Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector (Bernardini), who entered the GI Kentucky Derby discussion with a solid victory in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland July 11, went an easy four furlongs in :49 flat Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. The homebred colt is slated for a final prep in the $200,000 Runhappy Ellis Park Derby Aug. 9. Brian Hernandez, Jr. was in the irons.
“He’s fit; we weren’t looking for much today,” trainer Tom Drury, Jr., said. “Just a little maintenance half-mile, let him stretch his legs a little. Brian said he couldn’t have been happier, kind of had his ears thrown up. Just cruised along. I think [Churchill clocker] Big John [Nichols] had him galloping out in 1:01 and change. It was really nice, just what I wanted. I think he got off the first eighth-mile in 13 [seconds] and just kind of picked it up from there. He’s on the same schedule he’s been on. He’ll come back and work next Friday or Saturday and that should pretty much set us up for the race.”