Thursday's Derby Report: Big Two Sitting on Go

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Epicenter | Coady

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LOUISVILLE, KY – There's very good reason why trainers Steve Asmussen and Chad Brown have been so confident leading up to the first Saturday in May.

Both Epicenter (Not This Time) and Zandon (Upstart) are sitting on huge efforts as they continue to power through their morning preparations two days out from the GI Kentucky Derby.

Epicenter, getting back in his pre-dawn routine Thursday, trained with extremely good energy with a very strong gallop at 5:45 a.m.

With the rising sun attempting to make its way through the clouds, another lively crowd was on hand for the special Derby/Oaks training period at 7:30 a.m.

As he's been all week, the near black Zandon was the star attraction during the 15-minute time slot. He just continues to get over the surface beautifully with those massive strides of his.

Happy Jack (Oxbow) bounded onto the track nicely for two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill. With only a maiden win to his credit though, he clearly needs to step up in a Herculean way Saturday.

The stunning gray White Abarrio (Race Day) is another one that carries himself quite nicely. Impressive in both of his Gulfstream wins this term, he continues to give off good vibes.

 

White Abarrio | Sherackatthetrack

 

Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb), sporting a blue bridle and matching reins for Kenny McPeek, has also caught the eye. How the synthetic/grass specialist handles the surface here in the afternoon may be a different story.

Simplification (Not This Time) got very aggressive and was tugging pretty hard galloping by on the backside.

One of the Oaks headliners Kathleen O. (Upstart), definitely on the lighter side and wearing front wraps only, isn't one who is going to wow you in the mornings, but man, she can really run when it matters.

Popular NBC sportscaster Mike Tirico was spotted making the rounds on the Churchill backstretch.

Cyberknife | Sherackatthetrack

Owner and cancer survivor Al Gold–what a pleasure it was to tell his story earlier this week–drew a big crowd of media while his flashy chestnut Cyberknife (Gun Runner) was getting cleaned up at the Brad Cox barn as training hours began to wind down.

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