Dialed In Arrives At Churchill
Dialed In arrives at Churchill
Robert LaPenta's DIALED IN (Mineshaft), who is expected to vie for favoritism in next Saturday's Kentucky Derby (G1), arrived at Louisville International Airport at 12:45 p.m. (EDT) Saturday afternoon following a flight from South Florida. Dialed In arrived at Churchill Downs shortly before 2 p.m. and settled in at Barn 36.
Dialed In, who won the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in his most recent start, broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his debut to racing on November 12.
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito has saddled two Kentucky Derby winners -- Strike the Gold in 1991 and Go for Gin in 1994 -- and was represented by runner-up Ice Box last year. Julien Leparoux has the return mount aboard Dialed In.
Arriving with Dialed In was Harvey Clarke and partners' SOLDAT (War Front), who made his way to Churchill's Barn 41.
Soldat, who captured the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park on February 26 before a disappointing fifth-place Florida Derby run, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Palm Meadows on Friday.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will be seeking his first Kentucky Derby success with Soldat, who will be ridden next Saturday by Alan Garcia.
In other Derby doings, Arkansas Derby (G1) winner ARCHARCHARCH (Arch) returned to the track one day after working a bullet five furlongs in :59 2/5. On Saturday, he turned in an easy jog once around under jockey Jon Court with trainer Jinks Fires alongside on a pony.
Archarcharch jogged the day after his bullet drill (Harold Roth/Horsephotos.com)
'He does a lot better if you take him to the track and get him out of his stall,' Fires said. 'We just jogged to the starting gate, stood and then backed out and jogged back around.'
Owned by Robert Yagos, Archarcharch is scheduled to gallop Sunday morning after the renovation break.
This year's Kentucky Derby will be the first for Fires and Court, but not for the Fires' family. Jinks' brother Earlie, a Hall of Fame jockey, rode in the Derby six times with in-the-money placings on Blue Skyer in 1966 and Francie's Hat in 1968.
'Earlie is coming in and at last count we have 36 family members coming for the Derby,' Jinks Fires said, adding with a laugh, 'and maybe some that we don't know about.'
Trainer Juan Arias reported no problems Saturday morning with Just For Fun Stable's DECISIVE MOMENT (With Distinction), who worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Churchill Downs on Friday.
'He came out of the work good. He walked today. We'll bring him back to the track tomorrow,' the South Florida-based trainer said. 'We'll give him a regular gallop.'
Arias will be aboard for Sunday's planned gallop aboard his trainee. The native of Panama, who came to the United States in 1981, is a former jockey who gallops all of his horses on a rotational basis with his stable's exercise riders.
'I have a team of exercise riders, but I do like to participate. That's an advantage I have as a trainer -- that way I can feel it when I ride,' said Arias, who is Decisive Moment's only exercise rider. 'I've been galloping him every day for six months, no one else. I even breeze him sometimes.'
Repole Stable's twosome of UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) and STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) went trackside for 1 1/4-mile gallop Saturday at 8:30 during the special training period following the renovation break. Hector Ramos was in his usual spot aboard Uncle Mo, while Fernando Espinoza was at the controls for Stay Thirsty.
Both colts went about their business as expected, setting themselves up for bigger things on Sunday.
'They'll both work tomorrow,' trainer Todd Pletcher said back at his Barn 34 headquarters. 'We'll go at 8:30 following the break.'
The Kentucky-bred stablemates are both coming off disappointing efforts: Uncle Mo managed only a third at odds-on in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 9, and Stay Thirsty finished seventh in the Florida Derby.
Uncle Mo, last year's two-year-old champion, is scheduled to be handled by regular rider John Velazquez in next Saturday's Kentucky Derby, while Gotham (G3) winner Stay Thirsty will have the saddle services of Ramon Dominguez.
Also set to work Sunday is George and Lori Hall's PANTS ON FIRE (Jump Start), after trainer Kelly Breen rolled the dice and decided to wait a day to work, despite a rainy forecast for the Louisville area.
'Hopefully it won't rain too much,' Breen said after the Louisiana Derby (G2) winner galloped a little less than 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Juan Pizarro.
'It is mainly a timing thing in that I like to get him on his toes a little closer (to the race).'
