05/03/2013 1:01PM

Kentucky Derby workouts: Lines of Battle, Giant Finish train over Churchill track

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The special 15-minute Kentucky Derby/Oaks training session was advanced nearly three hours Friday to 5:45 a.m., the time at which the Churchill Downs  racetrack regularly opens each morning, to accommodate the change in the training schedule resulting from the early post time on Oaks Day. The Derby and Oaks horses had been allotted an exclusive 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. time slot in which to train for the past two weeks. The track closed for training Friday at 8 a.m. 

The majority of the 20 Derby starters took advantage of the special session. That group included Black Onyx who was scratched several hours later from the Derby by trainer Kelly Breen.

The early session featured the first local appearances of both the European invader Lines of Battle and Giant Finish. Lines of Battle had been quarantined since arriving here Wednesday, while Giant Finish, a very late addition to the Derby lineup, vanned to Churchill Downs from his Maryland base Thursday.

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Lines of Battle jogged a mile and then galloped a mile and appeared to get a little stressed out and hot during the lengthy session that concluded several minutes after the general population was allowed on the track at 6 a.m. Lines of Battle was allowed to stretch out into a two-minute lick during the final three furlongs of his gallop.

Giant Finish, third in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes in his last start, also jogged and galloped during his initial visit to the track.

Orb turned in a routine 1 1/2-mile gallop under regular exercise rider Jenn Patterson. She followed the five-pronged Todd Pletcher contingent, all of whom turned in very routine 1 1/4-mile gallops shortly after the course opened.

Normandy Invasion jogged less than a mile Friday after turning in a very spirited gallop the previous morning.

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“He trained a little more than I wanted yesterday, so I compensated today and just jogged him,” trainer Chad Brown said.

Among the other Derby starters to train early Friday morning were the D. Wayne Lukas pair of Oxbow and Will Take Charge, Golden Soul, Mylute, who goes to the track at that hour on a regular basis, Goldencents, and Itsmyluckyday.

Beholder and Close Hatches were the only two members of Friday’s Oaks field to gallop during the special session.