- DRF Bets
- Handicapping & PPsThoroughbred Past Performances
ReportsPremium NewsDigital PapersHorsemen's Products
- DRF Classic PDF PPs
- DRF Formulator PPs
- DRF EasyForm PPs
- Daily Racing Program PPs
- Equibase PPs
- TrackMaster PPs
- NewsCategoriesTrack Notes
- DRF TV
- StorePast Performances
- Compare all DRF PPs
- DRF Formulator PPs
- DRF Classic PPs
- DRF EasyForm PPs
- Daily Racing Program PPs
- Expanded Closer Looks
- Equibase & Trackmaster PPs - Thoroughbred
Updated on 09/18/2011 12:53AM
Kentucky Derby Clocker Report - Saturday, April 29
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The forecast for rain Saturday and into Sunday in the Louisville area caused several trainers to move the all-important final work for their Kentucky Derby hopefuls up 24 hours, creating one of the single busiest Derby prep mornings in race history. A total of 13 potential Derby starters worked, including nine under a light shower following the renovation break.
Work of the day
If Dick Vitale were on hand during training hours here Saturday, he would have described Barbaro's final Derby work (five furlongs in 59.48 seconds) as "awesome baby!"
Barbaro and exercise rider Peter Brette had to call an audible just prior to beginning the work when a siren signaling a loose horse forced them to stop briefly as they approached the half-mile pole. Brette wisely waited until all was clear, backed Barbaro up an eighth of a mile, then turned around and began again.
Barbaro broke off slowly, covering his opening eighth of a mile in 13.06 seconds and quarter in 25.06 before really leveling out and accelerating once entering the stretch. Barbaro proceeded to cover the next three furlongs in an eye catching 34.42 around the turn to the seven-eighths pole before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.14 with Brette offering little encouragement. In fact, he went so easily after crossing the finish line that it was difficult to tell when the actual work had ended and the gallop-out began. Track clockers credited him with a half-mile in 46 from the three-eighths to seven-eighths pole.
As noted Friday, Barbaro has the high leg action of a turf horse and as a result he does hit the ground harder than most. But the manner in which he stretches out effortlessly and covers ground more than makes up for his action, and Barbaro couldn't be doing any better coming into the Derby.
The 12 other Derby workers are listed in the order in which they went to the track.
Sunriver (seven furlongs in 1:26.38) - Worked under the cloak of darkness at 6:10 a.m. under Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. in company with stablemate Harlington, who won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in his last start. Loved the way Sunriver pulled away from his older and more experienced workmate approaching the wire, despite the fact Harlington was under moderate pressure in a vain attempt to keep pace. Sunriver increased his advantage with little pressure around the turn to the seven-eighths pole. Could be a sleeper if he somehow manages to get into the Derby field.
Red Raymond (five furlongs in 59.72) - Was under some pressure to complete his final quarter in a sharp 23.43, but has very little chance to start.
Sweetnorthernsaint (six furlongs in 1:11.79) - The last of the Derby horses to work before the renovation break, he went in company with stablemate Fleet Valid. Calvin Borel subbed for regular rider Kent Desormeaux, who overslept and missed the work.
Equipped in blinkers, Sweetnorthernsaint broke off about a half-length behind and outside his workmate, with the pair fanning four wide off the turn and remaining on even terms to the eighth pole through fractions of 12.22, 23.98, 36.10, 47.85, and 59. Borel shook the reins briefly nearing midstretch and Sweetnorthern-saint accelerated nicely to easily pull away from his struggling mate while striding out well at the end. He galloped out seven furlongs in a solid 1:25.94. Seems to be maintaining his sharp form.
Sinister Minister (five furlongs in 1:00.32) - Was first on the track after the break with jockey Garrett Gomez aboard. Equipped in blinkers, Sinister Minister was under a hard hold coming away from the pole to harness his abundant speed. He fanned several paths wide off the turn and seemed to tire just a bit while switching back to his left lead approaching the wire.
Lawyer Ron (five furlongs in 58.76) - Was full of run as expected coming away from the pole under jockey John McKee, cutting out early fractions of 11.66, 23.28, and 35.06 while veering out slightly coming off the turn. Was put to some urging after getting to the eighth pole in a rapid 46.67, completing his final furlong in 12.09 before galloping out six furlongs in a blistering 1:11.57. Lawyer Ron is a small but well-built and nifty colt who continues to look and train well. But he shows an aggressiveness that could cause him some problems in the big Derby lineup.
Keyed Entry (six furlongs in 1:12.52) - Another headstrong type who was very rank while exploding away from the pole under Cordero. Flew through opening fractions of 22.92 and 35.34, came a bit to hand while angling to the middle of the track out of the turn, and appeared to tire nearing the wire. He completed his final eighth in 13.10 and galloped out seven-eighths in 1:26.08. Must settle better early to have any chance on Saturday.
Steppenwolfer (six furlongs in 1:12.59) - Befitting his late-running style, Steppenwolfer was unhurried early under jockey Robby Albarado, drifted out coming off the final turn, and finished eagerly when put to pressure near the end.
Bluegrass Cat (four furlongs in 50.80, according to track clockers) - Has trained as well as anybody over the track this week, but was not asked for any real speed this morning. Appeared to bobble on a couple of occasions through the stretch. He is an enigmatic colt who has failed to reproduce his 2-year-old form and one of the toughest to gauge coming into the race.
Sharp Humor (five furlongs in 58.82) - Another of the speed types in the Derby field who displayed his quick turn of foot this morning, posting fractions of 11.47, 22.88, 34.06, and 46.15 before tiring and drifting some under late pressure. Could be destined for an early Derby duel with Sinister Minister and perhaps Keyed Entry and Lawyer Ron.
Cause to Believe (five furlongs in 1:01.51) - A visually unimpressive work, during which he bore well out leaving the turn, ducked back in sharply from a left hand stick in early stretch while also changing leads on a couple of occasions through a slow final furlong. He shut down so quickly after crossing the finish line that he was not credited with a gallop-out time.
Jazil (five furlongs in 1:00.38) - Worked in company with stablemate Flashy Bull under Cordero. Held a short advantage over his mate while racing widest of the pair before edging out just a bit farther nearing the wire. Was also the stronger of the duo galloping out, going six furlongs in 1:14.35 after getting a few slaps on the neck from Cordero around the turn.
Flashy Bull (five furlongs in 1:00.58) - Raced nearest the inside, and while not under any severe pressure, did appear to struggle just a bit to keep up with his stablemate approaching the wire and galloping out around the turn.