04/18/2013 10:04AM

Kentucky Derby: Itsmyluckyday works sharp mile at Calder

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Tom Keyser
Itsmyluckyday, shown in a February workout, is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on April 26.

MIAMI – Itsmyluckyday had his final serious tune up for the 2013 Kentucky Derby when working a mile in 1:43.10 shortly after dawn Thursday morning at Calder Race Course.

With exercise rider Hopeton “Bobby” Gray aboard, Itsmyluckyday cruised through a 26.82-second and 53.82 opening half-mile, then responded when set down leaving the three-eighths pole. He completed his final half-mile in 49.28 and final quarter in 24.80 over a fast track that had opened more than an hour earlier and had been cut up pretty well when Itsmyluckyday worked just prior to the renovation break.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he worked,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. while watching Itsmyluckyday cool out immediately after the work. “The first half-mile is what it is, I just wanted him to finish up. I’ve been doing this a long time over here and they don’t tend to go much faster than 1:43 for a mile at Calder. Maybe one or two have but I don’t think I’ve had a horse finish like he did or gallop out so strongly after working a mile in that kind of time.

“I had Bobby work him rather than Elvis [Trujillo] because these mile works are his specialty, he’s been with me seven or eight years and he does it better than anybody I’ve ever had.”

Plesa said he may bring Itsmyluckyday back with one more easy work prior to putting him on the van for Churchill Downs next Friday, April 26.

“He’s bigger and stronger than he’s ever been,” said Plesa. “The 62 days between the Holy Bull and Florida Derby was just what we needed to do. He’s responded very favorably and is on top of his game right now.”

Itsmyluckyday won the Grade 3 Holy Bull, beating the then undefeated 2-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby by two lengths. He bypassed the Fountain of Youth before returning to finish second behind Orb in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

BRUCE More than 1 year ago
Itsmyluckyday would have beaten Secretariat !!! I've never seen a bigger lock to win the Kentucky Derby !!!
Albert Nelson More than 1 year ago
You must be dreaming or doing some very bad drugs. That horse wouldn't be fast enough to be big reds lead pony
BRUCE More than 1 year ago
Albert ... Your optometrist called.He said that you're legally blind.He said that Stevie Wonder read the eye chart better than you.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Great work by one of the top colts in the country! Don't know if anyone noticed, but that track was sealed for the fillies three races earlier on Florida Derby Day, but cut deep for the colts.. A perfect set-up for Orb, but pretty tough on ' Lucky ' coming off an eight week break! Remember, Churchill is always set-up lightning fast on Derby Day, hope the weather cooperates, and they can get alot of days to gallop him before the race, as most horses need a little time to adjust to that track.. Big chance, wish him the best.... saratoga jack
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Good points Jack. "Churchill is always set-up lightning fast on Derby Day" Wonder why they do that, must be for the horses sake eh. Or is the time of the race thats more important. Dont hear many people bringing that up when one the three year olds get injured.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
You just let the cat out the bag for everyone who said ORB is slow. Not too many knew they sealed the track then cut it up again. IMLD presses Verrazano and Goldencents. Orb follows their flanks then shows how much speed he has. IMO
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
This is the horse I look to press the pace from 3/4 pole to top of stretch. That's where the running starts and orb runs by. And I'm not Plesa but that work sucked. 53 for first half is appalling. And he is working him on a Thursday? Schedule seems off to me???
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
I thought 1.43 for the mile over the sand wasnt to shabby. But you no what they say about time, only count when your in jail. Plesa one of the best in south florida i think hell be ready, good enough for the distance well see.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Final time was okay. Just think a lot of allowance types could gave done that with such a slow first half. And I think cramming works last two weeks with shipping doesn't work well. Six or seven day breezes work. But again, with respect to Plesa, what do I know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SBobby has proved to be a bust over a mile so the WIN is much for Itsmyluckyday
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've heard a trainer say their Horse worked like crap!!! Dale Romans said Dullahan was ready for Dubai and the 1 mile prep that sucked was because he got out of the gate bad and he was working great for the big one....and he sucked the big one. It the Risen Star a Trainer from GG said his Horse awesome and would WIN and guess what I can't remember his name.....went back to San Francisco...I'd like a trainer to just be honest and Elvis may be buy we hear it all the time..........................
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
Old School work for an Old School trainer and horse. Like his foundation too. Hope he takes to the Churchill Strip. In my top 3
miguel More than 1 year ago
ALL THE BEST TO THE TEAM & ELVIS SAFE TRIPE AND STAY HEALTHY....!!!!!!!!
Burton Kelsey More than 1 year ago
I believe this is my Derby horse. May have to put a few bucks on itsmyluckyday........
Chris More than 1 year ago
Nice workout. Thats how you work a horse going into a race like this
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
No one here has mentioned Verrazano. Does nobody think he has a shot?
Mark Ford More than 1 year ago
Dont fret my friend he will see heavy action at the windows.
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
He has a shot. However , his races have slowed as the distance has increased. Not a good sign. On a good note; so has everyone else's, except Goldencents.
Mark More than 1 year ago
The horse to beat .