04/26/2008 12:00AM

Gayego works five furlongs in mud


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Gayego was the only Kentucky Derby candidate to work at Churchill Downs on Saturday, going five furlongs over a muddy track in 1:00.76 with regular rider Mike Smith aboard. Earlier in the morning, Monba worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 and his stablemate Cowboy Cal the same distance in 1:00 over the Polytrack at Keeneland. Monba and Cowboy Cal finished first and second, respectively, at Keeneland in the Blue Grass Stakes.

Kentucky Bear, who is not likely to draw into the Kentucky Derby field, also worked Saturday at Churchill Downs going five furlongs in a crisp 59.51 seconds over a track upgraded from sloppy to muddy following the renovation break.

Smooth Air missed a second day of training after contracting a slight fever on Friday. Trainer Benny Stutts Jr. said his colt's temperature was normal on Saturday and that if he continued to do well would return to the track Sunday morning. Stutts said at this point he is still hopeful Smooth Air, the Florida Derby runnerup, could make the Derby.