04/30/2013 2:43PM

Kentucky Derby workouts: Itsmyluckyday gallops strongly


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The major work has been done. All that remains for the trainers of the 20 prospective Kentucky Derby starters is to maintain their horses’ form over the next several days and hope fortune smiles down upon them during Wednesday’s post-position draw.

There were no recorded works or even blowouts over a fast track Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs, where the majority of the activity again took place during the special Derby/Oaks training period beginning at 8:30 a.m. The highlights of that session included strong gallops from two of the more recent arrivals to Louisville, Itsmyluckyday and Goldencents.

Eighteen of the 20 horses expected to be entered Wednesday morning for this year’s Derby are on the grounds. Lines of Battle was scheduled to arrive here very early Wednesday morning. Giant Finish was expected to leave the Fair Hill training center in Maryland by van Wednesday night and arrive here Thursday morning..

Tuesday at Churchill

54 degrees, sunny, fast

Itsmyluckyday continues to make a terrific impression. After jogging and galloping easily the previous two mornings, the Florida Derby runner-up picked up the pace and gave exercise rider Pete Shelton all he could handle during a very strong and impressive-looking gallop Tuesday while seemingly getting over the ground here very efficiently. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. confirmed afterward that he will not give the Holy Bull winner a blowout prior to the Derby.

“He’s not going to be any fitter or run any better on Saturday if I blow him out before the race,” Plesa said. “There’s no upside to it. Only negative things can happen.”

[KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Video analysis, news, and times]

Goldencents visited the starting gate, then galloped very aggressively, as most horses trained by Doug O’Neill will do in the morning. He was somewhat reminiscent of I’ll Have Another in the final days leading up to his victory in the 2012 Derby.

Goldencents went along at better than a two-minute clip from the five-furlong pole to the wire, covering his final three-eighths in 42 seconds and change despite drifting well out coming off the final bend. He galloped with his head cocked outward, which is not unusual, according to his connections.

Falling Sky continues to barrel around in the morning at better than a two-minute clip himself, picking up some heads on clockers’ row when flying past the finish line and into the clubhouse turn as he’s done on numerous occasions here over the past week. He looks like he’ll be a handful to keep off the lead Saturday.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out all five of his Derby runners to train after the break Tuesday, although Revolutionary, somewhat surprisingly, came out equipped with bell boots and merely jogged a mile while the others turned in regular, routine gallops. Overanalyze and Charming Kitten looked particularly good.

Black Onyx, a striking-looking individual, appeared to have come out of his final work last weekend in good order for trainer Kelly Breen while also turning in a routine-looking gallop Tuesday.

Vyjack, equipped in his now-familiar hackamore and with trainer/exercise rider Rudy Rodriguez wearing a helmet camera, also had an unspectacular session and is still expected to blow out for the race later in the week.

Stablemates Frac Daddy and Java’s War were on their toes Tuesday. Java’s War, who turned in a disappointing breeze here Saturday, was the more impressive of the duo Tuesday, with the very aggressive Frac Daddy perhaps a bit too rank, especially when attempting to pull up midway down the backstretch the second time around.

