KYDerby150: Resilience Breezes, Fierceness Arrives

April 22, 2024

Derby Season at the Bill Mott barn. (Kevin Kerstein Photo)

Kentucky Derby Update

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–On a chilly Monday morning at Churchill Downs, the action was non-stop at trainer Bill Mott’s Barn 19 as his Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls Resilience (five furlongs, 1:01.60) and Just F Y I (five furlongs, :59.80) had published workouts beneath the Twin Spires.

Other major headlines from Monday morning included the arrival of Repole Stable’s Fierceness from Palm Beach Downs in South Florida and the first day of training at Churchill Downs for Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner Sierra Leone.

As of Monday, there were 16 of the top 20 Derby contenders at Churchill Downs. The only ones yet to arrive are Stronghold (Tuesday), West Saratoga (Friday), T O Password (Friday) and Grand Mo the First (Thursday).

CATALYTIC – Tami Bobo, Julie Davies and George Isaacs’ Catalytic arrived from South Florida at 7 o’clock Monday morning for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.

Runner-up in the Florida Derby (GI) in his most recent start, Catalytic will be ridden by Jose Ortiz in Kentucky Derby 150. Catalytic is scheduled to work Sunday.

CATCHING FREEDOM/ENCINO/JUST A TOUCH – Trainer Brad Cox’s Derby trio ofCatching Freedom, Encino and Just a Touch all trained Monday at 7:30 a.m.

Catching Freedom and Just a Touch, who recorded published workouts Saturday, had a lighter training session compared to Encino. 

“They’re all handling things well right now,” Cox said. “At this point we’re one work away from the Derby so we’re looking forward to seeing them train this week and then working all three of them this weekend.”

All three are likely to train Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.

DOMESTIC PRODUCT/SIERRA LEONE –Klaravich Stables’ Domestic Product arrived at Churchill Downs from Payson Park in South Florida early Monday morning for trainer Chad Brown.

Winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (GIII) in his most recent start, Domestic Product will be ridden in the Derby by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Brook Smith’s Sierra Leone, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, galloped a little more than a mile under Kriss Bon.

The final pre-Derby works for the two likely will be Saturday, depending on the weather. As of Monday, rain was forecast for Friday with a lesser chance of precipitation for Saturday.

DORNOCH/SOCIETY MAN – Trainer Danny Gargan’s Derby duo of Dornoch and Society Man jogged Monday morning under Pricilla Schaefer. Both horses are scheduled to work Saturday.

Dornoch, the full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage, also visited the starting gate. He is owned by the partnership of West Paces Racing, R. A. Hill Stable, BelmarRacing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing Stables. Luis Saez has the Derby mount.

Society Man, owned in partnership by Reeves Thoroughbreds, West Paces, GMP Stables and Carl and Yurie Pascarella, has not had a rider confirmed by Gargan for the Derby.

ENDLESSLY – Amerman Racing’s Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) winner Endlessly had an easy Monday at trainer Michael McCarthy’s Barn 35 after he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The son of Oscar Performance was one of the first horses to school in the paddock after training later Monday morning under the watchful eye of McCarthy’s local assistant Justin Curran.

McCarthy is scheduled to return to Louisville Thursday morning.

FIERCENESS – Repole Stable’s Fierceness, runaway winner of the Florida Derby (GI) in his most recent start for trainer Todd Pletcher, arrived at Churchill Downs at 4:30 this morning from Palm Beach Downs in South Florida.

FOREVER YOUNG (JPN) – Susumu Fujita’s undefeated Forever Young (JPN) spent 20 minutes in the mile chute and then galloped a mile and a half under Yusaku Oka.

Winner of the Saudi Derby (GIII) and UAE Derby (GII) in his past two starts, Forever Young is trained by Yoshito Yahagi.

Ryusei Sakai, who has been aboard Forever Young in all of his starts, is scheduled to arrive in Louisville tonight and will be aboard the colt the next two mornings with a workout scheduled for Wednesday. Sakai will return to Japan after the two days here and then return Thursday of Derby Week.

GRAND MO THE FIRST – Granpollo Stables’ Grand Mo the First is scheduled to work Tuesday morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer Victor Barboza Jr.

“If he works out tomorrow with God’s favor and everything is OK, we are traveling to Kentucky on Thursday,” Barboza said via text.

Jockey Emisael Jaramillo will be aboard for the work scheduled at 8 a.m.

HONOR MARIE – Ribble Farms, Michael Eiserman, Earl Silver, Kenneth and Dave Fishbein’s Honor Marie galloped 1 ½ miles Monday at 7:30 a.m. under trainer WhitBeckman’s exercise rider Maurilio Garcia.

Honor Marie will have his final work for the Kentucky Derby Thursday with jockey Ben Curtis in the saddle.

Beckman confirmed Monday that Curtis will have the mount in Kentucky Derby 150.

JUST STEEL – BC Stable’s Just Steel walked Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ famed Barn 44 Monday after working one mile in 1:40 Saturday.

MYSTIK DAN – Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing and Daniel Hamby III’s Mystik Dan, third in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his most recent start, galloped Monday morning for trainer Kenny McPeek.

Mystik Dan is scheduled to work Saturday.

McPeek also said that Common Defense, owned by the partnership of David Bernsen, Tony Holmes, Michael Holmes and Norevale Farm, would not run in the Kentucky Derby with plans to be determined.

RESILIENCE – Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman’s Resilience had a serious tune up for Kentucky Derby 150 Monday with a five-furlong move in 1:01.60 under jockey Junior Alvarado, who has the mount in the “Run for the Roses.”

Resilience galloped about one mile before he worked Monday at 9 a.m. The winner of the Wood Memorial (GII) breezed an opening quarter mile in :25.80 and easily galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols.

“He’s the type of horse that has taken a little more time to mature than some others,” trainer Bill Mott said. “We took our time with his development, and it’s seemed to have worked out well.”

STRONGHOLD – Eric and Sharon Waller’s Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Stronghold galloped Monday morning at Santa Anita and is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

“He galloped this morning and looked good and will be flying your way early tomorrow morning,” trainer Phil D’Amato said via text. “He will probably work Sunday and (jockey Antonio) Fresu night come in to breeze him.”

T O PASSOWRD (JPN) – Tomoya Ozasa’s T O Password is scheduled to leave Japan Tuesday to start the long trek to Churchill Downs that will include a stopover in Chicago to quarantine for 42 hours before a scheduled arrival in Louisville early Friday morning

TRACK PHANTOM – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s Barn 38 was quiet Monday morning following Track Phantom’s five-furlong move in 1:00.80 Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.

Track Phantom, who had a scheduled walk day, is expected to return to the track Tuesday.

WEST SARATOGA –Harry Veruchi’s West Saratoga galloped a mile and three-quarters at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Kentucky, for his first day back at the track since working six furlongs in 1:16.20 on Friday at Keeneland.

Trainer Larry Demeritte plans to bring West Saratoga to Churchill Downs on Friday with a three-furlong work scheduled for Saturday. Jesus Castanon has the Derby mount.

Also Eligibles – Welch Racing’s Epic Ride galloped at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Kentucky, this morning for trainer John Ennis.

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