Brad Cox on Louisiana Derby runner-up Zozos’ work (6F in 1:12.40), with comments on Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife (who is to work Saturday morning) and Keeneland’s Stonestreet Lexington winner Tawny Port.
Todd Pletcher: The media catches up with Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher after he worked several of his Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders at Churchill Downs on April 22. Florida Derby runner-up Charge it worked 5F in 1:00.40 in company of Cezanne at 7:30, while Wood Memorial winner Mo Donegal (with jockey Irad Ortiz up) worked an easy half-mile in 50.20 with My Prankster, also at 7:30 a.m. Keeneland’s G1 Ashland winner Nest (Ortiz up) worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds outside of Inventing at 6 a.m. Pletcher’s other two Oaks contenders, UAE Derby winner Shahama worked with Goddess of Fire (inside horse) five-eighths in 1:00.80. B-roll of these horses under a separate video.
Jockey Irad Ortiz after working Ashland winner Nest and Wood winner Mo Donegal for trainer Todd Pletcher. Begins with b-roll of Mo Donegal’s work, as well as stablemate Charge It. (No Nest video, at least I don’t think. She didn’t have on an Oaks saddle towel).
Jerry Crawford, president of Donegal Racing, the syndicate that owns Mo Donegal, was on hand for the Wood Memorial winner’s work.
Trainer John Ortiz on Arkansas Derby runner-up Barber Road, who worked six furlongs in 1:16.40 under Reylu Gutierrez. Barber Road, the late-running Arkansas Derby runner-up, has put Ortiz into the Kentucky Derby in his sixth year as a trainer. We catch up with Ortiz at his Churchill Downs barn, just outside the playful Barber Road’s stall. Barber Road, a $15,000 weanling purchase, is owned by Bill Simon, former CEO of WalMart – who knows a barga
B-roll from morning training
Notes: We tried to catch as many Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders training as possible. Even with the lights, the shadows made it difficult to pick out the horses who trained before sunrise. Somewhere in there could be Nest working (but I think I missed her) and Echo Zulu, Epicenter and Hidden Connection galloping (with Derby and Oaks saddle towels). When it got lighter, Cyberknife and Tawny Port (with saddle towels) galloped for Brad Cox. It was much better to read their saddle towels during the 7:30 time slot for workers, including Louisiana Derby runner-up Zozos for Cox with jockey Florent Geroux up. Todd Pletcher (TAP saddle towel) was only trainer not to use the Derby or Oaks saddle towels. The gray Charge It worked in company (rider had on gray sleeves with black vest and a blue and white sort of checked helmet cover. Irad Ortiz, gray sweatshirt, subsequently worked Pletcher-trained Mo Donegal, who has some white on his forehead. Also on video is the gray Barber Road, working with jockey Rely Gutierrez up. He crosses across the mile chute from the 6F gap. Japan’s Crown Pride, the UAE Derby winner, also goes by the “wrong” way. Tomorrow (Sunday April 23) the special Derby/Oaks horses only starts at 7:30 each morning. And hopefully Churchill Downs will start turning on more lights on the backstretch part of the track for those training early. Video shot from the homestretch is courtesy Churchill Downs’ PR department.
Trainer Steve Asmussen after Louisiana Derby winner Epicenter and Fair Grounds Oaks winner Echo Zulu work for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, respectively, on Sunday April 17 morning at Churchill Downs.
B-roll video of Echo Zulu’s work (five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 with stablemate King Ottoman) at 5:30 a.m. and Epicenter (five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 4/5 with stablemate Gun It) about 6 a.m.
Stonestreet Lexington Stakes: Brad Cox did not have a horse with a single Derby qualifying point just a few weeks ago. Now he has three horses in the 20-horse field. Tawny Port further entrenched his spot by taking Keeneland’s Grade 2, $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington by a length over Major General. B-roll and interviews with Cox and jockey Florent Geroux.
Chad Brown on Blue Grass Stakes winner Zandon and Wood Memorial runner-up Early Voting
Shug McGaughey on 4-for-4 Kathleen O., who worked half-mile at Keeneland in 48.3 seconds
Grade 1, $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (Zandon): Jockey Flavien Prat (on the fly, so only use is as audio), winning owner Jeff Drown (note: winning trainer Chad Brown was in New York), runner-up (Smile Happy) jockey Corey Lanerie, runner-up trainer Kenny McPeek, third-place (Emmanuel) trainer Todd Pletcher (includes comment on winning Wood Memorial with Mo Donegal)
Ky Oaks: Nest wins G1 Ashland
Jeff Ruby Steaks: Tiz the Bomb is the bomb (Kenny McPeek, Brian Hernandez)
HBPA Kentucky Press Release