04/26/2010 11:00PM

Conveyance works fast in the mud


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tuesday dawned rainy, damp, and cold at Churchill Downs, the fifth consecutive morning horsemen here were greeted to a wet track in one form or another during training hours.

The spate of wet weather has altered many training schedules over the past week. Rick Dutrow opted early Tuesday to scrap a scheduled work for Homeboykris, although colleagues Bob Baffert and Jeremy Noseda forged ahead as planned, sending out Conveyance and Awesome Act to breeze immediately after the renovation break when the racetrack was officially listed as muddy by track clockers.

Conveyance (five furlongs in 59.58 seconds): This is a fast horse, and fast horses work fast under almost any conditions. With exercise rider Dana Barnes aboard, Conveyance actually broke off at a relatively leisurely and relaxed pace, covering his opening eighth-mile in 12.97 before gradually beginning to accelerate around the turn. He really picked things up with only the subtlest of encouragement approaching and then leveling off through the stretch, completing his final three-eighths in 34.53 while under very little urging at the end. Unlike stablemate Lookin At Lucky, who was quickly taken in hand once passing the wire in his final Derby prep on Monday, Conveyance was asked for a strong gallop-out, responding to a little further urging by pulling up six furlongs in a zippy 1:12.75.


This was the second extremely quick workout from Conveyance who appears to be coming up to the Derby in good form and whose strategy will be no secret - go man go - once the gate opens Saturday.

Awesome Act (four furlongs in 48.44): After making a rather lackluster first impression working here last week, Awesome Act, with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard, stepped his game up a notch while breezing in company with regular training partner Peace Town, a 4-year-old stakes winner who like Awesome Act is owned by Vinery Stables.

As usual, Awesome Act left the half-mile pole a couple of lengths behind Peace Town, covering an opening quarter in a relaxed 24.99 while gradually easing alongside his target coming out of the turn. The pair then went along as a team through much of the stretch, both under little to no pressure, with Awesome Act eventually edging slightly in front from his very capable and tenacious work partner at the wire. He then galloped out a strong five-eighths in 1:01.15 before pulling up six furlongs in 1:15.97.

This was definitely a much more polished and encouraging performance from Awesome Act, especially the way he galloped out willingly. That was something he failed to do prior to the Wood, according to colleague David Grening, and he galloped out only marginally at the tail end of a mediocre six-furlong drill here one week ago.

Super Saver and Paddy O'Prado get the award for most impressive gallops after the break. They have been no strangers to this honor here during the past week.

Devil May Care surprisingly came out on the track without blinkers and was far less aggressive than the previous morning while looking around some as she galloped toward the finish line. Presumably, trainer Todd Pletcher just wanted to make sure she didn't do too much over a wet track with such a firm bottom.

Endorsement had his busiest day in nearly a week, galloping 1 1/2 miles before dawn. He had to be given some encouragement once turning around at the wire to begin his gallop, never the best of signs, and while perhaps a bit smoother than the previous morning, he still does not appear to be striding out with confidence over the wet track.