May 25, 2022

Salty heads Kentucky Oaks worktab at Churchill Downs

Salty breezed four furlongs in :48.40 in company over Churchill Downs' fast main track on Friday, April 28, 2017 (c) Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) victress Salty posted a :48.40 four-furlong breeze in company with Davona Dale Stakes (G2) runner-up Summer Luck for trainer Mark Casse on Friday over the fast dirt at Churchill Downs in readiness for the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Janelle Castonguay was aboard Salty as the Quality Road filly covered splits of :12.20 and :24.20 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.40.

“She’s been doing great,” Casse said. “We’ve always been very high on her. Who knows how good she could really be.”

Forward Gal Stakes (G2) winner Tequilita breezed four furlongs in :48 with exercise rider Jo Saville in the irons.

The Union Rags filly rattled off fractions of :11.60, :23 and :35.40 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:01.80 and three-quarters in 1:16.

Trainer Michael Matz waited to send Tequilita out until she was the last of 12 Kentucky Oaks and Derby horses to work following the renovation break.

“I got her on the gallop out in 1:01 and 1, but then I couldn’t quite see the pole from where I was in the grandstand,” Matz said. “The track was a little different than Keeneland (where Tequilita recorded her prior two works). Her gallop out was great.”

Multiple Grade 2-placed Jordan’s Henny breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40 under jockey Joe Rocco Jr., recording splits of :13.20 and :37.80. The Mike Tomlinson-trained daughter of Henny Hughes galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.

“That was absolutely fine and she galloped out nice,” Tomlinson said. “She’s a seasoned veteran and she has been stabled here and raced here. All is good.”

Trainer Brendan Walsh was in the saddle as Wicked Lick breezed a half-mile in :49.60 in company with maiden Stormy Louise.

The MacLean’s Music filly, runner-up in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) last out, was caught in splits of :12.20, :24.20 and :37. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.80.

“I thought it went great,” Walsh said. “It was nice and smooth. She is fit and ready to go. She may jog in the morning and then walk Sunday.”

Multiple Grade 2-placed Vexatious was one of those breezing after the renovation break, clocking three-quarters in 1:14.60 under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.

Clockers caught the Giant’s Causeway filly’s half-mile split in :49.60 while trainer Neil Drysdale recorded her galloping out a mile in 1:43.

“We wanted a maintenance work,” Drysdale said. “Brian did exactly what we wanted – went off smoothly, galloped out nicely. She’s already run twice this month so that’s all she’ll need. She handles this track well and looks good.”

At Keeneland, Grade 2 winner Daddys Lil Darling breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 in company with maiden Wholehearted for trainer Kenny McPeek.

Jockey Julien Leparoux was aboard for the move, and has been tabbed to take over riding duties aboard the Scat Daddy filly after Robby Albarado was sidelined with an injury.

Leparoux worked Irap before Daddys Lil Darling, so McPeek had exercise rider Danny Ramsey warm Daddys Lil Darling up on the track before Leparoux climbed aboard

Keeneland clockers caught the final quarter in :23.80 and Daddys Lil Darling galloped out in 1:15.

“It was just a nice maintenance work. We wanted to let Julien get the feel of her,” said McPeek, adding that the filly will likely van to Churchill on Monday and visit the paddock on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In other Kentucky Oaks news:

Multiple Grade 2 queen Farrell jogged a mile under jockey Channing Hill at 7 a.m. The Malibu Moon filly is scheduled to visit the starting gate during training hours on Saturday morning for trainer Wayne Catalano.

Fantasy Stakes (G3) heroine Ever So Clever galloped at 7:45 a.m. with Angel Garcia aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Busanda Stakes winner Lockdown galloped during the Oaks and Kentucky Derby special training session.

“She’s doing well here,” trainer Bill Mott said of the Gazelle Stakes (G2) runner-up. “Whether she’s good enough or not is what we don’t know for sure.”

Miss Sky Warrior, who wired the Gazelle by 13 lengths, walked the shedrow on Friday, one day after covering a half-mile in :49.20. Trained by Kelly Breen, the First Samurai filly is expected to return to the track Saturday.