GI Kentucky Derby hero Authentic (Into Mischief) and GI Kentucky Oaks victress Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil) both returned to the worktab Saturday at Churchill Downs.
GI Preakness S.-bound Authentic covered five panels in :59.20, the fastest of 38 works at the distance. With jockey Martin Garcia aboard, the bay clicked off splits in :23.80 and :35.40, galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.20.
“It went very well. Martin has been with me,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who came to Louisville from the Keeneland Sale in Lexington. “He knows what I expect. I told him we’re going to go three-quarters from the [five-eighths pole], and he just went off, didn’t have to move on him. This horse, he gets over any track. He couldn’t have looked better, coming off a race like that. Everything is all systems go for the Preakness. Got a nice work out of him. I’ll come back, give him an easier work next week and he should be ready to go.”
His stablemate Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile), who was forced to scratch from the Derby after flipping over in the paddock, also breezed Saturday. Florent Geroux was in the irons for the five-panel move in 1:02.40 (26/38). The bay was clocked in splits of :25.80, :8 and :50.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.
“He’s not a real good work horse,” Baffert said. “I usually have him in company, and today I had him by himself. He’s just a steady kind of horse. Distance is his friend. Flo got to know him today, and I think he’s going to work him back this week. Now he knows the horse a little bit better. But it was fine. I like the way he actually finished up. He started picking it up the last part. I worked him seven-eighths today. That’s him. He’ll never wow you in the mornings. Just steady. He’s funny in that if you try to rush him early, he gets discouraged.”
The incident with Thousand Words in the paddock injured longtime Baffert assistant Jimmy Barns, who required eight screws in his arm.
“But Jimmy is doing fine now,” Baffert said. “He got his arm patched up. He had a great surgeon who patched him up. He’s actually in pretty good spirits.”
With Barnes temporarily out of commission, both Baffert horses have been under the watchful eye of fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas since the Derby. They are scheduled to ship to Baltimore Sept. 29.
Also on the worktab Saturday were Preakness contenders Art Collector (Bernardini) and Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper). A late defection from the Derby with a minor hoof issue, Art Collector breezed five furlongs in :59.40 (2/38) with jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. at the controls. The homebred went in fractions of :12.20, :24.20 and :6 with a five-panel gallop-out in 1:11.60.
“He’s in a great spot right now with his fitness,” trainer Tommy Drury said. “We wanted a bit more of a serious work today and he went well within himself. He’ll have a maintenance work next weekend before we ship to Baltimore.”
GII Jim Dandy S. victor Mystic Guide prepped for a possible start in the Preakness with a half-mile move in :48.60 (2/35) at Fair Hill in company with 2-year-old maiden winner Tate (Quality Road).
“Mystic Guide sat just off of [Tate] breaking from the half-mile pole and he came to him in the stretch and they finished together, which was the planned work,” trainer Mike Stidham said. “Then he had a real solid gallop-out. It was just what we were looking for and we’re very pleased with where we’re at with him right now.”
Oaks upsetter Shedaresthedevil also returned to the worktab at Churchill Saturday, covering a half-mile in :49 flat (40/112). With exercise rider Edvin Vargas aboard, the bay clocked her first quarter in :25.20 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:02. Her champion stablemate Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) also breezed Saturday, going four furlongs in company in :49.60 (70/112). Both fillies are nominated to Keeneland’s GI Juddmonte Spinster S. Oct. 4.
Oaks runner-up Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) was also back to breezing Saturday, going a half-mile in :48 flat (11/112) with Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle. Trainer Ken McPeek tweeted that he is considering the Preakness, Spinster and GI QEII S. on turf for Swiss Skydiver’s next start.