On the Kentucky Derby worktab
BIG BROWN (Boundary), the undefeated winner of the Florida Derby (G1), worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 on a fast track at Palm Meadows on Friday. The Richard Dutrow-trained colt is a leading contender for the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 3 at Churchill Downs.
After breaking his maiden going 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Saratoga, Big Brown rolled to a 12 3/4-length victory going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park in his three-year-old debut on March 5. In his most recent outing, the bay colt cruised to a five-length score despite breaking from post 12 in the nine-furlong Florida Derby on March 29.
Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) winner ANAK NAKAL (Victory Gallop) breezed four furlongs in :49 2/5 on a fast track at Churchill Downs. The Nick Zito trainee is exiting a fifth-place effort in the Wood Memorial (G1) on April 5 at Aqueduct.
Anak Nakal was timed in fractions of :12 2/5, :24 3/5 and :37 1/5 under exercise rider Megan Smillie. The dark bay colt galloped out five furlongs in 1:03 4/5.
"He did it pretty well," Zito said. "He's got a fondness for the track. He won the Kentucky Jockey Club, which is a prestigious race and it's proven over the years to do well with three-year-olds. It's been kind of a springboard."
In other Kentucky Derby news:
Zito's other two Derby hopefuls -- WAR PASS (Cherokee Run) and COOL COAL MAN (Mineshaft) -- likely will breeze in the next few days at Churchill Downs.
War Pass, last year's undefeated champion two-year-old, comes off a game runner-up performance in the Wood Memorial. The dark bay colt set relatively fast fractions before finishing second to Tale of Ekati (Tale of the Cat) in the nine-furlong event.
"Obviously, the Wood was tough on him," Zito said. "I think anybody could see it was a gut-wrenching performance, so I've kind of been taking it easy with him. Of course, I've got to make up my mind pretty soon to breeze him. But I don't think he needs too much for that race, and we'll see what we're going to do pretty soon."
Fountain of Youth S. (G2) winner Cool Coal Man most recently faded to ninth in the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland.
"Not to make excuses, but he certainly didn't like the synthetic surface -- none of my horses do, basically," Zito said. "But hopefully we can throw it out and build from it. He did win a race here last fall, and he did win a race called the Fountain of Youth."
Zito plans to announce a rider for Cool Coal Man this weekend.
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