Forever Young Goes Six Furlongs At Churchill Amid Busy Derby Workers

Forever Young at Churchill Coady Photography

With Derby week just around the corner, the morning work tab under the Twin Spires was chock full of participants Wednesday, but one Derby entry went further than the others.

Susumu Fujita's undefeated Forever Young (Jpn) (Real Steel {Jpn}) worked six furlongs in 1:19.60 over a fast track. With jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard, the colt posted fractions of :14.80, :28.80, :42.60, :55.20, 1:19.60 and out seven furlongs in 1:33,60. He was joined for the last half-mile by Cuffed Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}), an unraced 3-year-old for trainer Dale Romans.

“Thanks to Dale Romans (with providing the workmate) so we were able to do exactly what we want to do this far out (from the Derby),” Ryusei said through a translator.

As usual, Forever Young warmed up in the mile chute for a half-hour during the first harrow break of the morning before commencing his work that went off slowly and finished with a final quarter-mile in :24.40. The Yoshito Yahagi trainee also visited the starting gate after the work.

“The gate was no problem,” said the jockey, who missed out on riding in last year's Derby after Continuar (Jpn) (Drefong) was scratched days before the race. “He has been to the gate before at all the places he has run.”

Forever Young, winner of the GIII Saudi Derby and GII UAE Derby, is scheduled to have another work next week. However, Ryusei will not be aboard as he is returning to Japan to ride this weekend.


Next Up … Pletcher, Brown, Cox

As for the Derby prep schedule pointing towards the weekend, trainer Todd Pletcher plans to work Fierceness (City of Light) on Friday morning with John Velazquez in the irons.

While trainer Chad Brown is scheduled to send out on Saturday morning Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) and Domestic Product (Practical Joke). Brad Cox will do the same with his trio of Derby hopefuls, Encino (City of Light), Catching Freedom (Constitution) and Just a Touch (Justify).

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