UNDEFEATED TAIBA PUTS IN FINAL KENTUCKY DERBY WORK AT SANTA ANITA
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, April 28, 2022) – The principal action for Kentucky Derby 148 occurred more than 2,000 miles west of Churchill Downs Thursday morning as Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Taiba worked six furlongs in 1:12.80.
“It was very straight forward,” trainer Tim Yakteen said. “He worked three-quarters from the five-eighth pole. It was a typical Taiba work and we accomplished what we wanted. I got him in 1:12.60 and out in 1:26. We’re good.”
Drayden Van Dyke was aboard Taiba who worked in company with the 4-year-old American Admiral.
Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Taiba is undefeated in two career starts will be attempting to become the first horse since Leonatus in 1883 to win the Kentucky Derby in his third start.
Yakteen plans to work Messier, the Santa Anita Derby runner-up, Friday morning with both colts scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Indianapolis on Sunday and then van south to Churchill Downs.
“My general feeling is that both horses are doing really super (following the Santa Anita Derby),” Yakteen said. “They are both very professional and make my job easy.”
In addition to Messier working on Friday, Tami Bobo’s Fountain of Youth (GII) winner Simplification is scheduled to work at Gulfstream Park for trainer Antonio Sano.
BARBER ROAD – WSS Racing’s Barber Road galloped about 1 1/2 miles at 7:30 a.m. Thursday under exercise rider Daniel Ortiz.
CLASSIC CAUSEWAY – Kentucky West Racing and Clarke Cooper’s Classic Causeway sported his new Kentucky Derby 148 saddle towel and had a 1 1/2-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. with exercise rider Calamity Compton in the saddle.
Jockey Julien Leparoux was on hand to watch his Derby mount gallop.
The three-time winner is scheduled to work Saturday.
CHARGE IT, MO DONEGAL, PIONEER OF MEDINA – “All is good so far,” trainer Todd Pletcher reported Thursday morning after his trio of Kentucky Derby hopefuls galloped 1 3/8 miles during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Derby and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls.
Pletcher plans to work the trio Saturday morning but overnight rain Friday is in the forecast. “We are monitoring the weather,” Pletcher said.
On Thursday morning, Donegal Racing’s Mo Donegal was partnered by Amelia Green; Hector Ramos was aboard Whisper Hill Farm’s Charge It; and, Carlos Perez was on Pioneer of Medina.
CROWN PRIDE (JPN) – Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) had a walk day following a half-mile work in :46.40 on Wednesday.
CYBERKNIFE, TAWNY PORT, ZOZOS – Trainer Brad Cox’s Derby trio of Cyberknife, Tawny Port and Zozos all had a 1 1/2-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Cox reported all three horses would work Saturday.
EPICENTER – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Epicenter returned to his normal 5:45 a.m. training time Thursday.
The talented Not This Time colt is scheduled to work Sunday.
SMILE HAPPY, TIZ THE BOMB – Trainer Kenny McPeek’s Derby duo of Magdalena Racing’s Tiz the Bomb and Lucky Seven Stable’s Smile Happy galloped a mile and a half Thursday morning with Edwardo Ruvalcaba aboard Tiz the Bomb and Danny Ramsey on Smile Happy.
They are scheduled to have works on Saturday.
SUMMER IS TOMORROW – With trainer Bhupat Seemar on hand, Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke’s Summer Is Tomorrow galloped a mile under Heinz Runge.
Following training hours, Summer Is Tomorrow had a paddock schooling session.
“Do all the homework now and get the prize next Saturday,” said Seemar, who was returning to Churchill Downs for the first time since 2002 when he was an assistant to Bob Baffert for War Emblem’s Derby.
“It has been a long time, but that wasn’t my first Derby,” Seemar said. “I was here as a spectator for Charismatic (in 1999).”
Summer Is Tomorrow is scheduled to work Sunday.
UN OJO – Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm’s Un Ojo had a walk day Thursday according to Clay Courville, son of trainer Ricky Courville.
Clay Courville had thought about bringing Un Ojo over to the paddock after training hours but opted to wait until Monday “when I have some help.”
Help is on the way as his dad left Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday morning and will be in Louisville tonight.
Un Ojo is scheduled to work Saturday.
ZANDON – Jeff Drown’s Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Zandon galloped about 1 1/2 miles at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Zandon is slated to have his final Derby work Saturday.
SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Here’s the current Top 20 horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby (with jockey and trainer): Epicenter (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Zandon (Flavien Prat, Chad Brown); White Abarrio (Tyler Gaffalione, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Mo Donegal (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Tiz the Bomb (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Cyberknife (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crown Pride (JPN) (Christophe Lemiere, Koichi Shintani); Taiba (Mike Smith, Tim Yakteen); Simplification (Jose Ortiz, Antonio Sano); Smile Happy (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek); Classic Causeway (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch); Tawny Port (TBA, Brad Cox); Barber Road (Reylu Gutierrez, John Ortiz); Un Ojo (Ramon Vazquez, Ricky Courville); Early Voting (TBA, Chad Brown); Messier (John Velazquez, Tim Yakteen); Zozos (Manny Franco, Brad Cox); Summer Is Tomorrow (Mickael Barzalona, Bhupat Seemar); Charge It (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Happy Jack (Rafael Bejarano, Doug O’Neill).