Kentucky Derby Notes and Workouts for 4/16/22

Cyberknife Worked at Churchill Downs in Preparation for the Kentucky Derby. (Coady Photography)

Cyberknife Turns in First Breeze Since Arkansas Derby

With three weeks remaining until the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1), the trio of Crown Pride (JPN) (six furlongs, 1:18.60), Cyberknife (five furlongs, 1:00) and Tiz the Bomb (four furlongs, :48.40) worked toward their next start in the Run for the Roses on May 7.

Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Cyberknife worked outside of multiple stakes-placed stablemate Tommy Bee, starting two lengths his partner and completing fractions of :12.20, :23.80 and :47.20. Cyberknife finished even with Tommy Bee around the seven eighths pole and easily galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.40.

“I thought he looked great,” said trainer Brad Cox, who watched the breeze from the Millionaires Row balcony. “He’s done well at Churchill in the past and really likes it here.”

About 90 minutes earlier, Magdalena Lessee’s Tiz the Bomb, who won the $600,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) last month, worked with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons. The duo clipped an opening quarter-mile in :24.20 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.20.

Moments later, exercise rider Masa Matsuda breezed Teruya Yoshida’s $1 million UAE Derby (G2) winner Crown Pride (JPN) six furlongs from the half-mile pole. The duo easily completed opening fractions of :14.60, :28.20, :54 and 1:06.20. Crown Pride (JPN) steadily picked up his work around the turn and onto the backside before completing his move through seven furlongs in 1:32.40.

Churchill Downs received about 0.2 inches of rain overnight, according to the National Weather Service. The track was sealed for the first two hours of training but dried out by the 7:30 a.m. track renovation break and was harrowed. It was labeled as “good” for the final 2 ½ hours of training.

In other Kentucky Derby news, Arkansas Derby runner-up Barber Road arrived at Churchill Downs early Saturday morning and is stabled in Barn 46 with trainer John Ortiz. He’s scheduled to work twice prior to the Kentucky Derby.

Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Charge It was scheduled to ship from his South Florida base to Churchill Downs on Saturday. He and the rest of Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher’s contingent will be based in Barn 35. Pletcher is planning to keep a full-time barn at Churchill Downs throughout the spring and summer.

Likely Kentucky Derby favorite Epicenter is scheduled to breeze early Sunday at Churchill Downs.

Slow Down Andy to Miss Kentucky Derby

Multiple graded stakes winner Slow Down Andy will miss the Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever, trainer Doug O’Neill confirmed on Saturday.

The son of Nyquist was initially slated to work at Keeneland Saturday morning and would have been coming into the first leg of the Triple Crown off a victory in March 27 Sunland Park Derby (G3). Owned and bred by Reddam Racing, Slow Down Andy previously captured the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) last December and was sixth in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19.

Slow Down Andy had been ranked 11th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 60 total points.

Kathleen O. Among Kentucky Oaks Contenders Working at Keeneland

Winngate Stables’ unbeaten Kathleen O. – who is atop the points leaderboard for the 148th running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 at Churchill Downs – worked four furlongs in :48.60 Saturday morning over a fast track at Keeneland for trainer Shug McGaughey.

According to Keeneland clockers, the Upstart filly galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 and 6 furlongs in 1:15.80 after clocking splits of :12.80, :25.60 and :37.40 under exercise rider David Jego. (Click here for a video of the work.)

“I was hoping to see just what I saw,” McGaughey said. “She does not need a whole lot (of training). She is coming off a race two weeks ago. (The time and the gallop out) were just what I was looking for. So far, we are right on track.”

Kathleen O. opened her career last November with a victory at Aqueduct. She has won three stakes this year at Gulfstream Park: the 1-mile Cash Run by 8½ lengths on New Year’s Day, the 1-mile Davona Dale (G2) on March 5 and the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on April 2.

“She has been a pleasant surprise,” McGaughey said. “She continues to amaze. She gets better and better. I waited (to give her the first race) because she is a big, tall filly. We finally ran her and then ran her back in a stakes, which is really not my style. I have been amazed at her progression.”

Kathleen O. is scheduled to have one more timed work at Keeneland and then ship to Churchill for her final work before the Oaks.

“We brought her to Keeneland because horses thrive here in the spring,” McGaughey said. “I don’t think adapting to a new track (at Churchill) will be a problem.”

In addition to Kathleen O., two other fillies with designs on a start in the Kentucky Oaks put in half-mile works Saturday morning.

Tsunebumi and Sekie Yoshihara’s Yuugiri, winner of the Fantasy (G3) in her most recent start, covered the distance in :50 with trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard.

Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and trainer Keith Desormeaux’s Bourbonette Oaks winner, Candy Raid, was clocked in :50.40.

Yuugiri has accumulated 114 points toward the Kentucky Oaks and is fourth on the leaderboard. Saturday’s work was her first since returning to Keeneland from Oaklawn Park, where she spent the winter.

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