Track Phantom Tunes Up for Kentucky Derby

Track Phantom works outside Carbone | Renee Torbit

Track Phantom (Quality Road) continued his preparation for the GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong work in 1:00.80 (6/32) at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. With jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle, Track Phantom worked outside 'TDN Rising Star' and GII Pat Day Mile contender Carbone (Mitole) as the duo cruised an opening quarter-mile in a modest :26.20, but galloped out six furlongs in a solid 1:13.60, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. Track Phantom's final three furlongs was a sharp :34.60.

Track Phantom worked in blinkers Sunday and he is expected to wear them for the first time in the Kentucky Derby, according to trainer Steve Asmussen.

“It was the first serious move for Track Phantom since we added the blinkers and he handled it very nicely,” Asmussen told Kentucky HBPA's Jennie Rees. “It was a solid work, like always, from him.”

Owned by L and N Racing, Clark Brewster, Jerry Caroom and Breeze Easy, Track Phantom won the GIII Lecomte S. in January and was second in the GII Risen Star S. before finishing fourth in the GII Louisiana Derby last time out.

“He's always had a lot of talent,” Asmussen said of the colt. “He has a great attitude and he's a good mover. He's a wonderful horse to be around. He just has to continue to develop and get faster. I think that he will handle the circumstances of the Derby and the crowd, all the pageantry of it, really well.”

Gaffalione was also aboard Courtlandt Farm's Our Pretty Woman (Medaglia d'Oro) Sunday as the GI Kentucky Oaks hopeful breezed five furlongs in 1:00. The Asmussen trainee worked outside her stakes-winning 3-year-old stablemate Otto the Conqueror (Street Sense)–also under consideration for the Pat Day Mile–through an opening quarter-mile of :25 and completed six furlongs in 1:12.60, according to Nichols.

“It was an excellent work for her,” Asmussen said of Our Pretty Woman's drill.

Our Pretty Woman won her first two career starts over a sloppy Fair Grounds surface and was second behind Tarifa (Bernardini) while making her stakes debut in the Mar. 23 GII Fair Grounds Oaks last time out.

The two Asmussen runners were the only official Derby/Oaks workers Sunday morning at Churchill Downs, but Michael McMillan's GIII Gazelle S. winner Where's My Ring (Twirling Candy) breezed a quarter-mile down the lane in :24. Trainer Val Brinkerhoff reported the filly is scheduled to have an official workout Saturday.

Trainer Todd Pletcher reported 'TDN Rising Star' and G3 UAE Oaks winner Manama Gold (Star Guitar), unbeaten in three career starts, has been transferred to his care and will possibly be supplemented to the Kentucky Oaks. The Louisiana-bred sophomore is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs Monday.

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