Art Collector Heads Churchill Workers


Art Collector | Coady

Bruce Lundsford’s Art Collector (Bernardini), winner of the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. in his latest start, worked over a muddy Churchill Downs track Saturday morning. Trained by Tom Drury, the colt carved out fractions of :12.80 and :24.60 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.20 and six panels in 1:14.80.

“It’s so nice to have a horse who is versatile and can really run over any surface,” said Drury. “He did everything very easily this morning and it was really just a perfect work. We are still taking things one day at a time. We just have to get there and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Drury indicated the colt remains on course to make his next start in Sunday’s Runhappy Ellis Park Derby ahead of a tilt at the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby. Also targeting Ellis’ Derby next weekend, Jackie Rojas, Wayne Scherr and Raymond Daniels’ Necker Island (Hard Spun) covered four furlongs in :47.80.

Other possible Kentucky Derby contenders that recorded breezes Saturday were John Oxley’s GIII Lecomte S. winner Enforceable (Tapit) (five furlongs in 1:02.60) and Lloyd Madison Farm’s GIII Indiana Derby runner-up Major Fed (Ghostzapper) (four furlongs in :50.20).

“I was very happy with how [Enforceable] worked this morning,” said 21-year-old Declan Carroll, whose father, David, oversees trainer Mark Casse’s Churchill Downs string. “He did everything in stride. I was just the pilot.”

Highlighting the fairer set Saturday morning, Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) worked five furlongs in 1:01 in preparation for the Aug. 15 GI Alabama S. at Saratoga. The chestnut, who was runner-up behind Art Collector in the Blue Grass last month, carved out intermediate fractions of :13.40, :26.40 and :38.20 before rounding out the move in 1:14.20 for six furlongs, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“She worked really good and handled the muddy surface well,” Brian Hernandez Jr., who was aboard for the work. “She’s a very talented filly as we saw in the Blue Grass how well she handled running against the boys. She cruised along out there this morning.”

Trained by Kenny McPeek, Swiss Skydiver, who is automatically qualified for the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks with 350 points, annexed the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks, GIII Fantasy S. and GII Santa Anita Oaks earlier this spring.

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