Last year’s champion juvenile and last-out GII Blue Grass S. hero Good Magic (Curlin) was one of eight hopefuls for next Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby who put in their final breezes a week out from the Run for the Roses.
With exercise rider Walter Malasquez up, the e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables representative was officially clocked in 1:01.20 (7/49) for five furlongs under the Twin Spires with gallop-out times of 1:13.80 and 1:27.20 for six and seven panels, respectively.
“This is as good as he’s ever worked,” trainer Chad Brown said. “He won the [GI] Breeders’ Cup [Juvenile] last year off of a really, really good breeze. It’s really taken all winter and spring to get him right to what we see today, at his very best.”
Brown added, “Headed to the pole the horse showed great energy. Actually, a little keen, but manageable. My rider, Walter, gets along with this horse, he’s been galloping him every day and he’s been breezing him. They have great chemistry together and he got him settled and focused when they started the breeze. From there on it was very smooth, well within himself.”
Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro), second in Eclipse Award voting behind Good Magic for 2017 champion juvenile, stretched his legs at his Santa Anita home base. The two-time Grade I winner was piloted by three-time Derby winner Victor Espinoza, who will be aboard him in the afternoon for the first time next Saturday. He covered four furlongs in :48.20 (10/70) while seemingly well within himself (XBTV Video).
“Victor never moved a hand on him,” said owner/trainer Mick Ruis. “He went around there easy as could be. We didn’t need any more with him. We put that seven-eighths [work] into him last week [April 22] and he’s got all his air now. Heck, if after his win in the [GII] San Felipe and [second in] the [GI] Santa Anita Derby and that good work last week–if that isn’t enough to have him ready for this race–then we shouldn’t be there.”
Bolt d’Oro will fly to Louisville Monday along with other members of the California contingent heading out for the big week of racing.
Saturday’s other Derby workers were:
• GII Risen Star S. upsetter Bravazo (Awesome Again), Churchill Downs, 5f, 1:01.40 (11/54). “He’s doing really good,” said Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas. “It’s always great to have a horse in the Derby–even though this year’s field is tougher than others.”
• Last year’s GI Champagne S. winner Firenze Fire (Poseidon’s Warrior), 4f, :50 flat, 52/83. Trainer Jason Servis said: “It was just a maintenance move. It was fine. He is supposed to leave at 11 in the morning and be at Churchill Monday.”
• Consistent GIII Sam F. Davis S. hero Flameaway (Scat Daddy), 4f, :47.80 (2/87) in Louisville. “I honestly couldn’t ask for anything better,” conditioner Mark Casse said. “We had radios on the rider, so we stopped him at about the three-sixteenths pole to slow him down because he was going to work faster than I’ve ever seen him work. He’s not much of a workhorse normally, but he’s gotten a little more aggressive and worked better here I would say.”
• Dale Romans trainees Free Drop Billy (Union Rags), 4f, :49.40 (31/87); and Promises Fulfilled (Shackleford), 5f, 1:00.40 (4/54)-both at Churchill. “It would mean everything to me to get a win in the Derby,” Romans, a Louisville native, said. “I keep sounding like a broken record telling everyone how badly I want a Derby win. When I broke Bill [Mott’s Churchill wins] record last fall it was probably one of the greatest moments of my career. I never thought I’d get as emotional as I did. It truly meant a lot to me and I can only dream of what it would be like to win the Kentucky Derby.”
• GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks winner Blended Citizen (Proud Citizen), currently first on the bubble to make it into the field, one mile at Keeneland in 1:41.60 (1/2).