05/01/2014 1:02PM

Wicked Strong blows out three furlongs

Tom Keyser
Wicked Strong blew out three furlongs Thursday over the Churchill Downs main track, two days before his start in the Kentucky Derby.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As he did two days before winning the Wood Memorial, Wicked Strong blew out three furlongs Thursday, this time going in 36.78 seconds over the Churchill Downs main track, two days in advance of the Kentucky Derby.

Under exercise rider Kelvin Pahal, Wicked Strong galloped from the eighth pole all the way around to the quarter pole, where he got into his work. Wicked Strong, looking fluid while reaching out in the stretch, went from the quarter pole to the wire in 24.13 before galloping out an additional furlong around the clubhouse turn in 12.65.

Jerkens said the purpose of the move was to “open his lungs up a little bit; long way, a mile and a quarter.”

Jerkens did not get to see much of the breeze. He said Wicked Strong needed a hind-shoe repair, keeping Jerkens at the barn longer than normal and preventing him from getting to the front side in time to see the work.

Jerkens said he instructed Pahal not to let Wicked Strong gallop out too strongly after the work “because I didn’t want him to do too much. He’s got a great, long stride to him. At least that’s all done. All the training’s done.”

Wicked Strong was made the 8-1 third choice in the wagering at Wednesday night’s post-position draw, but with the scratch Thursday of Hoppertunity, Churchill’s Mike Battaglia revised his morning line to reflect Wicked Strong being the second choice at 6-1.

Also, the scratch means Wicked Strong will move in one spot from post 20 to post 19, a post from which I’ll Have Another won the Derby in 2012.

“More important than us getting in a little closer – that doesn’t make any difference – it’s unfortunate for them that’s for sure, but it’s another good horse out of there,” Jerkens said.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The problem with Wicked Strong is he's too inconsistent..there are times this horse will just stop running..Like when he ran in the Holy Bull race! He refused to run! Sure this horse broke a 100 beyer in the Wood Memorial...but outside of that he's averaging a mid 80's Beyer in all his other races... With such a far outside post position, I don't see Wicked Strong finishing in the to the top 10.
rswank504 More than 1 year ago
Bad idea Wicked Strong blows out three furlongs. Work to close to Derby against these Horses. What a waste.
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
I will take 8-1 all day long...just like in The Wood...big strides coming late...California Crome, 5/2??? Mike Battaglia is the BIGGEST CHALK player in the USA...Crome should be 9/2 at post time...players want value...... Let's go Wicked Strong for the people of Boston and the people that had to deal with the Marathon Bombing!!!! The wager: $1,000. Win. !!!!!! Just like in the Wood.... Good Luck All...Safe Trip For All..... Whackymacky Out!!!!!
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
I think his 5/2 line on CC will be right on and I think Wicked Strong will be about 6-1 with the defection of Hoppertunity. My money is on Medal Count. Best of luck!
Edward More than 1 year ago
You may want to understand what a morning line is. It in no way is meant to try and predict the winner or merit of any horse. It is simply the best estimate of what the line makers believes the public will do on race day. For all we know Battaglia thinks Chitu is the best horse. He is just saying that he believes that CC will be bet down to 5/2. He sure as heck won't be 9/2 with Hopportunity out.