04/22/2009 11:00PM

Square Eddie jogs, Desert Party schools


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Following a whirlwind morning on Tuesday that featured workouts by five potential Kentucky Derby starters, including possible favorites I Want Revenge and Pioneerof the Nile, Wednesday was the calm after the storm with little more than very routine activity among the half-dozen or so Derby runners who went to the racetrack to train.

Churchill Downs

Cloudy, track fast, 43 degrees

Wednesday morning featured the first local appearance of Square Eddie, the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up, who vanned over from Keeneland the previous afternoon. Square Eddie is presently playing catch-up with the rest of this year's Derby field, his third-place finish in last Saturday's Lexington being just his second start since the Breeders' Cup six months ago. And trainer Doug O'Neill was in no rush to have Square Eddie do too much too fast coming out of the Lexington, merely allowing him to get acclimated to the new surroundings while jogging once around the track alongside a pony.

Square Eddie was followed to the track by Desert Party, who delayed his usual appearance at dawn to accommodate a visit to the starting gate. Desert Party has made a very good first impression and looked the picture of health as he paraded onto the racetrack shortly after 7 a.m. with his neck bowed. He then proceeded to put in a strong gallop before turning back to the gate for a little pre-Derby schooling. The Kentucky Derby will mark Desert Party's first start with a U.S.-based gate crew since the Hopeful on Sept. 1.

Papa Clem returned to the track for the first time since his rather uneventful and uninspiring work here Sunday and looked good during his routine gallop. It appears he has bounced out of his career-best performance in the Arkansas Derby none the worse for wear, and his final Derby workout this week is much anticipated.

General Quarters was the last of the Derby contenders currently on the grounds to come out on the track, at 7:45 a.m., and the most eagerly awaited considering the way he has trained the past couple of mornings and with his final Derby work penciled in for Thursday. Not the prettiest mover to begin with, General Quarters seemed less than eager to go about his business, especially over the wet going on Monday morning, but looked much more comfortable over a dry track on Wednesday. Once getting the kinks out, General Quarters moved much smoother, especially coming out of the final turn and heading down the home straight.