05/05/2012 7:52AM

2012 Kentucky Derby: Churchill track closed for training Saturday morning

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Tom Keyser
Atigun wins the first race at Churchill Downs on Saturday over a wet track.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Churchill Downs main track was closed for training on Saturday morning because of heavy rain overnight.

The track is normally open for just two hours, from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., on Derby Day, owing to the early 10:30 a.m. post.

Several Derby horses, in particular Hansen, were scheduled to train Saturday morning, but conditions precluded that from happening. Hansen was quite eager in his training here Thursday and Friday, and his Mike Maker, was hoping to give him something to do Saturday morning, 12 hours before the race.

As of 7:30 a.m, it was cloudy, but no longer raining. The forecast for the day was for humid conditions, a high of 86 degrees, and isolated showers.

Churchill Downs's main track is known for drying quickly. This is the final Derby for Churchill's track superintendent, Butch Lehr, who is retiring. He and his crew for years have turned muddy tracks early Derby Day into fast tracks by the afternoon.