Brody's Cause leads trio of Derby hopefuls working at Churchill
Edited Press Release
Brody's Cause began serious preparation for a start in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1) with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.80 over a fast track Saturday morning at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Tammy Fox in the irons.
The breeze was one of four recorded Derby workouts during Churchill Downs' special 8:30-8:45 a.m. (EDT) training window, which is exclusive to possible starters in the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs clockers timed the Brody's Cause, a son of Giant's Causeway, in fractions of :12.40, :24.60, :36.60 and :48.60 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.60. This was his first breeze since a 1 3/4-length victory in the April 9 Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.
"It's just what we wanted," trainer Dale Romans. "I know it sounds cliché, but you can't hide these Derby horses, everybody's watching them. We wanted to go with a nice easy work. It's the first one back off of the race and he went around there perfect. Tammy said he felt great."
Last September, Brody's Cause broke his maiden over the Churchill Downs main track lighting up the tote board at odds of 33-1.
"It just takes one unknown out of the equation," Romans said of the horse's experience over the Louisville oval. "That's important because this track is so different from a lot of others. Some horses don't run well on this surface, so we know that's not going to be a problem. We thought he was good from the time we got him."
Brody's Cause made his three-year-old debut in the March 12 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) where he was a disappointing seventh beaten 12 lengths.
"I quit trying to figure that one out," Romans said of the Tampa Bay Derby. "I just kept training him, stuck to the plan and ran in the Blue Grass and he did his job. Sometimes you'll never figure it out. Everybody tries to look for reasons but I've found that it's better to just come up with no reason than a false reason and try to change something."
Romans opted not to breeze Cherry Wine, who currently sits at No. 25 on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 25 points.
"He's a little bit of a lighter horse; we don't need to do much with him," Romans said. "Right now our chances of getting in the Derby are not looking good so we'll just try to think Preakness (G1)."
Also working following the renovation break was Tom's Ready, trained by Dallas Stewart. In his third work since a runner-up effort behind Gun Runner in the March 26 TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) at the Fair Grounds, the son of More Than Ready breezed five furlongs in 1:01 in company with stable mate Forever d'Oro, producing splits of :13.60 and :38, before galloping out in 1:14.20. Tom's Ready started two lengths back and they finished together.
"I thought [he looked] good," Stewart said of Tom's Ready. "He was nice and solid. It was a typical work for him; he laid off a horse [Forever d'Oro] and made a good finish. It was a good fight and that was a nice colt that he worked with."
Stewart reflected on the colt's first work since the Louisiana Derby, a half-mile drill in :47.60 on April 7, which was the best of 15 half-mile breezes that day.
"That was the first work back; he went :47 and typically you're looking for :49 or :50," Stewart said. "He worked in company that time and got head-and-head. Sometimes he gets too eager when he works with another horse. That's why we let him fall back a little this time. We wanted to get him blowing and get him halfway tired."
Fellowship, third-place finisher to likely Derby favorite Nyquist in the Florida Derby (G1) last time out, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 in company with Awesome Banner, who was timed in 1:01.40. Splits for the son of Awesome of Course were :13, :25, :36.80 and :48.40 before galloping out in 1:13.80.
"He did everything that we wanted him to do," said Norman Casse, son and assistant to trainer Mark Casse. "This was just what we liked to see two weeks before a big race. Looks like he just skips over the racetrack. He's full of himself and has a lot of good energy. It's just everything you look for in a two-week work in our program."
Fellowship currently sits on the fence of the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard at No. 21 with 32 points.
"As of right now I'm really excited with the idea that we could get to run," Casse said. "I think he would run really well. He's obviously not in yet, but I'm actually kind of overwhelmed with how well he's trained."
Meanwhile, Spiral (G3) hero Oscar Nominated went five furlongs in 1:00.20 at the Trackside Training Center for trainer Mike Maker.