Kentucky Derby contenders Gun Runner, Creator, Mor Spirit set for Monday moves
Edited from Churchill Downs press release
Trainer Steve Asmussen’s Kentucky Derby (G1) duo of Gun Runner and Creator are scheduled to turn in their final works Monday, in keeping with the newly elected Hall of Famer’s established pattern.
"An easy half-mile,'' he said. “Same thing they've done the week of (a race) all year.”
Same goes for Asmussen’s quartet of Kentucky Oaks (G1) candidates, Nickname, Royal Obsession, Taxable and Terra Promessa.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert likewise plans to send out his Derby contender, Mor Spirit, for a Monday move.
“We're just the opening act this year,” quipped Baffert, comparing last year’s ride with eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, as he visited with several members of the media Sunday morning.
Shadwell Stable’s Mohaymen had his second walk day Sunday following a half-mile work on Friday.
“Everything is good here,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “He will go back to the track tomorrow.”
Japan’s Lani visited the gate during his extended morning routine.
“He did pretty well at the gate. It was another good day,” said Keita Tanaka, agent for owner Koji Maeda. “It is routine when we go to a new track to do gate practice. He will probably go one more time before the Derby.”
Trainer Mikio Matsunaga is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Monday and jockey Yutaka Take on Friday.
Mo Tom also schooled at the gate Sunday. Trainer Tom Amoss isn’t concerned about his 6-week break between races.
"The placement of these prep races has a lot to do with when you're going to run next, and any trainer worth his salt can keep a horse fit, even for this extra distance for eight to 10 weeks if he has to,'' Amoss said. "So it's a non-factor.''
Halo Farms, Jim and Dianne Bashor’s Danzing Candy is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Monday afternoon after catching an early morning flight out of Southern California. Trainer Cliff Sise Jr., who will travel commercially, also is expected to arrive in Louisville on Monday afternoon.
Trojan Nation will also ship from Los Angeles to Louisville Monday with exercise rider and right-hand man Andy Durnin following in transit. Trainer Paddy Gallagher has a flight lined up for Tuesday.
Trainer Gustavo Delgado spoke of the jockey booking he wanted for Majesto.
“I wanted to get (Javier) Castellano,” Delgado said of the rider who was aboard Majesto in his past two starts but who is committed to ride Destin for Todd Pletcher in the Derby.
“But I understand,” Delgado said with a shrug. “Javier has won a hundred races for Todd and six for me.”
(Emisael Jaramillo has now picked up the ride aboard Majesto, according to Daily Racing Form and Courier-Journal reports Sunday.)
Fellowship, who remains on the bubble as the 21st horse on the Derby points list, will enter Wednesday in hopes of drawing in to the field.
When assistant trainer Norman Casse was asked if there was a “Plan B” for Fellowship if he didn’t get into the Derby field, he responded: “I don’t think we really discussed that yet. I think he is training so well, maybe the Preakness (G1) is on the table. We will enter [Wednesday] and wait to see how it goes.”
From NYRA press office
Adventist, who remains No. 22 on the Kentucky Derby points list, remains "ready for anything," trainer Leah Gyarmati said Sunday morning.
With a trio of third-place finishes in the Withers (G3), the Gotham (G3), and the Wood Memorial (G1), all at Aqueduct, the Treadway Racing Stable color-bearer would need two defections in order to be guaranteed one of 20 spots in the starting gate on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Thursday, Adventist breezed five furlongs in 1:02.24, his second work since finishing behind Derby contenders Outwork and Trojan Nation in the Wood.
"He's ready if he gets in," said Gyarmati. "He's being prepared the same way whether he runs in the Derby or not, nothing is different. If he doesn't get in, then we'll likely look at the Peter Pan ([G2] on May 14) or maybe the Preakness ([G1] on May 21). It will be up to Jeff [Treadway] to decide."
Gun Runner photo courtesy Churchill Downs/Coady Photography.