November 27, 2021

Solomini works; Pletcher contingent arrives at Churchill

Undefeated Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Magnum Moon checked out his new surroundings on Monday (Holly Smith photo)

Due to rainy conditions and a sloppy track, there was nothing more than routine exercise Monday morning for most of the Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders currently stabled at Churchill Downs.

The only Derby entrant to work Monday was Solomini, who sped three furlongs in a bullet :35.20 over a fast track at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s four-horse contingent for the Kentucky Derby (G1) arrived by plane from Florida early Monday afternoon and are now settled in at Churchill Downs. The quartet includes Florida Derby (G1) conqueror Audible, Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Magnum Moon, Wood Memorial (G2) victor Vino Rosso, and Louisiana Derby (G2) hero Noble Indy.

Also stabled in the Pletcher barn is 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, who is pointing for the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba (G2) on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard.

Good Magic, the juvenile champion and Blue Grass (G2) winner that arrived at Churchill from Keeneland on Sunday, got in his first jog around the track Monday morning.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas says a jockey has not yet been confirmed for Risen Star (G2) winner Bravazo.

“There is a lot that goes into the decision, especially in the Derby,” Lukas said. “My heart would right away say go with Gary Stevens because of the success we’ve had together (winning the 1988 and 1995 Derbies) but there is a lot more that goes into the decision.”

Chocolate Martini works for Oaks

Chocolate Martini raced for a $15,000 tag as recently as January (Coady Photography)

Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Chocolate Martini breezed five furlongs in 1:03.40 Monday morning in advance of the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

With James Graham up, Chocolate Martini worked outside stablemate Patriot Drive through furlong splits of :13, :25.40 and :38.20 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:16.80

“We’re very proud of her,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “We really haven’t done much with her at all since we claimed her. She’s training well and is happy doing it. That’s exactly what you like to see leading into the Oaks.”

Gazelle (G2) winner My Miss Lilly, a day after arriving at Chuchill, was on the track Monday morning to gallop 1 1/2 miles.

“This track is always good when its wet and I wanted to let her get a feel of it,” trainer Mark Hennig said.

Hennig will be watching the weather in planning My Miss Lilly’s final Oaks work.

“It will be Wednesday or Thursday and in a perfect world it will be Thursday,” Hennig said.

Kentucky Derby, Oaks workouts streamed live

Churchill Downs, in conjunction with TwinSpires.com, is providing live online streaming of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders’ workouts.

The live stream presented by TwinSpires.com will begin at 7 a.m. (EDT) daily through May 3 and is available at multiple sources including on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentuckyderby; on Twitter via @KentuckyDerby; on YouTube at www.youtube.com/kentuckyderby; and www.kentuckyderby.com/works.

The live video will include graphics to identify each horse and commentary from an array of industry experts, including Churchill Downs Host and Racing Analyst Joe Kristufek, TwinSpires.com Racing Analyst Ed DeRosa, Brisnet.com Racing Analyst James Scully, and TwinSpires.com Clocker Brandon Stauble.

Different from year’s past, training hours at Churchill Downs will be 5:15-10 a.m. daily through May 3 with 7-7:30 a.m. and 8:30-9 a.m. breaks to renovate the racetrack. A special 15-minute session from 7:30-7:45 a.m. (formerly 8:30-8:45 a.m. in years past) is exclusive to Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks participants and any workmates. The specially-made Derby and Oaks saddle towels must be worn to gain access to the racetrack during that window.