The most important thing to note is that there is a substantial amount of rain predicted throughout the next 3-4 days in Louisville. This will change up a track that was on the heavy side over the weekend and it will be crucial to see how these horses adjust.
He was helped by an unenthused work mate (We Miss Artie), but no doubt this was the best work of Sunday’s lot. Trainer Todd Pletcher called it the best work from Intense Holiday he’s seen yet. John Velazquez, aboard for the first time, had to keep him reigned in at the start of the work. When he asked for some acceleration, Intense Holiday, on the outside, blew past We Miss Artie and galloped out with strength. This is a colt who is currently thriving on this track.
Final time: 4f, 48.60, out 1:00.80 & 1:16.80
Splits: 13.00, 25.00
Danza’s been the picture of fitness since arriving. Although his work was not as flashy as Intense Holiday’s, he did show good energy working with Vinceremos, who was on the inside. Danza eventually accelerated late and did inch away, but once clear, Vinceremos was stronger on the gallop out. Danza does show a bit of high leg action.
Final time: 4f, :48.80 out 5f 1:01.80 & 6f 1:16
Splits: 12.80, 25.
The top work of Saturday’s group. He looks fantastic getting over this track, which he’s trained on since he was 2 years old. He boasts a smooth, effortless, stride and shows no signs of fatigue despite two races in the past month. Also, I like the longer work as opposed to four furlongs. When he came off the track he was barely taxed. Very interesting from CD press notes: “Romans assistant Tammy Fox said she hasn’t galloped Medal Count since prior to last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile because the colt proved too strong for her to handle.”
Final time: 6f, 1:13, out 7f in 1:26.60 & 1 mile in 1:42.20.
Splits: 12.60, 24.40, 36.20, 48.20, 1:00.20
Mixed feelings about this work. He’s a fit horse who looks comfortable in his new surroundings. Jockey Gary Stevens loves the way he gets over the track and trainer John Sadler was very pleased with the work. He certainly outworked his mate and appeared energetic, but I wasn’t blown away. Will keep an eye on how he handles the track with moisture.
Final time: 5f, 1:00.80, out 1:13.80
Splits: 12.40, 24.40, 36.20.
Chitu lost the special shoe he’s been wearing on the right hind hoof in the middle of his workout and that likely affected his ability to accelerate. He seemed to be picking up the pace at the end of his workout and passed his work mate with ease. Note he worked from the gate, which is interesting preparation. He is showing some improvement since he was outworked by Bayern in his previous trip over the track.
Interesting from Baffert in CD notes: “Chitu is being treated for seedy toe, a rare but potentially dangerous fungus condition. Baffert said the colt is recovering nicely and that the shoe protects the hoof. “He runs in regular shoes,” Baffert said. “It’s a little fungus that gets in the toe and eats the front of the wall. It’s not painful or anything. He’s never been sore. It’s growing out. The fungus is under control, but we just took a lot of the wall in the front of hoof off. It’s not inside the foot. It’s nothing painful. We always have it covered up, but right now we have it open so it can get air and dry out. He’s fine.”
Final time: 6f, 1:13.20 from the gate
Splits: 24.40, 36.20, 47.80 1:00.20, out 1:27.20.
He hasn’t looked comfortable over this surface since he arrived. The work over the track was an improvement over how he’s looked in his gallops, but doesn’t appear up to par with others. He looks a bit fatigued when coming off the track. Will watch him over the next few days as the track changes. Trainer Jose Garoffalo: “The track seemed a little bit heavy. He has never been on a track like this.”
Final time: 5f, 1:04.20
Splits: 13.20, 25.80, 38.80 and 51.20, out in 1:20.60.
This was tough to gauge because Commanding Curve veered out, appearing to shy at something, and had to regain his stride at a crucial point in the work. His previous work was much better, and he’s another one who was possibly hampered by the dry, heavy track. He boasts a lot of parallels to Golden Soul, but this work wasn’t Golden Soul-esque.
Final time: 5f, 1:02. 60
Splits: 12.60, 25.20, 37.20, out 6f 1:18.20.
Ride on Curlin
They’re putting a lot of stamina gallops and works into this colt leading up to the race. He looks like the type who needs a target to get the most out of his work; going solo he appears to occasionally lose interest, but that’s not a negative. A bit of a high head carriage on this colt. This work over CD track was significantly slower than his works at Oaklawn. Exercise rider Bryan Beccia: “The track’s a little off. It was a little dead this morning. It’s not as fast as it was last night or anything like that.”
Final time: 7f, 1:29.00
Splits: 14, 27.20, 39.40, 51.60, 1:16, out 1 mile 1:43.20
Say what you will about this little longshot, but I really like the way he moved over the track Saturday. He covers a lot of ground with his stride, is very focused in blinkers and was very professional. He’s a stakes winner and graded stakes-placed who won over this track in his debut; glad he’ll het a shot at the roses.
Final time: 5f, 1:02.60
Splits: 14, 27.20, 39.40, 51.60, 1:16, out 6f in 1:16.20
We Miss Artie
This is a curious colt who loves to show off in the mornings. You’ll see him with his head always bowed, trotting. He appeared totally disinterested in his work with Intense Holiday and began the work with the head bowed. He had nothing left when the rider began urging him. Todd Pletcher said the colt normally works well on dirt, but that this was “the worst he’s ever worked” over it and said he was disappointed with the effort. Don’t know if it’s so much the surface as a horse who is not comfortable in this environment. Reports are he appears to have come back from the work in good health, so he will move forward to the Derby.
Final time: 4f, :49.20
Vicar’s In Trouble
Talented colt didn’t appear to take to the surface when working in company Saturday, and he didn’t accelerate and pass like you’d want to see. Don’t be dismayed by the slow time, however; this colt is known for working casually, so it’s tough to gauge.
Final time: 5f, 1:03.80
Splits: 13.20, 25.80, 38.20, out 6f 1:17.20.