Updated on 09/17/2011 10:22AM

Peace Rules kicks up his heels

Frankel with Peace Rules, the trainer's "other" Derby horse, whom, he said, is "the ultimate professional."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Despite having won five times in eight starts, including the Louisiana Derby and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, Peace Rules is becoming the forgotten horse of next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

His trainer, Bobby Frankel, has been wearing a hat with the name of his highly regarded stablemate Empire Maker, the Derby favorite. Empire Maker has the better pedigree, and his jockey is better known. When Frankel is asked about his two Derby horses, the question is usually along the lines of, "What about your other horse?"

If Peace Rules wanted attention, he got it on Friday, acting like a petulant fellow who had grown both tired and jealous of the whole situation. When exiting the track following his morning exercise, Peace Rules hopped up and down, reared, and gave a scare to exercise rider Antonio Graell, who leaped off the colt in an attempt to calm him down.

The pathways from the stables at Churchill Downs to the main track are paved. It rained steadily Friday morning, so the track was sloppy, and the pavement slippery. Graell, a former jockey, was afraid both he and Peace Rules were in danger.

"That's why I jumped off him," Graell said. "If he slips on the cement, we're both going to get hurt."

Frankel, watching from a stand near the gap at the six-furlong pole, rushed over and helped Graell lead Peace Rules back to the barn. The colt was fine.

"He got excited. He went 20 feet in the air," Frankel said.

The incident served as a reminder that even the most innocuous training day can be fraught with peril when dealing with racehorses.

"One little mishap, and the next thing, you're out," said Ron Ellis, who trains Atswhatimtalknbout and is stabled here in a barn adjacent to Frankel. "You come in in the morning and look at your groom and hope he doesn't have a big ol' long face."

Peace Rules has won his last four starts. Frankel calls him "the ultimate professional," and warns that Peace Rules should not be overlooked, even though there are questions as to whether he can handle 1 1/4 miles. "Peace Rules is a good horse, too," Frankel said. "Don't forget that horse. He's a tough little horse. He's such a fighter, I think he can get the distance."

With the exception of the wet weather and Peace Rules's antics, it was a fairly quiet morning at Churchill Downs, only eight days before Derby 129. Because of the sloppy track, no one did any serious training. Atswhatimtalknbout galloped two miles, but no one worked, and every other horse either jogged lightly or merely walked under their barn's shedrow.

"I jogged my whole barn to make sure everyone in the press didn't think anything was wrong," Frankel said. He was kidding, but on the square.

Frankel has decided to let the track dry for 48 hours and will work both Empire Maker and Peace Rules on Sunday.

The rain also altered the workout schedule for Brancusi, who most recently finished second in the Blue Grass. He is training at Keeneland, and was scheduled to be sent by van to Churchill on Friday afternoon for a workout Saturday. However, since it stayed dry at Keeneland Friday while the rain fell at Churchill, trainer Patrick Biancone decided to leave Brancusi at Keeneland, and work him there on Saturday.

"It's very nice over here. No problem," Biancone said.

Ten Most Wanted, the Illinois Derby winner, went to the paddock for a schooling session there.

"He stood there like an old cow," trainer Wally Dollase said.

The Derby field continues to hold at 18 - with 14 confirmed, and four possibilities - though the nature of two of the possible runners became clearer. It is looking more and more as though Senor Swinger will pass the race and move to the grass for the Crown Royal American Turf on Friday, and it is looking more likely that Ten Cents a Shine, beaten 56 3/4 lengths in two starts since being transferred to trainer D. Wayne Lukas by owner Ken Ramsey, will run in the Derby.

Confirmed for the Derby are Atswhatimtalknbout (David Flores the rider), Brancusi (Tony Farina), Buddy Gil (Gary Stevens), Empire Maker (Jerry Bailey), Funny Cide (Jose Santos), Indian Express (Tyler Baze), Kafwain (Patrick Valenzuela), Offlee Wild (Robby Albarado), Outta Here (Kent Desormeaux), Peace Rules (Edgar Prado), Scrimshaw (undecided), Sir Cherokee (Terry Thompson), Supah Blitz (Rosemary Homeister Jr.), and Ten Most Wanted (Pat Day).

Considered possible are Eye of the Tiger (undecided), Lone Star Sky (Calvin Borel), Senor Swinger (undecided), and Ten Cents a Shine (undecided).

Entries for the Derby are due, and post positions will be drawn, on Wednesday.

The latest Derby runner to make it to Churchill was Supah Blitz, who arrived Friday morning after an overnight van ride from Florida. Still to arrive are Brancusi, who is at Keeneland; Eye of the Tiger, who was scheduled to be sent by van from Keeneland to Churchill on Saturday; Funny Cide, who is flying from New York on Wednesday; Outta Here, who is flying from California on Sunday; and Sir Cherokee, who is based at the nearby Trackside training facility.

- As of Friday, D. Wayne Lukas still had not named a jockey for Scrimshaw. Lukas said he tends to "think about it, then get a gut reaction to it" when finally deciding to name a jockey.

"It's worked before with a guy like Rene Douglas," said Lukas of the rider on Editor's Note when he won the 1996 Belmont.

Lukas said he has ruled out some jockeys because they just can't seem to get lucky together. "Some riders, I don't think I could get them to win a maiden race on Secretariat for me," he said.

Scrimshaw won the Lexington Stakes last weekend with Edgar Prado aboard. Prado is committed to Peace Rules in the Derby. Four years ago, Charismatic, trained by Lukas, won the Lexington with Jerry Bailey aboard, then the Derby with the late Chris Antley up.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Marty McGee