Endlessly Back on Derby Trail

Endlessly | Benoit

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After declaring that Endlessly (Oscar Performance) would bypass the GI Kentucky Derby in favor of the GII American Turf, also run at Churchill Downs, the connections have reconsidered their options and are now “leaning” toward running in the Derby.

“We're going to go ahead and see what happens here over the next few weeks,” trainer Michael McCarthy said. “[Owner] Mr. [John] Amerman would like to keep all his options open.”

Endlessly earned enough points to qualify for the Derby when winning the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park in his last start, but that race was run over a synthetic surface, as was his prior race, a win in the El Camino Real Derby. His four prior starts were all over the turf, the reason why McCarthy was initially pointing for the American Turf. Endlessly has never run on the dirt.

“He doesn't need to show me much, at least from a resume standpoint,” McCarthy said. “He has to train and we'll need everything to go our way. You know how things are when you get close to Derby time, things happen. We'll be looking for a bit of luck and will hope he gets over the racetrack well. Mr. Amerman wants to be very open minded about it and feels there is an opportunity out there. Are we leaning towards the Derby? The answer is yes.”

McCarthy admitted that Endlesssly has not necessarily been working that well on the dirt surface at Santa Anita, where he is based.

“His works on the dirt have been very workmanlike,” the trainer said. “They've been decent. Decent without being eye-catching. But sometimes, you just have to take a chance and Mr. Amerman feels the same way.”

In six career starts, Endlessly has lost just once and has also recorded stakes wins in the GIII Zuma Beach S. and the GIII Del Mar Juvenile Turf S.

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