After a little time off this afternoon to be with family, here's the first 2019 installment of Daily Derby Update.
BY MY STANDARDS – Louisiana Derby winner By My Standards galloped about 1 1/2 mile at 7:30 a.m. Sunday with exercise rider Simon Camacho aboard.
“I keep changing it up, but the plan is to work him Monday,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “I was trying to dodge the weather to get a fast track. Then, I had planned on flying to Ocala for the OBS Sale and my flight plans got altered. Now, we’ll be able to plan on working Monday.”
Jockey Gabriel Saez is likely to breeze By My Standards.
COUNTRY HOUSE/TACITUS – Bill Mott’s duo of Arkansas Derby third-place finisher Country House and Wood Memorial winner Tacitus both galloped about 1 1/2 mile Sunday morning during the Derby and Oaks training session.
“I think we’ve got two legitimate horses for the Kentucky Derby,” Mott said. “I think both of these horses can get the 10 furlongs with their breeding, which knocks out a lot of questions for many horses that enter the Derby. It’s easier to find a 10-furlong turf horse than it is a dirt one. You really never know if a horse can get the 1 1/4 until you try it.”
Tacitus, one of the likely top considerations for the Kentucky Derby following his troubled trip in the Wood Memorial, is scheduled to breeze at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
“He’s a lightly-raced horse but has been perfect since the beginning of the year,” Mott said. “He ran a very good race in the Tampa Bay Derby and a very good race in the Wood Memorial.”
Mott’s other Derby hope, Country House, only has one victory in six starts, but the consistent son of Lookin at Lucky has banked $260,165.
“Country House is more of an underdog and hasn’t really accomplished as much yet as Tacitus,” Mott said. “He keeps knocking at the door and running at the end. He’s the type of horse that would benefit from a fact pace in the Derby, and hopefully that’s the case and he can pick up the pieces.”
Mott has not confirmed a rider for Country House.
IMPROBABLE – With the weather and track conditions improving after quite a bit of rain, Improbable galloped under exercise rider Jose Contreras when the track reopened following a harrow break.
“We galloped today, a mile and a half, he went very nice,” said Jimmy Barnes, assistant trainer to Bob Baffert. “The track was in excellent shape. We had a lot of rain yesterday. We’re just waiting for Bob to give us further instructions.”
Improbable, the Arkansas Derby and Rebel runner-up, is expected to breeze at some point this week.
LONG RANGE TODDY – Rebel winner Long Range Toddy, who was sixth in the Arkansas Derby, had a light 1 1/2-mile gallop Sunday at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Steve Asmussen. Long Range Toddy is stabled in Barn 38.
OMAHA BEACH – It was a busy morning at Barn 28 for trainer Richard Mandella as his Derby hope Omaha Beach returned to the track. But before he did, he was fitted with new shoes and had his quarter-crack patch refreshed by his blacksmith, Ben Craft, who flew into Louisville from Southern California.
“He cracked his quarter when he broke his maiden at Santa Anita at least two months ago,” Mandella said. “That’s like breaking your finger nail except that’s like breaking your fingernail high on your cuticle. In horses, that’s in the coronet band. So, it takes several months to grow down. We patched that and, since then, he’s won the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. It’s now a little over two months old, and was due to be replaced today. So, I brought in my blacksmith, Ben Craft, from California and to reset it today and put new shoes on. Now, we’re ready to go.”
Omaha Beach galloped about 1 3/8 mile with exercise rider Taylor Cambra aboard at 9:40 a.m.
“I’m a little excited, nervous, you name it,” Mandella said. “I’m just glad to be here in Louisville.”
PLUS QUE PARFAIT – UAE Derby winner Plus Que Parfait worked a half-mile at 7:30 a.m. for locally-based trainer Brendan Walsh. However, the work did not receive an official time because fog hindered the view of the Churchill Downs clockers.
“It was a shame about the fog,” Walsh said. “I had one of my assistants on the phone at the half-mile pole to warn me on the front side, and I had him in :49.40. It was exactly what I wanted."
Plus Que Parfait is stabled in Barn 9.
SIGNALMAN -- On the outside looking in at number 22 on the Kentucky Derby preference list, Signalman was reported to be in “great shape” Sunday morning from trainer Kenny McPeek’s assistant Greg Geier following his five-furlong breeze in :59.60 yesterday. The colt had a scheduled walk day.
ANOTHERTWISTAFATE -- Trained by Blaine Wright, Anothertwistafate is number 23 on the Derby points list. he was on the track with exercise rider Jose Silva. The colt emerged in good shape after finishing second to upset winner Owendale in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13. “He was out for just a gallop,” said exercise rider Silva afterwards. “The track was a little wet, but not too much.”
SUENO -- Sueno, number 24 after finishing third in the Lexington in his last start, was out on the track with exercise rider Juan Diaz. “He had a nice, easy gallop after walking a couple of days,” said Julie Clark, assistant to trainer Keith Desormeaux. “He’s a real calm, quiet horse, but he seemed a little lively today. (The waiting game is) a little challenging, and we’d sure like to get there for the owners. We sure don’t wish anyone ill will, but we’ll see how the chips fall.”