Jockey Rosie Napravnik is scheduled to be aboard for the work.
Trainer Kathleen O'Connell was on hand to watch WATCH ME GO (West Acre) gallop Saturday, the morning before her Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner is scheduled to work over the Churchill Downs track.
'He's got a wonderful way of traveling,' the Florida-based trainer said of Watch Me Go, who is owned by Gilbert Campbell.
Jockey Freddie Lenclud, who was aboard for Saturday's morning exercise, is slated to ride Watch Me Go in Sunday's workout.
O'Connell said she won't name a rider for the Derby until Monday.
'We have a couple people on hold, so we'll wait until Monday,' O'Connell said.
Live Oak Plantation's homebred BRILLIANT SPEED (Dynaformer) galloped 1 1/4 miles under assistant trainer Dan Blacker.
The late-closing winner of the Blue Grass (G1) was shipped from Keeneland to Churchill Downs early Friday afternoon and has settled in at Barn 42.
'He feels great -- couldn't be happier,' said Blacker, who works for trainer Tom Albertrani.
Blacker said the ideal scenario would be to have the colt have his final pre-Derby breeze on a fast track, but with wet weather in the forecast for Sunday it will be a day-to-day decision.
Tom Walters' SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway) galloped 1 1/2 miles following the renovation break under Brendan Walsh.
'I couldn't be happier. He went really well,' trainer Eddie Kenneally said.
Kenneally said the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner, a troubled ninth in the Blue Grass, is coming up to the race in a good way.
'He couldn't be doing any better. He's eating well, looking well, very sound and healthy,' Kenneally said. 'Hopefully the weather stays good.'
Weather will dictate when Santiva has his final pre-Derby breeze, but Kenneally said the ideal day is Monday. Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on Santiva in the Derby.
Zayat Stables' NEHRO (Mineshaft), a fast-closing runner-up in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Arkansas Derby in his past two starts, galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Carlos Rosas at 6:15 Saturday morning.
Slated to be ridden by Corey Nakatani in Derby 137, Nehro is scheduled to work Monday morning.
Arnold Zetcher's MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE (War Chant) visited the starting gate for some schooling and galloped 1 1/2 miles after the renovation break under exercise rider Dana Barnes.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has watched the colt develop through three races this year and then win the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in a stretch duel with Comma to the Top.
'The thing about him is he's got a lot of turf pedigree being by War Chant and his mother ran on turf in New Zealand. She could go long,' Baffert said. 'Stamina can be so important in this race and whoever gets the trip with 20 horses in there.'
Victor Espinoza has the mount in the Kentucky Derby.
Across the country at Hollywood Park, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara's COMMA TO THE TOP (Bwana Charlie) galloped Saturday morning, one day before he's to put in his final workout for the Kentucky Derby and two days before he'll be put aboard a plane for Louisville and his date with destiny next Saturday.
'I'm going to work him five-eighths tomorrow morning at 8 (PDT) and have him gallop out three-quarters,' trainer Peter Miller said from his Hollywood Park barn. 'Patrick Valenzuela (who has been named aboard the gelding for his Derby run) will work him for me. He worked him for me last week.
'Everything is good. He's going forward just like we planned. It's getting exciting.'
Comma to the Top -- the name derives from a slang phrase for an apostrophe -- will be the most-seasoned starter in the field for Derby 137 with 13 starts already under his belt. The speedster has three stakes victories to his credit, including the CashCall Futurity (G1), and was second, beaten a head, in his most recent effort, the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
Also at Hollywood, A D K Racing's ANTHONY'S CROSS (Indian Charlie) galloped 1 1/2 miles Saturday morning as his connections, including trainer Eoin Harty, await word that they'll get a green light to compete in next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
Anthony's Cross is sitting at No. 21 on the list of potential Derby starters and needs just a bit of help to make the no-more-than-20-horse field. Harty has made arrangements to fly his charge to Kentucky on Tuesday and he's keeping his fingers crossed until then.
'I'm still waiting to hear,' Harty said Saturday morning. 'We'll hope we get lucky.'
Anthony's Cross, a Pennsylvania-bred bay, won the Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) at Santa Anita in February, then finished fifth in his most recent outing, the Santa Anita Derby.
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