April 19 Kentucky Derby Update


LOUISVILLE, KY (Monday, April 19, 2021) – On a brisk Monday morning in Louisville, Winchell Thorougbreds’ multiple graded stakes-placed colt Midnight Bourbon continued his serious preparation for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) with a swift five furlong move in :59.80, the fastest of 13 horses at the distance.

   Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bourbon worked in company with recent Turfway Park maiden winner Bajan Rum through fractions of :12.40, :24, :35.60. The TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.80 and completed seven furlongs in 1:26, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

   Tuesday will be the first day on the track for Blue Grass (GII) runner-up Highly Motivated, who arrived at trainer Chad Brown’s Barn 25 at 8 a.m. (all times Eastern) from Keeneland. Brown is scheduled to be at Churchill Downs Tuesday.


BOURBONIC, DYNAMIC ONE, KNOWN AGENDA, SAINTHOOD – Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher sent his four hopefuls for the Run for the Roses out for 1 3/8-mile gallops Monday morning.

   Pletcher utilized the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Kentucky Oaks candidates to send out St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda with Hector Ramos aboard, Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One with Carlos Perez Quevedo aboard and WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Sainthood with Amelia Green aboard.

   Calumet Farm’s Bourbonic galloped after 9 o’clock with Ramos aboard.

Pletcher said Monday morning that no rider has been confirmed for Sainthood, who comes into Derby 147 off a runner-up finish in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) at Turfway Park March 27.

CADDO RIVER, ESSENTIAL QUALITY, MANDALOUNGodolphin’s Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality and Juddmonte Farm’s Mandaloun jogged at 6:20 a.m. Monday at Churchill Downs for trainer Brad Cox while stablemate Caddo River galloped at 5:15 a.m.

   “(Essential Quality and Mandaloun) both came out of their Saturday works in good shape,” trainer Brad Cox said. “We’re gearing up. It’s getting exciting around the barn and we’re ready for the Derby.”

   Shortleaf Stable’s Arkansas Derby (GI) runner-up Caddo River plans to run in the Kentucky Derby remain tentative.


HELIUM, SOUP AND SANDWICHD J Stable’s Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Helium along with Live Oak Plantation’s Florida Derby (GI) Soup and Sandwich had a scheduled walk day at trainer Mark Casse’s Barn 36 at Churchill Downs.

   “We had an easy day around the barn today,” Casse’s assistant David Carroll said.

   Both horses are scheduled to work this weekend.

HIGHLY MOTIVATEDKlaravich Stables’ homebred Highly Motivated, runner-up in the Blue Grass Stakes (GII) in his most recent start April 3, arrived at Churchill Downs at 8 o’clock Monday morning from Keeneland.

   The Chad Brown trainee had worked a half-mile in :47.20 Sunday morning that was the best of 27 at the distance.

KEEPMEINMINDSpendthrift Farm, Cypress Creek and Arnold Bennewith’s Keepmeinmind jogged two miles early Monday morning under exercise rider Enrique Benitez for trainer Robertino Diodoro.

   Winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) here last fall, Keepmeinmind had worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 under Benitez at Keeneland on Saturday and arrived at Churchill Downs on Sunday.

   He currently sits No. 22 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

KING FURYFern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s King Fury galloped 1 ½ miles at 5:30 under exercise rider Danny Ramsey for trainer Kenny McPeek.

   He needs one defection to make the field of 20 for the first Saturday in May.

MIDNIGHT BOURBON, SUPER STOCKWinchell Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes placed-colt Midnight Bourbon worked five furlongs in :59.80 in company with stablemate Bajan Rum (five furlongs, 1:00.80).

   “We’re obviously very excited about who Midnight Bourbon is,” Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. “Physically, he’s an absolutely beautiful horse. Going over the track now, he’s as good as he’s ever been. He’s always had a big frame, now there’s just more of him in the right spots.”

   Erv Woolsey and Keith Asmussen’s upset Arkansas Derby (GI) hero Super Stock had a scheduled walk day.

O BESOSBarrett Bernard, Tagg Team Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby (GII) third-place finisher O Besos jogged about one mile under Margarito Fierro at 6:30 a.m. Monday at Churchill Downs.

   O Besos is scheduled to work Wednesday.

STARRININMYDREAMSStewart Racing and WinStar Farm’s third-place Lexington Stakes (GIII) finisher Starrininmydreams galloped about 1 ½ miles at 6:30 a.m. under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.

