04/30/2012 12:14PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Wet Florida weather alters schedule for Take Charge Indy, Pletcher horses

Barbara D. Livingston
Take Charge Indy, whose training was interrupted by rainy weather in Florida, is expected to arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

Kentucky Derby hopefuls Gemologist, El Padrino, and Take Charge Indy were expected to arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and hit the track for the first time on Wednesday morning. It will be the first time in about a week they will get to step on dry land.

Rain in south Florida over the weekend forced these horses to train over wet tracks and do less than they likely would have had the conditions been dry.

Take Charge Indy, the Florida Derby winner, has done nothing more than jog or walk since he had a big workout last Thursday. He walked the shed Friday, walked under track Saturday, and jogged Sunday and Monday. Trainer Pat Byrne said he would have preferred to have galloped Sunday and Monday, but said “it’s not a big deal. That’s not going to stop me from winning the Kentucky Derby.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher worked Gemologist and El Padrino early Sunday morning over a muddy Palm Meadows track. He had thought about rescheduling the works from Sunday to Saturday, but then moved the works back to Sunday after heavy rains pelted the area early Saturday.
Trying to get the best possible track he could, Pletcher conducted the works at 6:15 a.m. – when it was still dark. but not raining. Gemologist went four furlongs in 50.49 seconds in company with Disposablepleasure. El Padrino worked a slow half-mile in 53.34 seconds in company with Windsurfer.

“The weather’s been spotty everywhere,” Pletcher said. “We got a little unlucky that the rain happened to fall on the two weekends. Last year, we went to Kentucky and regretted that. You never know what the weather’s going to do for sure.

“If either one of them don’t win I’m not going to blame the work on it,” Pletcher added. “They’re both fit horses. I’m not at all concerned about their fitness level.”

On Monday, both Gemologist and El Padrino jogged once around a wet Palm Meadows track.

Get Stormy arrives for Woodford

Get Stormy, last year’s Grade1 Turf Classic winner on the Derby undercard, Monday morning vanned from Keeneland to Churchill, where he will attempt a repeat victory in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.
Get Stormy finished fourth, beaten one length in the Grade 1 Makers Mark 46 Mile at Keeneland last month. Trainer Tom Bush said Get Stormy’s final work for that race wasn’t as good as was the horse’s five-furlong move in 1:00.00 last Saturday at Keeneland.

“He’s usually a good work horse and he worked extra well Saturday and galloped out strong,” Bush said. “We’re pretty happy with the way he’s doing.”

Entries will be taken and post positions assigned for the Turf Classic on Wednesday.