Rocket Can on Track for Derby

Rocket Can | Coady

Frank Fletcher Racing Operation's Rocket Can (Into Mischief) turned in his penultimate workout ahead of the May 6 GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong drill in 1:01.00 (11/41) at Churchill Downs Sunday. The gray colt, who broke off six lengths behind stablemate Game Warden (Tapit), completed early fractions of :12.20 and :36.60 with regular exercise rider Guelser Cardona in the saddle. He finished even with his stablemate at the wire and galloped out several lengths in front through six furlongs in 1:14.20.

“It was a nice, steady work,” trainer Bill Mott said. “He worked fast last week and I was just looking for a good, steady work this week. He galloped out well and stayed within himself.”

In his first work of the spring at Churchill Downs, Rocket Can went four furlongs in :46.60 (1/34) Apr. 13.

Rocket Can won the Feb. 4 GIII Holy Bull S. and was second behind Forte (Violence) in the Mar. 4 GII Fountain of Youth S. He comes into the Derby off a fourth-place finish in the Apr. 1 GI Arkansas Derby.

“It maybe was a little bit of a wide trip in the Arkansas Derby,” Mott said. “The one thing that race told me is he still has more to give in the tank. I don't think he's quite learned to give it his all. That's what you get this time of year with 3-year-olds, but they can improve quickly. He's got a lot of route pedigree on his bottom side [with his dam] being by Tapit. We added blinkers in today's work and will for the race. Hopefully, that will help him go past horses when he runs up beside them.”

Albaugh Family Stable and Castleton Lyons' GI Florida Derby third-place finisher Cyclone Mischief (Into Mischief) completed five furlongs in 1:01 flat (11/41) with exercise rider Tammy Fox in the saddle. With Sunday's announcement that Blazing Sevens (Good Magic) would skip the Derby, Cyclone Mischief still needs two defections to make the Derby field.

“I hope we can get him in the Derby,” trainer Dale Romans said. “I thought he worked great this morning.”

Cyclone Mischief completed fractions of :12.20, :24.20 and :36.20. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

Also on the outside looking in on the Derby field, Skinner (Curlin) worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 (2/4) at Santa Anita Sunday.

“Victor [Espinoza] worked him perfect,” said trainer John Shirreffs. “He went the first furlong in :13 and change and gradually picked it up at every pole. I got him the last eighth of a mile in :11. Could have been :11 and a tick. He finished full of run.”

Skinner needs just one defection now to make the Derby field.

On Sunday, Shirreffs said no travel plans have been made to ship Skinner to Churchill Downs.

“If we're not in, why would we go?” said Shirreffs, who won the 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 long shot Giacomo. “It's a tough decision to make to go all the way there and then not get in.”

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