the time of the Louisiana Derby,” Spendthrift Farm President Eric Gustavson said. “I don’t think you should be penalized by going to the front and putting everyone else to sleep like he did. We’re pretty confident coming into the Derby.”

“Both of them went pretty well,” added trainer Todd Pletcher. “I thought it was a good, steady work with a strong gallop out. Kingsbarns accomplished a lot in a short period of time. I thought his debut was very professional. It’s hard to win going one-mile first time out and he did it getting an education being behind horses. For his first start I thought that was impressive. We went the Tampa Bay Downs route to get a two-turn allowance race into him. I thought that worked out well. He made a big step forward then in the Louisiana Derby.”

Pletcher reported Kentucky Derby favorite Forte (Violence) will breeze Friday along with GI Blue Grass Stakes winner Tapit Trice (Tapit).

Not to be outdone, the fillies pointing towards the GI Kentucky Oaks also occupied the work tab Thursday.

At 7:30 a.m., Botanical (Medaglia d’Oro) (five furlongs, 1:00.20), Southlawn (Pioneerof the Nile) (five furlongs, :58.80), The Alys Look (Connect) (five furlongs, 1:00.60) and Wet Paint (Blame) (five furlongs, 1:00.20) all recorded published workouts. About 90 minutes later, Gambling Girl breezed a half-mile in :49.40.

Wet Paint, with jockey Flavien Prat aboard, began two lengths back of her stablemate Wet Paint, who was ridden by Florent Geroux, and finished even at the wire. Wet Paint completed a six-furlong gallop out in 1:13 while her stablemate finished in 1:13.40. Immediately following their work, Botanical, with jockey Chris Landeros in the irons, worked outside stablemate Flashy Gem. The duo galloped out six furlongs together in 1:13.40.

“I thought it was a really good morning for all of our fillies,” said trainer Brad Cox. “The Alys Look began about two lengths in front of Wet Paint and they finished well together and galloped out well together. I thought it was a very solid move. I let Botanical do a little bit more today than last week just to see how she’d really handle the dirt. She was actually here at Churchill last summer and we breezed her on the turf then and thought she handled it well. She didn’t quite have a lot of early speed so that’s why we started her going long on turf. Flashy Gem is a very good work horse and the two fillies ran first and second last time out at Turfway.”

Southlawn, trained by Norm Casse, started five lengths back of stablemate Burning Bright. The winner of the GII Fair Grounds Oaks worked through fractions of :24 and :35.20 with rider Rey Gutierrez in the saddle. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.60, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols.

Gambling Girl (Dialed In) worked with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. on board and was outside her Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Cairo Consort (Cairo Prince). The duo completed early fractions of :12.60 and :24.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.20.

GIII UAE Oaks winner Mimi Kakushi (City of Light) is on her way from Dubai to the U.S. and is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

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