04/24/2010 11:00PM

Endorsement's workout pushed back


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Endorsement's training schedule leading up to the Kentucky Derby was significantly altered this weekend, with trainer Shannon Ritter electing to keep Endorsement in the barn Sunday morning instead of following through with a scheduled five-furlong workout.

"With the track being off, I didn't want to work him," Ritter said.

Ritter said she didn't plan to work Endorsement on Monday, either. The local forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of showers Sunday night, and Churchill's track might be wet again during training hours Monday. By Tuesday, it will be too close to the Derby to work Endorsement five furlongs, Ritter said. Instead, Endorsement may have a shorter breeze, perhaps Wednesday.

"I want to put a little air in him," Ritter said.

Ritter said she prefers to give her horses a day off once per week, and Endorsement has stayed at least mildly busy since working five furlongs in 1:01.40 April 17 at Keeneland. He jogged Monday, jogged and galloped Tuesday, galloped Wednesday and Thursday, and jogged Friday and Saturday, and Ritter said Endorsement's Keeneland work was his major Derby drill.

"When I worked him last Sunday, he galloped out really strong," Ritter said. "I'm not concerned at all with his fitness. He's not a real big horse, and it's not that hard to keep him fit."