Merrill More than 1 year ago
They all look good running past trees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anthony Richkas More than 1 year ago
Orb is the real deal...Triple Crown...Mark it down
itsallnecessary More than 1 year ago
Shew and Logan love this horse. Ny the way, he is the track record holder at GP. On that day, he beat shagi bobby. Bobby is off the derby trail. Looks like a nice juicy 12-1 shot to me boys.
Steve Morehouse More than 1 year ago
When orb went by him in the fla derby he didnt even put up a fight and that was after pressing very soft fractions, not good... not good at all.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
The thing that you are not seeing is what the trainer doesnt want you to. His race on New Years and the Holy Bull resulted in MONSTROUS Ragozins. The FASTEST of the entire 3 year old group suiting up Saturday. Trainer didnt want his next out to be his best race as those two races were strong enough to historically win the Derby. Hence the reason that Plesa kept him on the shelf for as long as he did, even being short on Derby points. Trainer knew that the Florida Derby would at the WORST return 3rd place points if the horse was even jogging. By NO means was Trujillo instructed to lay into him in the Florida Derby. You my friend took the bait. Itsmyluckydays best race, which will easily be the fastest of this crop is his next. If he fires a 1 or a 0 which he is potentially sitting on, he will route this field. This is not my heart saying this, its the numbers.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
One race analysis will cost you.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
You said the same things before Florida Derby. That he could regress and win. That Orb was inferior on Rags..etc. but Orb got the distance and galloped out strong. ORB WINS with his style and quick run from off the turn on this long stretch.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
I'm glad you referenced my comments prior to that race because I did say that he wouldn't be asked in the Florida Derby and yes, I did say he could even win not running hard. I was right on one thing. Fortunately it was the more important thing coming into this race. The plan was never to ask the horse in that last race. That race was exactly what it is titled, a prep. Orb is coming off of top efforts. The other offers a mystery.
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
That my friend is an excellent analysis. He was racing not to lose. He kept Shanghai pinned & himself in the clear. ITSMYLUCKYDAY is sitting on a huge performance. His best puts him bang up. He is by far the fastest horse of this bunch.
OblivionSuckers More than 1 year ago
You've tipped your hand and shown yourself to be a a bit of a rube with your primitive notion that there's something Itsmyluckyday's trainer does or does not want the public to see. A. Who cares what he wants? B. Apparently you're claiming that Plesa wanted to get his horse beat in the Florida Derby. What-he didn't want the winner's share of a $1 million purse? He also owns part of the horse. You don't think a G-1 Florida Derby win is worth anything in the breeding shed? Are you fatuously alleging that somehow Plesa was trying to darken the horse's form in order to cash a Derby bet? Winning the Derby is prize enough. I'm sure most trainers put down a few grand on their horses, but they have a lot more at stake in the race itself and the purse money, they don't have to screw up their horse and darken its form in order to get slightly better odds & cash a bet. The horse stalked a very slow pace in the FL derby, was hit a couple of times in the stretch by Trujillo, and proved no match for Orb. He's definitely one of the faster horses, but dubious at 10 furlongs.
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
Regarding Revolutionary and wearing bell boots. From my limited knowledge it's to protect the hind feet from overreaching and grabbing the front. Can someone clue me in to another purpose? It seems like a protective measure, something he might have done in the past. This is also a horse that spent most his time with Pletcher assistants during the winter and before going to Churchill went to Winstar for a few weeks. This might be rather normal, but who really knows.
LeslieH0101 More than 1 year ago
Bell boots are protection against cuts from overreaching from behind hooves
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
thanks, that's what I thought.
JasonD73 More than 1 year ago
They protect the horse from cuts on hind legs so just a precaution this close to Saturday..Great point about the asst trainer angle with this horse, Nick. Hadn't really considered that. Him getting acclimated to Kentucky where he was foaled is nothing to be larmed at either. All I know is this horse has a huge stride, big lungs, and just finds a way to be right there at the end. Showed me another gear in the Withers and LA Derby, and is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Pletcher contingency.
Eric More than 1 year ago
Why was Verrazano dipping his head throughout his head?
Eric More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I meant his "gallop".
matt More than 1 year ago
Because he is not taking to the surface Eric. That will be the excuse Saturday night
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
A long slow gallop can be boring, like walking on a treadmill. Looks like he was goofing a bit to amuse himself.
Anthony Burton More than 1 year ago
Trying to get into the bit
t9ater99 More than 1 year ago
Seemed to me he was trying to guage where the finish line was, and was practicing digging in for the competition, which may come this time.
Philip Conforti More than 1 year ago
when mike says a horse is flourishing watch out great in site in the morning!
Joe Ruiz More than 1 year ago
which horse is Flourishing???
Merrill More than 1 year ago
I am confused also...............Never heard the word "flourishing"
Martha More than 1 year ago
When you say "unspectacular" about Vyjack's gallop, are you implying the presence of badness or merely the absence of "wow-ness"...?
Wabstat More than 1 year ago
Don't go by this guy, the last winner he picked was Seattle Slew.
John T Breen More than 1 year ago
He had Animal Kingdom in the Derby
OblivionSuckers More than 1 year ago
Kind of. Actually he had Animal Kingdom as his 4th choice behind Soldat, Dialed In and Archarcharch. Proven as fact and referenced by the link below. None of his top 3 picks even hit the board. http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110507/SPORTS08/305070052/Guest-experts-handicap-Mike-Welsch-Daily-Racing-Form
mtbiebel More than 1 year ago
Street Sense and Barbaro too
Mark More than 1 year ago
Who didn't?
Gary Cameron More than 1 year ago
He helped me cash large on Animal Kingdom
David Sias More than 1 year ago
Me too, upped my bets after his AK report. This dude is a gem.
scott More than 1 year ago
Dont get too caught up in whether he gives you the winner or not. He can give a key horse for your tri or super based on workouts. Paddy O Prado was touted and ended up 3rd at a price. And he did give Barbaro and Street Sense so people bash that. If you keyed Barbaro the exacta was huge. Same situation with Pioneer of the Nile. His reports can help with more than just a win bet.
Steve Lonberger More than 1 year ago
Ive payed attention to him for last 5 yrs. for Kentucky derby an breeders cup. I can say this he gives very useful info. Also for all these handicappers that get paid to do this on T.V. he seems to be most honest opinion.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
There is a video clip of the horse galloping. If you don't know what you are looking at, then it does not matter what he or anyone says. However, he does look dull, like he needs a double espresso to wake him up...
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
That's the mystery of handicapping, because we don't know who all will be getting those "double or triple espressos", if they only listed it in the equipment changes, "double espresso on"
Jamesbond Bond More than 1 year ago
mrm More than 1 year ago
Take a look at his last work. Rudy really had to ask him to work 1.00 and change and his gallop out was like a 5m claimer.