04/21/2012 3:19PM

2012 Kentucky Derby: Went the Day Well ignores rain in six-furlong breeze

Barbara D. Livingston
Went the Day Well, ridden by John Velazquez, breezes six furlongs in 1:14.45 Saturday at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Steady rain fell throughout training hours in Kentucky on Saturday morning, but all that precipitation was not a problem for horses working over the Polytrack at Keeneland. Included in the group was Kentucky Derby prospect Went the Day Well, whose six-furlong breeze went off as scheduled despite the inclement weather.

Went the Day Well (six furlongs in 1:14.45): With regular rider John Velazquez aboard, Went the Day Well worked in company with stablemate Crimson China, a turf stakes winner who finished fifth in the 2011 Blue Grass.

[KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Latest updates, Mike Welsch’s video reports]

Went the Day Well broke off outside and about a head behind his partner leaving the six-furlong pole. The pair went along on even terms through fractions of 13.07 seconds, 25.36, and 37.39 for their opening three furlongs. They picked up the pace slightly once settling into the stretch, completing their final three-eighths in 37.06 with Went the Day Well hitting the wire a head in front, but under slightly more pressure to finish than Crimson China. Velazquez continued to urge Went the Day Well past the wire to edge his workmate while galloping out seven furlongs in 1:28.04.

Those looking for some Animal Kingdom magic from Went the Day Well and his 2011 Derby-winning team of trainer Graham Motion, Velazquez, and owner Team Valor will probably need to see a little more out of this colt in his final work, scheduled for next weekend at Churchill Downs. Animal Kingdom turned in a very impressive work when trying dirt for the first time a week before last year’s Derby.

Motion said Went the Day Well has never been much of a “flashy” work horse.

“He’s a big, long-striding horse and, like Animal Kingdom, he’ll like the distance, although it’s unfair to him to compare the two,” said Motion. “Certainly their careers and preparations for the Derby have been the same, but that’s where the similarities end. He’s improved physically as a 3-year-old, but mentally he’s still immature.”

Hollywood: Rousing Sermon drills

Rousing Sermon, who was only named a confirmed starter in the Kentucky Derby on Thursday, worked seven furlongs at Hollywood Park in 1:27.20 at Hollywood Park.

Working alone under exercise rider Marco Ramirez, Rousing Sermon galloped out a mile in 1:41, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. Assistant trainer Dan Ward timed the final quarter-mile of Rousing Sermon’s workout in 23.80 seconds. Hollywood Park clockers timed Rousing Sermon through the first half-mile in 50.80 seconds. For the final three furlongs, he was timed in 36.40 seconds.

“He finished up really well,” Hollendorfer said. “He did it real easily and it was a real nice work.”

Owned by breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, Rousing Sermon has won 2 of 9 starts and $404,000. The winner of one stakes – the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last October – Rousing Sermon was third in the $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on April 1.

Saturday’s workout was Rousing Sermon’s third since the Louisiana Derby, preceded by a half-mile on April 9 and five furlongs on April 15.

Hollendorfer said on Saturday that he has not finalized a jockey for Rousing Sermon, who may have his next workout at Churchill Downs.

“I don’t have an exact plan for that,” Hollendorfer said of Rousing Sermon’s next work venue. “But I may want to work him at Churchill Downs once.

“He travels really well. He’s not the kind of horse that gets bothered by anything. He gets on the plane and settles right in.”

Rousing Sermon will be Hollendorfer’s fifth Kentucky Derby starter, and first since Chocolate Candy finished fifth in 2009.

– Steve Andersen