Stronghold and Endlessly Regroup at Santa Anita after Kentucky Derby

Stronghold at Churchill Downs | Renee Torbit/Coady Media

California-based GI Kentucky Derby runners Stronghold (Ghostzapper) and Endlessly (Oscar Performance) have returned to Santa Anita after their respective seventh- and ninth-place finishes at Churchill Downs, according to Santa Anita's track notes Thursday. Each was back in his own stall Tuesday.

Stronghold jogged Thursday in his first time back to the track.

“He came out of the race in good shape,” trainer Phil D'Amato said Thursday morning of the Eric and Sharon Waller homebred.

D'Amato continued: “I thought he got a good stalking trip behind the speed. He made a nice little move at the top of the lane and then kind of faded the final eighth.”

D'Amato said Stronghold will probably be pointed to some of the 3-year-old races over the summer, with the team taking a close look at some of the derbies held in the Midwest.

“We're going to recharge the batteries and aim for some big stakes down the road,” he said. “We'll focus on mile and mile-and-eighth races this year.”

Amerman Racing's Endlessly tried dirt for the first time in the Derby.

“I thought he ran very well all things considered,” said trainer Michael McCarthy Thursday. “First time dirt, first time getting kickback. He was a little farther back than I would have liked, but he put in a mild run around the first turn and finished up nicely.”

McCarthy indicated Endlessly will return to turf. “We're going to go ahead and get him back to his routine and look for something in July.”

In other news from Santa Anita Thursday, last summer's GI Pacific Classic S. winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo) worked five furlongs in 1:01 for Bob Baffert as he continued to prepare for his 4-year-old campaign. It was his fifth work since Apr. 11.

Also working for Baffert was MGSW and 'TDN Rising Star' Kinza (Carpe Diem), on the work tab for the first time since finishing second–her first career loss–in the Apr. 6 GII Santa Anita Oaks. She covered her four furlongs in :48.40.

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