Tuesday’s Kentucky Derby Report: Trio of Breezers Bring the Morning ‘Thunder’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A trio of GI Kentucky Derby workers enjoyed the spotlight during training hours on a brisk Tuesday morning beneath the Twin Spires.

Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits) was hard held beneath Masatoshi Segawa and ready to do much more as he hit the top of the stretch. He finished up strongly once let loose down the lane and completed his four-furlong breeze in :49.60 (13/20). The G2 UAE Derby winner will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by Christophe Lemaire.

His countrymate Mandarin Hero (Jpn) (Shanghai Bobby), a fantastic second beaten just a nose in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby in his U.S. debut and currently on the outside looking in on the Kentucky Derby also-eligible list, worked five furlongs in a leisurely 1:05.60 (15/15). He will target the second leg of the Triple Crown if unable to secure a spot in the Derby.

The blinkered Sun Thunder (Into Mischief) also breezed during the 15-minute training window reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses as temperatures hovered in the mid-40s just after 7:30 a.m. The GI Blue Grass S. fourth-place finisher worked a “maintenance half-mile” beneath jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. in :47.80 (3/20). Trainer Ken McPeek’s best result from eight previous Kentucky Derby starters was a second-place finish with Tejano Run in 1995.

As for Tuesday’s Derby gallopers, a pair of grays made their presence felt on the sunsplashed backstretch.

‘TDN Rising Star’ and $1.3-million KEEESEP yearling purchase Tapit Trice (Tapit) immediately caught the eye as trainer Todd Pletcher watched his three Derby runners train near the chute.

Hit Show (Candy Ride {Arg}) also made a very favorable impression for trainer Brad Cox galloping powerfully with his neck arched.

The Pletcher barn was the place to be afterwards as champion 2-year-old colt and ‘Rising Star’ Forte (Violence), the unbeaten Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) and the aforementioned Tapit Trice got cleaned up following their routine 1 3/8-mile gallops.

Forte co-owner Mike Repole, sporting an Uncle Mo jacket, of course, was among a very large group of admirers lined up to get a closer look at the Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite as training hours began to wind down.

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