Tom’s Ready breezes five furlongs in 1:01.60 at Churchill

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TwinSpires Staff

April 14th, 2016

Edited Press Release

G M B Racing’s Tom’s Ready continued preparation for the Kentucky Derby (G1) with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.60 and galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15.40 over a fast track Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.

This was the Pennsylvania-bred son of More Than Ready’s second work since a runner-up effort behind Gun Runner in the March 26 Louisiana Derby (G2) where he was beaten by 4 1/2 lengths.

“It was a great work,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “It was a nice, even, strong maintenance work, and he finished the last quarter without any urging. I’m really happy with the way he worked and the way he handled the track.”

Tom’s Ready has made three starts this year, all of which took place at Fair Grounds where Stewart is based in the winter. Aside from a second in the Louisiana Derby, he was a well-beaten seventh in the Risen Star (GII) on Feb. 20 and finished second in the Lecomte (G3) behind stablemate Mo Tom, also owned by G M B Racing but trained by Tom Amoss.

“We’re proud of the way he handled things this winter,” said Stewart, who plans to breeze his three-year-old again next Thursday or Friday. “He had three good races down in New Orleans and he came out of them good and he looks to be healthy knock on wood. We don’t take anything for granted. We liked him as a two-year-old, but it’s a big step to where we’re headed.”

Lecomte (G3) victor Mo Tom, who breezed a half mile on Wednesday in :48.40, will likely breeze again next Thursday, weather permitting, according to Amoss.

Japanese invader Lani galloped six furlongs on Churchill’s main track Thursday morning.

“He is getting used to the new surroundings very well,” said Keita Tanaka, the agent for owner Koji Maeda (note: his wife, Yoko, has been listed as the owner but the colt will run under Koji’s name in the Derby). “For the first few days things were a little crazy, but he’s doing everything okay. All of the people here are treating us really well, which makes me happy.”

Tanaka said the son of Tapit would breeze Wednesday and that trainer Mikio Matsunaga would arrive Monday to oversee the UAE Derby (UAE-G2) winner’s final Kentucky Derby preparations.

Elsewhere, Winchell Racing LLC’s Gun Runner schooled at the starting gate Thursday and galloped a mile following the renovation break.

The Dale Romans-trained duo of Brody’s Cause and Cherry Wine, first and third respectively in the Blue Grass (G1) most recently, also were out for exercise Thursday morning.

Once-beaten multiple Grade 2 hero Mohaymen is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Sunday around 10 a.m. (ET), according to Churchill Downs’ stall manager Steve Hargrave.

Participants in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park could arrive Monday. Chad Brown’s duo of Gotham (G3) winner Shagaf and Blue Grass runner-up My Man Sam are scheduled for arrival on Tuesday.

Trainer Bob Baffert plans to send Grade 1 scorer Mor Spirit to Churchill Downs on Friday, April 22, while Todd Pletcher is scheduled to send his charges to Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday, April 25.

In other Kentucky Derby news, trainer Doug O’Neill was at Keeneland Thursday morning to watch undefeated champion Nyquist continue his preparations for the Run for the Roses.

With regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia aboard, Nyquist jogged twice around the main track before the morning renovation break alongside a pony with assistant Jack Sisterson aboard.

Owned by Reddam Racing, Nyquist is scheduled to work at 7 a.m. Friday.

“That is about our usual time back home,” said O’Neill, who is based at Santa Anita. “He’ll actually go a mile with a two-minute lick for the first half-mile.”

O’Neill said Nyquist is scheduled to work three times at Keeneland before going to Churchill Downs the Saturday or Sunday before the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

The trainer plans to stay in Lexington, Kentucky, through Saturday, return to Southern California for a few days and come back to Lexington next Wednesday.

Also scheduled to work Friday morning for O’Neill is Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Land Over Sea. Headed to the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Land Over Sea is also slated for three Keeneland works.

Tom’s Ready and Lani photos courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Nyquist photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography