Friesan Fire arrives at Churchill; several works on tap Saturday
Louisiana Derby (G2) romper FRIESAN FIRE (A.P. Indy) arrived at Churchill Downs shortly after 3 p.m. (EDT) Friday following a van ride from Lexington's Keeneland Race Course. The Larry Jones charge will be stabled in Barn 45.
The Godolphin duo of DESERT PARTY (Street Cry [Ire]) and REGAL RANSOM (Distorted Humor) galloped 1 1/4 miles before the renovation break with exercise rider Bob Chapman handling each colt. The pair are exiting the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2), in which the victorious Regal Ransom held off the late charge of Desert Party.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said both would work Saturday morning, with Regal Ransom going out at 6 a.m. and Desert Party after the break at 8:30. Chapman will handle both five-furlong works.
Illinois Derby (G2) winner MUSKET MAN (Yonaguska) galloped 1 5/8 miles under Salvador Dominguez early Friday morning and was scheduled for his final pre-Derby work on Saturday.
"When (Eibar) Coa gets here in the morning, we'll work," trainer Derek Ryan said.
Arkansas Derby (G2) hero PAPA CLEM (Smart Strike) galloped 1 1/2 miles before the renovation break under exercise rider Mundo Gonzalez, who is scheduled to be aboard for Papa Clem's work Saturday morning.
"Mundo gallops for me in California, and I was thinking that if we do good here and go on to Pimlico, I'd like to have my regular guy who gets on him," trainer Gary Stute said.
Wood Memorial (G1) runner-up WEST SIDE BERNIE (Bernstein) galloped 1 5/8 miles before the renovation break with trainer Kelly Breen up. Breen plans to work West Side Bernie after the break Saturday morning and hopes to have jockey Stewart Elliott aboard for the work.
Two of the three Todd Pletcher Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls galloped Friday morning at Churchill Downs. Tampa Bay Derby (G3) runner-up JOIN IN THE DANCE (Sky Mesa) galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Kevin Willey. With $90,000 in graded earnings, Join in the Dance would need one defection for the list of possible Kentucky Derby starters to gain a spot in the starting gate. Willey was out in the next set on Lexington S. (G2) scorer ADVICE (Chapel Royal), who also galloped 1 1/2 miles.
Pletcher's leading candidate, Florida Derby (G1) runner-up DUNKIRK (Unbridled's Song), is stabled at Palm Meadows in Florida and scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, the same day as Pletcher.
El Camino Real Derby (G3) victor CHOCOLATE CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]) visited the Churchill paddock and galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Lindsey Molina shortly after the track opened for training at 6 a.m. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is scheduled to work Monday or Tuesday.
Smarty Jones S. winner FLAT OUT (Flatter) had an easy day and just walked the shedrow in Barn 48. Trainer Charles "Scooter" Dickey still has not named a jockey and has not yet decided when Flat Out will work next. Flat Out is 22nd on the graded earnings list and needs a couple of defections to make the field for Derby 135.
Lane's End S. (G2) runner-up FLYING PRIVATE (Fusaichi Pegasus) galloped an unspecified distance according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who said it "doesn't matter" how far he went. Exercise rider Taylor Carty was aboard. Flying Private is scheduled to work Sunday or Monday.
Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy reported all was well with GENERAL QUARTERS (Sky Mesa) on Friday morning, a day after the colt worked five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 under exercise rider Julie Sheets.
Lane's End hero HOLD ME BACK (Giant's Causeway) galloped 1 1/2 miles under assistant trainer Kenny McCarthy before the renovation break Friday morning.
"And Twinkie had a good gallop, too, if anyone is asking," trainer Bill Mott said with a chuckle, referring to his pony.
Mott is looking at Sunday or Monday as the final work for Hold Me Back, who will attempt to make Kent Desormeaux the first jockey in 26 years to ride back-to-back Kentucky Derby winners. Eddie Delahoussaye last turned the trick in 1982-83 with Gato Del Sol and Sunny's Halo.
Wood Memorial star I WANT REVENGE (Stephen Got Even) started the day with a paddock schooling session and then galloped 1 1/2 miles under Joe Deegan.
The Jeff Mullins charge is scheduled to have his third work at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. Jockey Joe Talamo, who has been aboard for the first two moves, is slated to be in the saddle. Mullins is scheduled to return to Louisville from his Southern California base on Saturday.
Canadian champion juvenile MINE THAT BIRD (Birdstone) jogged a half-mile and then galloped 1 1/2 miles before the renovation break under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa.
"He looked sharp this morning," trainer Chip Woolley said. "He will work Monday morning, a little after the break, around 8:50."
Calvin Borel will have a get-acquainted session that morning on Mine That Bird, who comes into the Kentucky Derby off a fourth-place finish in the March 29 Sunland Derby.
Santa Anita Derby (G1) conqueror PIONEEROF THE NILE (Empire Maker) galloped 1 1/2 miles after the renovation break with exercise rider George Alvarez up. Trainer Bob Baffert has Monday penciled in as the next work day for Pioneerof the Nile.
Breeders' Futurity (G1) romper SQUARE EDDIE (Smart Strike) was on the track before 7 a.m. Friday for a 1 1/2-mile gallop under exercise rider Tony Romero. Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill, was asked how the gallop looked to him.
"Pretty damn good," Mora said with a smile.
Square Eddie, who finished third in the Lexington in his return from injury, is slated to have his final pre-Derby work Sunday. O'Neill is expected to be on hand.
Rebel S. (G2) victor WIN WILLY (Monarchos) walked the shedrow at Barn 45, a day after arriving from Oaklawn Park, where he finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby in his most recent start.
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