   Starrininmydreams sits No. 23 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Likely starters in the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, May 1 in order of preference (with possible jockey and trainer): Essential Quality (Luis Saez, Brad Cox); Hot Rod Charlie (Flavien Prat, Doug O’Neill); Super Stock (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Like the King (Drayden Van Dyke, Wesley Ward); Known Agenda (Irad Ortiz, Todd Pletcher); Rock Your World (Joel Rosario, John Sadler); Bourbonic (Kendrick Carmouche, Todd Pletcher); Medina Spirit (John Velazquez, Bob Baffert); Midnight Bourbon (Mike Smith, Steve Asmussen); Mandaloun (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Highly Motivated (Javier Castellano, Chad Brown); Helium (Julien Leparoux, Mark Casse); Soup and Sandwich (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse); Dynamic One (Jose Ortiz, Todd Pletcher); Sainthood (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Hidden Stash (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver); O Besos (Marcelino Pedroza, Greg Foley); Get Her Number (TBA, Peter Miller);

Possible starters within the Top 20 on the preference list: Caddo River (TBA, Brad Cox); Dream Shake (TBA, Peter Eurton)

Next up in order of preference: King Fury (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Keepmeinmind (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro); Starrininmydreams (TBA, Dallas Stewart).

LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS UPDATE – Undefeated filly Soothsay was removed from consideration from the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) Monday morning, according to trainer Richard Mandella.

   The cutoff for the field of 14 for the Oaks is Kueber Racing’s three-time winner Coach.

AVA’S GRACECypress Creek Equine’s Ava’s Grace jogged two miles early Monday morning uinder Walter Davila for trainer Robertino Diodoro. Monday’s activity was her first on track since working a half-mile here Saturday morning in :48.60.

CLAIRIERE, PAULINE’S PEARLStonestreet Stable’s Clairiere and Pauline’s Pearl had scheduled walk days at Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s Barn 38 at Churchill Downs following their Sunday morning works. Both fillies are expected to train Tuesday.

COMPETITIVE SPEEDJohn Minchello’s Competitive Speed galloped a little more than a mile after 9 o’clock with Juan Vargas aboard for trainer Javier Gonzalez.

   Gonzalez, who is making his first trip to Churchill Downs, said Competitive Speed arrived Sunday morning from Gulfstream Park where he has 10 horses stabled. No rider has been confirmed for Competitive Speed who is scheduled to work Friday.

CRAZY BEAUTIFULPhoenix Thoroughbred LTD’s Crazy Beautiful galloped 1 ½ miles under Danny Ramsey for trainer Kenny McPeek during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls.

MALATHAATShadwell Stable’s undefeated Malathaat galloped 1 3/8 miles early Monday morning with Amelia Green aboard the Ashland (GI) winner for trainer Todd Pletcher.

MILLEFEUILLEJuddmonte Farms’ Millefeuille arrived from Payson Park Training Center in South Florida Sunday night and was on the track Monday morning at 7:30 to gallop a mile under exercise rider Ailsa Morrison for trainer Bill Mott.

SEARCH RESULTSKlaravich Stables’ undefeated Search Results is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs Monday afternoon on a flight from New York for trainer Chad Brown.

WILL’S SECRETWillis Horton’s Honeybee (GIII) winner Will’s Secret galloped about 1 3/8 miles Monday at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Likely starters in the 147th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, April 30 in order of preference (with possible jockey and trainer): Search Results (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown); Travel Column (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crazy Beautiful (Jose Ortiz, Kenny McPeek); Pauline’s Pearl (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Malathaat (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher); Clairiere (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen); Will’s Secret (Jon Court, Dallas Stewart); Millefeuille (Joel Rosario, Bill Mott); Moraz (Umberto Rispoli, Michael McCarthy); Ava’s Grace (TBA, Robertino Diodoro); Pass the Champagne (Javier Castellano, George Weaver); Maracuja (Kendrick Carmouche, Rob Atras); Competitive Speed (TBA, Javier Gonzalez); Coach (Luis Saez).  

Next up in order of preference: Moon Swag (TBA, Brendan Walsh); Army Wife (TBA, Mike Maker); Spritz (Chris Landeros, Rodolphe Brisset); Oliviaofthedesert (TBA, Kenny McPeek).