Updated on 09/17/2011 10:20AM

Better late than never for Lukas

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D. Wayne Lukas, conferring with jockey Edgar Prado prior to the Lexington, will have a record 40th Kentucky Derby starter in Scrimshaw.

The last significant Kentucky Derby prep race was run last weekend, yielding the final runners for the May 3 Derby, and wouldn't you just know that D. Wayne Lukas pulled another rabbit out of the cowboy hat he wears most mornings.

Seemingly down to his last chance to have a horse in this year's Derby, Lukas came through with Scrimshaw, who won Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland while earning a moderate Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

"We flew under the radar and got 'em," Lukas said.

Scrimshaw became the latest Lukas 3-year-old to win the Lexington - including Charismatic, the 1999 Derby winner - and he will become Lukas's record 40th starter in the Derby, a race in which Lukas first participated in 1981. Second on the all-time trainers' list is H.J. "Derby Dick" Thompson, who had 24 starters from 1920-37.

Both Lukas and Thompson have won the Derby four times. Ben Jones is the record holder with six victories, and he did it with only 11 starters.

Scrimshaw continued a remarkable run this spring in Derby preps for horses who spent the bulk of their winter training in Southern California. Empire Maker made separate forays to capture the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and then the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Peace Rules similarly flew from California to win the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds and then the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. In both the Louisiana Derby (Kafwain) and Blue Grass (Brancusi), a Southern California-based horse also finished second. Ten Most Wanted made off with the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne, and Midas Eyes won the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream.

Scrimshaw brought to 15 the number of horses whose trainers say they are definitely running in the 1 1/4-mile Derby. An additional five are possible, including Eye of the Tiger, who finished second to Scrimshaw in the Lexington.

Confirmed for the Derby are Atswhatimtalknbout (David Flores the rider), Brancusi (Tony Farina), Buddy Gil (Gary Stevens), Empire Maker (Jerry Bailey), Fund of Funds (Shaun Bridgmohan), Funny Cide (Jose Santos), Indian Express (Tyler Baze), Kafwain (Patrick Valenzuela), Offlee Wild (Robby Albarado), Outta Here (Kent Desormeaux), Peace Rules (Edgar Prado), Scrimshaw (undecided), Sir Cherokee (Terry Thompson), Supah Blitz (Rosemary Homeister Jr.), and Ten Most Wanted (Pat Day).

Prado rode Scrimshaw in the Lexington, but he is committed to ride Peace Rules in the Derby. Lukas has yet to name a rider for Scrimshaw, though Mike Smith is believed to be among the leading candidates.

Considered possible to run in the Derby are Eye of the Tiger (undecided), Lone Star Sky (Calvin Borel), New York Hero (Norberto Arroyo Jr.), Senor Swinger (undecided), and Ten Cents a Shine (undecided), who is back in the mix after working five furlongs in 58.60 seconds Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Entries for the Derby are due, and post positions will be drawn, next Wednesday. The field is limited to 20 entries. If more than 20 horses are entered, the field is determined by earnings in graded stakes. It does not appear as though the earnings rule will need to be invoked this year, however.

With the Derby now less than two weeks away, most of the Derby runners are on the grounds at Churchill Downs. Two - Atswhatimtalknbout and Buddy Gil - had crucial workouts Monday on a fast track.

Atswhatimtalknbout was sent one mile in 1:41.40 with exercise rider Raul Vizcarrando aboard. Atswhatimtalknbout's trainer, Ron Ellis, was far more pleased with this drill than Atswhatimtalknbout's first work at Churchill, last week. Significantly, Atswhatimtalknbout wore blinkers in last week's work, but he did not wear them Monday. He has never raced in blinkers, but Ellis is considering adding them for the Derby.

"I'm not 100 percent sure that blinkers are the reason he didn't run well in the Santa Anita Derby," Ellis said. "I'm not necessarily going to race him in the Derby with blinkers on. David [Flores] seems to think he needs them to pay attention when other horses are around. His next work is going to be in blinkers, in company, with a jock on his back. After that, I will decide whether to use blinkers in the Derby."

Buddy Gil, who beat Atswhatimtalknbout in both the Santa Anita Derby and San Felipe Stakes, worked six furlongs in 1:11.80, the best time of seven at the distance. Gary Stevens, his regular rider, was aboard.

Buddy Gil bled from the nostrils in the test barn after the Santa Anita Derby, and was placed on the California state veterinarian's bleeders' list. Because of that, Buddy Gil needed to work five furlongs in 1:03 or better, and not bleed, before being cleared by a state veterinarian to run in the Derby. His work Monday was observed by Dr. Ben Baker, a state veterinarian in Kentucky, who informed both Churchill Downs officials and trainer Jeff Mullins that Buddy Gil had performed satisfactorily.

"He just did a visual examination, but after everyone left, we scoped him anyway, and he was clean," Mullins said. He described the work as "excellent."

Mullins has theorized that Buddy Gil hemorrhaged solely because of a severe coughing episode after the Santa Anita Derby while trying to expunge dirt from his air passage.

Brancusi, who is stabled at Keeneland, worked five furlongs in 59 seconds there on Sunday, the best time of 15 at the distance. His regular rider, Farina, was aboard.

"He worked very well," said Patrick Biancone, who trains Brancusi. "I was very pleased. The Blue Grass was just a prep. Now we tighten the screws."

Biancone said Brancusi would do the bulk of his training at Keeneland, but that the colt would come to Churchill for a workout either Friday or Saturday.

Bob Baffert said Indian Express and Kafwain would work Wednesday morning. Another Baffert colt, Senor Swinger, was scheduled to work on the turf on Tuesday; he could run in the Crown Royal American Turf on May 2 instead of the Derby. Baffert added that Domestic Dispute, third in the Lexington, would not run in the Derby.

"I don't know if he can run a mile and a quarter," Baffert said. "He's not running. And he won't be a surprise late entry."

Ten Most Wanted also is scheduled to work Wednesday. Lone Star Sky and Offlee Wild, who are at Churchill, were scheduled to work Tuesday, as was Funny Cide, who is training in New York.

Also still in New York are Fund of Funds, who is scheduled to work the middle of this week, and New York Hero, who is only a possibility to make the Derby.

Outta Here, who is training at Hollywood Park, is scheduled to work there on Thursday and fly to Kentucky on Sunday.

Empire Maker and Peace Rules are scheduled for works this weekend.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Marty McGee