Willis Horton Racing LLC.’s Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy), winner of the first division of the GII Rebel S., completed preparations for Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby with a four-furlong work in :47.80 (5/40) Monday at Churchill Downs. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.20 and six furlongs in 1:12.40. The Steve Asmussen trainee will need to rebound from a sixth-place effort over a sloppy track in the Apr. 13 GI Arkansas Derby, but a victory Saturday would make 58-year-old Jon Court the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.
“That would be a beautiful thing,” Asmussen said. “Jon gave him such a dream trip in the Rebel. Hopefully, we can recapture some of that magic Saturday. Hopefully, we’ll have a fast track like we had [Monday] morning. He worked beautifully this morning. At this time of the year, the 3-year-olds have to step up. He stepped up big time in the Rebel and hopefully can continue to improve. He’ll need to put up the race of a lifetime in the Derby.”
Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) put in his final pre-Derby work at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida, Monday morning.
“He went a mile in 1:58 and came home, I want to say, in :25 for the last quarter,” trainer Jason Servis said. “He galloped out a mile and an eighth in 2:12 and cooled out good. All systems are, ‘Go.'”
Maximum Security was assigned a clocking of :53.80 for a half-mile by the Palm Meadows clocker.
“They’re getting the last [half-mile] when the horse is breezing a slow mile,” Servis said. “That’s something that probably needs to be addressed at some point.”
Undefeated in four starts, Maximum Security is coming off a front-running victory in the Mar. 30 GI Florida Derby.
Of the colt’s training regimen of longer open gallops, Servis said, “I think it was after his second race that I took him off the rail so to speak and started doing the open miles. It’s just a maintaining thing, trying to avoid injuries that would set us back. Maybe in a fast breeze there is more risk than what I’m doing.”
Maximum Security is expected to ship to Churchill Tuesday.
Also working in Florida Monday was Bodexpress (Bodemeister), who sits at number 21 on the Derby points board. The Florida Derby runner-up worked five furlongs at Gulfstream Park West in 1:03.15 (1/1).
“He did everything really well. He came back really fresh,” said Gustavo Delgado, Jr., the son and assistant to trainer Gustavo Delgado. “The track is a little deep today, I would say. It was an easy five-eighths for him.”