Likely GI Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law (Constitution) topped a list of sophomores putting in their final breezes ahead of the Run for the Roses/Lilies Saturday, covering five panels in :59.21 (1/3) on the Saratoga main track.
The native New Yorker was one of the first on the track at
5:45 a.m. in an attempt to beat the incoming rainstorm. With regular breeze rider Heather Smullen in the irons, the flashy bay covered his first three furlongs in :36.01 and galloped out in 1:12.01.
“Everything went fine. He came back well,” trainer Barclay Tagg said. “He did everything he was supposed to do. I'm satisfied with this work. We had to make the decision this morning to work him. We made the decision around 4:00. Luckily, it wasn't raining when he was working. It's supposed to rain all day, and the track may be worse tomorrow. I'm glad we got the work in.”
Tiz the Law is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs Monday and regular rider Manny Franco will join him Louisville.
California Contingent Put in Final Preparations
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert sent out Derby contender Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) and Oaks runner Gamine (Into Mischief) for their final breezes at Del Mar Saturday.
'TDN Rising Star' Gamine covered six furlongs in 1:11.60 (1/5) with Juan Ochoa in the irons. The $1.8-million EASMAY topper was clocked in splits of :24.40, :36.60 and :59.40, working in company with SW Quality Response (Quality Road), who was given a half-mile in :48 flat. A dazzling winner of both the GI Acorn S. and GI Test S., Gamine is expected to be one of the top choices in the Oaks.
“She worked beautifully,” Baffert said. “She's coming into the race very well and I'm very happy with her right now. It's going to be a tough race, very competitive, but we're excited and she looks ready for it.”
MGSW Thousand Words, victor of the Shared Belief S. last out, went five furlongs in :59.80 (2/53), going in splits of :11.80 and :36 flat and galloping out six panels in 1:11.40. He worked in company with maiden Tapitution (Constitution), who covered the distance in 1:01.
Champion Storm the Court (Court Vision) also breezed at Del Mar Saturday, going six furlongs in 1:12.80 (2/5) under exercise rider Austin Solis.
“A good work, all we were looking for,” trainer Peter Eurton said. “If he comes out of it well, we're headed East.”
Grade I winner Honor A. P. (Honor Code) breezed late Saturday morning in SoCal, working seven furlongs in 1:27.20 (2/2) with Hall of Famer Mike Smith aboard. He was clocked in splits of :25.80, :37.80, :50.20, 1:02.80 and 1:14.80 with a one mile gallop-out time of 1:40.60.
“I just wanted an easy seven eighths,” trainer John Shirreffs said. “He got it; we're good to go. Now we just need a bit of luck. You need some of that in that race.”
The West Coast contingent for the Oaks and Derby is scheduled to ship Monday. John Velazquez rides Gamine and Baffert's top Derby contender Authentic (Into Mischief); Florent Geroux has the call on Thousand Words; and Julien Leparoux is slated to ride Storm the Court.
Derby & Oaks Breezers Out in Full Force at Churchill
Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil), Gamine's chief market rival in the Run for the Lilies, was among the Oaks and Derby contenders breezing beneath the Twin Spires Saturday. The GI Alabama S. heroine went a half-mile in :49.20 (8/40).
“We went to the frontside [to watch],” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “It was just a happy half-mile, just something to stretch her legs a little bit. Uncomplicated. Brian knows her well. It was nice of him to come by and get on her. All systems go.”
GIII Lecomte S. victor Enforceable (Tapit) breezed a half-mile in :49.60 (16/40) under jockey Adam Beschizza.
“I thought the work was perfect,” said Beschizza, who also had worked Enforceable over the winter at Fair Grounds. “He went a scratch under :50. Mark [Casse] and [assistant trainer] David [Carroll] just wanted to keep the lid on it. His major work was in the bag.”
GII Tampa Bay Derby hero and GI Arkansas Derby runner-up King Guillermo (Uncle Mo) went an easy four furlongs in :52.20 (39/40). The bay went in splits of :14.40 and :27.20 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:05.20.
“[Trainer Juan Avila] asked me to go easy and it was exactly what the horse needed,” exercise rider Edgar Garcia said. “I thought he galloped out around the turn well and was moving very easy on the track. He doesn't need to do much, he's pretty fit.”
GIII Indiana Derby runner-up Major Fed (Ghostzapper) was also out for his final move Saturday, going five panels in a best-of-36 :59 flat.