Justify, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and likely Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite, turned in his penultimate work for the Run for the Roses Saturday at Santa Anita. Under Drayden Van Dyke, Justify was timed in 1:13.20 for six furlongs.
“I was happy with the work,” said Bob Baffert, who has won four Kentucky Derbies. “Everything went well. He’ll work one more time here next weekend.”
Lecomte (G3) winner Instilled Regard, unplaced in the Risen Star (G2) and Santa Anita Derby in his last two, covered five furlongs in 1:01. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Instilled Regard is presently 22nd on the Derby points list and will need defections to make the field.
Juvenile champion and Blue Grass (G2) winner Good Magic worked at Keeneland Saturday, getting four furlongs in :48. Keeneland clockers caught Good Magic galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 and six furlongs in 1:14.
“The horse is moving great,” Brown said. “He was well within himself. His time’s perfect — what I was looking for. It was well executed. I give my rider, Walter Malasquez, credit — they have good chemistry together. It’s a team effort. I couldn’t be happier with how (Good Magic is) doing.”
Brown, who referred to the work as “outstanding,” said he plans to ship Good Magic to Churchill Downs, where he will have his final pre-Derby work, on Sunday.
“We’re really confident that this horse is coming into the (Derby) the right way,” he said. “We’re confident (that) if he continues training as he is now, he’ll run the best race of his life. Whether that’s good enough (to win) remains to be seen — and if he has the racing luck necessary to win a race like the Derby. It’s the strongest field I’ve ever been involved with in the handful of times I’ve run in the race. It’s a tall order, but I think we have one of the main contenders.”
Also working at Keeneland was Blended Citizen, who worked five furlongs in :59.40. Winner of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) and fifth in the Blue Grass, Blended Citizen is currently 24th in the Kentucky Derby point standings and will need four defections between now and entry time to get into the field.
Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson said Kyle Frey would have the mount in the Derby should Blended Citizen make the field.
At Churchill Downs, the Mark Casse-trained Flameaway and the Dale Romans-trained pair of Free Drop Billy and Promises Fulfilled all turned in five-furlong breezes.
Flameaway, winner of the Sam F. Davis (G3) and runner-up in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Blue Grass, was clocked in 1:00.40 working outside allowance winner Ride a Comet. He recorded splits of :11.80, :23.40 and :35.20 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
“I was really happy with his breeze this morning,” said assistant trainer Nick Tomlinson. “He’s doing really well with the track at Churchill and he recorded one of his best breezes that I’ve seen.”
Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Promises Fulfilled breezed in :59.20 through splits of :11.60 and 23, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.80.
Promises Fulfilled breezes 5 furlongs in :59.20.
Splits – 11.60, 23. Out 6F 1:11.80 pic.twitter.com/NJqY4eRzAE
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) April 21, 2018
Grade 1 winner Free Drop Billy, third in the Blue Grass, jogged one mile, galloped one mile, then breezed opening splits of :12.20, :23.60, :35 and :46.80 before passing the wire in :59 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 and seven furlongs in 1:25.40.
Free Drop Billy galloped one mile this morning then breezes 5F in :59.
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) April 21, 2018
“Impressive is all I can really say,” Romans said. “I’ll tell you what, both of these horses looked awesome this morning. It would definitely be a relief to win one of these things one day. These are very smart horses and are doing everything right in the lead up to the Derby.”
Kentucky Derby, Oaks workouts streamed live
Churchill Downs, in conjunction with TwinSpires.com, is providing live online streaming of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders’ workouts.
The live stream presented by TwinSpires.com will begin at 7 a.m. (EDT) daily through May 3 and is available at multiple sources including on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentuckyderby; on Twitter via @KentuckyDerby; on YouTube at www.youtube.com/kentuckyderby; and www.kentuckyderby.com/works.
The live video will include graphics to identify each horse and commentary from an array of industry experts, including Churchill Downs Host and Racing Analyst Joe Kristufek, TwinSpires.com Racing Analyst Ed DeRosa, Brisnet.com Racing Analyst James Scully, and TwinSpires.com Clocker Brandon Stauble.
Different from year’s past, training hours at Churchill Downs will be 5:15-10 a.m. daily through May 3 with 7-7:30 a.m. and 8:30-9 a.m. breaks to renovate the racetrack. A special 15-minute session from 7:30-7:45 a.m. (formerly 8:30-8:45 a.m. in years past) is exclusive to Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks participants and any workmates. The specially-made Derby and Oaks saddle towels must be worn to gain access to the racetrack during that window.