Several locally based contenders from the recent $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade 1) returned to the work tab Saturday and Sunday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Trainer Brad Cox was not represented in this year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) but his Derby duo of Godolphin’s Essential Quality and Juddmonte Farms” Mandaloun both recorded easy half-mile moves early Saturday morning. Essential Quality worked in :50.80 while Mandaloun breezed in :48.20.
Cox and Godolphin reported following the Derby that Essential Quality would be considered for the third jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 5. A next race option for Mandaloun is still to be announced.
Another Derby runner that recorded a Saturday work was D J Stable’s $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Helium, who cruised an easy half-mile in :48.80. Trainer Mark Casse’s local assistant David Carroll reported the colt could target the $150,000 Matt Winn (G3) on May 29 at Churchill Downs.
One of the few horses to close significant ground into the pace of the Kentucky Derby was Bernard Racing, Tagg Team Racing, West Point Thoroughbredsand Terry Stephens’ O Besos. The Orb colt worked a half-mile in :49.20 Saturday with jockey Marcelino Pedroza in the saddle. Trainer Greg Foley reported several options are being considered for the 3-year-old but a decision has not been made final.
On Sunday, M Racing Group’s $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) winner Like the King returned to the turf to work five furlongs in 1:02.40 under jockey Tyler Gaffalione with trainer Wesley Ward watching from the grandstand. Ward reported the son of Palace Malice could be considered for the $150,000 Audubon, run at 1 1/8 miles over the turf.
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