With two weeks remaining until the first weekend of May, some of the main characters from the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Longines Kentucky Oaks have appeared in some of the main windfalls in Kentucky and California.
Jeff Down’s Zandon (Start up), who cemented his place in the Derby with a stunning win in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland on April 9, stayed in Lexington to train for the big race and went half a mile in: 48.60 (see below). The $170,000 Keeneland September graduate completed an opening stint of: 12.80, then ramped up the pace through sequels of: 25.20 and :37 flat, with Coach Chad Brown and grand jockey Flavien Prat watch from the stands. Zandon galloped out five panels in 1:00.80, three quarters of a mile in 1:13.80 and up seven panels in 1:27.80.
“He moved transcendently; just what we wanted to see,” Brown said. “We just want to maintain his position. He doesn’t have to get any fitter. I was very impressed with the way he galloped.”
Zandon is expected to board the ship to Churchill on Sunday morning and will have his final Derby exercise next Saturday.
WATCH: Zandon enjoys half a mile of wind in Keeneland
Among those who work below Twin Spiers Saturday are Runner-up Blue Grass and ‘Rising star TDN‘ Happy smile (Runhappy), who worked five coats in the company of stable companion GIII award-winning Jeff Ruby Steaks Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb). Smile Happy, whose table includes the second win in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Fun (1:00.40) and finished on even terms.
“We were just looking for an easy move today and we got there,” Coach Kenny McPeek says. “We’ll probably do the same thing again next week.”
The day after you settle down and ‘Rising star TDN’ Zozos (Munnings) colorful six clamps in 1:12.40, Gold Square’s GI Arkansas Derby hero Cyberknife (Gunman) followed by Saturday morning. Working at 5:15 a.m. with Florent Geroux at the controls, the Gold Square colorist covered the same distance a split second faster, then galloped a further distance at: 12.40, according to John Nichols, Churchill Watches said. Geroux also eliminated Zozos on Friday, but retained the Cyberknife call for the Derby.
“It was a really strong move and he was a really good working horse,” said Geroux. “He continued to improve as time went on and he showed that winning the Arkansas Derby. Even when he came back with a permissible victory before the Arkansas Derby, he showed a whole new level. ”
WATCH: Brad Cox Discusses Cyberknife Work With Jennie Rees
Double eyelids Un Ojo (Laoban) also made a serious move on Saturday morning at Churchill, working five inner pads: 59.40 for coach Ricky Courville in periods of: 11.60, :23, :35 and : 47.60 before galloping out six plates in 1:12.20.
“Wonderful to be here at Churchill Downs,” Clay, son of Courville said. “I’ve been here before but nothing like this. [Un Ojo] are passing the track really well. “
At Santa Anita Saturday morning, ‘Rising star TDN‘Chaotic (Empire Maker) won 5 feathers: 59.80 for trainer Tim Yakteen, up 6 feathers in 1:12 and change, according to a tweet from Tom Ryan of the ownership team. The Ontario tug is back in service next Friday before shipping to Kentucky.
MESSIER fly 59.8 with @DraydenV in hand this morning, galloped 6f in 1:12 and changed. @timyakteen very pleased with the move. He came out from @santaanitapark Derby in great shape; The plan is to work again next Friday before he ships @ChurchillDown #Messier pic.twitter.com/TlziVd5vWQ
– Tom Ryan. (@TomRyanKY) April 23, 2022
Kathleen O. Oaks Workers Leader…
Winngate barn’ Kathleen O. (Start up), the undefeated winner of the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks and also among the top fans for the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks, gearing up for Saturday’s engagement in Keeneland, surpassing the measured half-mile in: 48.80 (see below) for her Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey.
Assistant coach Anthony Hamilton said: “She picked it up and galloped hard. “We are in good form. She’s a happy horse – that’s what you’re looking for. “
Kathleen O. ships to Churchill on Monday or Tuesday, according to Hamilton.
“This is her last job here,” said Bejarano, who played the Candy Raid for the first time in victory at Turfway. “She is feeling good. I took her out five eighths in 1:02 and changed. “
Candy Raid is scheduled to ship to Churchill on Thursday and has her final pre-production there.
Oaks workers at Churchill include GIII winner Pocahontas S. Hide Connection (Connect, 5f in 1:00.60); GIII Gazelle S. Foodress recall (Medaglia d’Oro, 4f,: 48.80); and Busher S. romper and runner-up Gazelle Venti Valentine (Trigger current, 4f, :47.40).
WATCH: Kathleen O. blows the wind toward the oak tree in Keeneland