Max Player cruises five furlongs in :59.60 in preparation for Kentucky Derby

August 24, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.– George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred’s $1 million Travers Stakes (Grade I) third-place finisher Max Player recorded a swift five-furlong move in :59.60 Monday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on Saturday, Sept. 5.

Max Player, who was recently transferred to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen from New York-based conditioner Linda Rice, worked at 7:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) during the exclusive 15-minute training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders. Max Player, who breezed with jockey Florent Geroux up, began his work two lengths behind stablemate Allege and worked through fractions of :23.80 and :35.80. Max Player finished even with his workmate at the wire and continued to gallop out in front through six furlongs in 1:12.60.

“He worked really well behind his workmate,” said Geroux, who was filling in Monday for Max Player’s Derby rider Ricardo Santana Jr. “I think he will like the 1 ¼-mile distance in the Derby. I was working the horse this morning because Ricardo is still at Saratoga. Steve has given me many great opportunities in my career so I always try to help when he needs me. I will be on (trainer) Bob Baffert’s horse Thousand Words in the Derby.”

Also training during the special training window was Victoria’s Ranch’s King Guillermo, who galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Edgar Medina for trainer Juan Avila. The son of Uncle Mo is scheduled to have his final move before the Kentucky Derby on Saturday morning.

Raymond Daniels and Wayne Scherr’s former $100,000 claim Necker Island returned to the track following his walk day on Sunday with an easy jog under exercise rider Hillary Hartman. Necker Island, trained by Chris Hartman, is tentatively scheduled to work on Saturday with jockey Miguel Mena aboard.

Prior to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks training window, Lloyd Madison Farm’s Major Fed galloped 1 ½ miles at 5:15 a.m. under exercise rider Margarito Fierro. Trained by Greg Foley, the $300,000 Indiana Derby (GIII) runner-up is scheduled to have his final work on Friday or Saturday. Approximately 45 minutes following Major Fed’s gallop, West Point Thoroughbreds and Pearl Racing’s $600,000 Arkansas Derby (GI) third-place finisher Winning Impression had a light 1 ½-mile gallop with trainer Dallas Stewart’s exercise rider Emerson Chavez in the saddle.

Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s $200,000 Ellis Park Derby runner-up Attachment Rate had a scheduled walk day following his half-mile move in :48.60 Sunday morning.

 On the Longines Kentucky Oaks front, Mark and Nancy Stanley’s graded stakes placed Tempers Rising galloped 1 ½ miles at 6:30 a.m. under Chavez. Also making an appearance Monday morning at Churchill Downs was Flurry Racing StablesQatar Racing Limited and Big Aut Farms’ $200,000 Indiana Oaks (GIII) winner Shedaresthedevil, who jogged with exercise rider Edvin Vargas up for trainer Brad Cox. Her stablemate, Juddmonte Farms’ $600,000 Alabama Stakes (GI) runner-up Bonny South, galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Gustavo Abrego.

ARRIVAL INFORMATION – Several Kentucky Derby contenders have yet to converge on Churchill Downs but are scheduled to arrive in the upcoming week. The following is the latest arrival information, according to senior director of the stable area Steve Hargrave:

~ Tuesday or Wednesday via van from Skylight Training Center to Churchill Downs: Art Collector (trainer Tommy Drury)

~ Tuesday via flight from San Diego: Rushie (Michael McCarthy)

~ Sunday via flight from New York: Caracaro (Gustavo Delgado) and Ny Traffic (Saffie Joseph)

~ Sunday via van from Florida: Sole Volante (Patrick Biancone)

 ~ Aug. 31 via flight from San Diego to Louisville: Authentic (Bob Baffert), Honor A. P. (John Shirreffs), Storm the Court (Peter Eurton); and Thousand Words (Baffert)

~  Aug. 31 via flight from New York: Dr Post (Todd Pletcher) and Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg)

~ Aug. 31 or Sept. 1 via van from Canada: Shirl’s Speight (Roger Attfield)

Details on the arrival of Finnick the Fierce (Rey Hernandez) have not been finalized.

KENTUCKY DERBY FIELD RUNDOWN: The possible field, in order of preference, for the 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) (with jockey): Tiz the Law (Manny Franco); Authentic (John Velazquez); Art Collector (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Honor A.P. (Mike Smith); Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez); King Guillermo (Samy Camacho); Thousand Words (Florent Geroux); Dr Post (Tyler Gaffalione); Max Player (Ricardo Santana Jr.); Caracaro (Javier Castellano); Enforceable (Adam Beschizza); Rushie (TBA); Major Fed (James Graham); Storm the Court (Julien Leparoux); Attachment Rate (Joe Talamo); Sole Volante (Luca Panici); Finnick the Fierce (Martin Garcia); Winning Impression (Joe Rocco Jr.); Necker Island (Miguel Mena); and Shirl’s Speight (Corey Lanerie).

KENTUCKY OAKS FIELD RUNDOWN: The possible field, in order of preference, for the 146th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kerntucky Oaks (GI) (with jockey): Swiss Skydiver (Tyler Gaffalione); Speech (Javier Castellano); Bonny South (TBA); Shedaresthedevil (Florent Geroux); Venetian Harbor (TBA); Tonalist’s Shape (TBA); Project Whiskey (Paco Lopez); Donna Veloce (TBA); Gamine (John Velazquez); Hopeful Growth (Manny Franco); Tempers Rising (Julien Leparoux); and Dream Marie (TBA).

KENTUCKY DERBY, OAKS WORKOUTS TO BE STREAMED LIVE– Churchill Downs Racetrack will provide live online streaming of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders’ workouts when the exclusive 7:30-7:45 a.m. (all times Eastern) training window.

The live stream presented by will be available at multiple sources including on Facebook at; on Twitter via @KentuckyDerby and; on YouTube at; and

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 along with Racing Experts Scott Shapiro, Ed DeRosa, Brandon Stauble and Chantal Sutherland.

A special 15-minute session from 7:30-7:45 a.m. 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.

Press Release

Photo: Max Player. Credit: Kentucky Derby

@jonathanstettin great pick!

Justin Golden @justin181174 View testimonials




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