Wednesday's Kentucky Derby Report: No Shortage of 'Confidence'

Confidence Game continues to generate buzz on the
Churchill Downs backstretch | Sherackatthetrack


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One of the more buzzed about workouts leading up to the first Saturday in May has been Confidence Game (Candy Ride {Arg})'s eye-catching, five-furlong bullet in :59 for trainer Keith Desormeaux at Churchill Downs last weekend.

The steam behind the last-out Feb. 25 GII Rebel S. winner continued to build on a very lively backstretch as he led out the GI Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses with authority at 7:30 a.m. on another chilly and breezy Wednesday morning.

'TDN Rising Star' Tapit Trice (Tapit) is certainly another who has been separating himself from the pack from a physical standpoint, looking every bit worth that lofty $1.3-million Keeneland September pricetag. The GI Blue Grass S. winner was joined by his Todd Pletcher stablemates, champion and 'Rising Star' Forte (Violence) and the unbeaten Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) for rock solid 1 3/8-mile gallops.

The Bill Mott-trained Rocket Can (Into Mischief) continues to get over the surface very nicely during his morning preparations. He'll be adding blinkers for the Derby following a disappointing fourth as the favorite in the GI Arkansas Derby.

It was another somewhat surprising light morning for leading West Coast contender Practical Move (Practical Joke). The GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner, sporting a blue shadow roll and four matching wraps, jogged a mile just three days out from the main event.

The blinkered chestnut Two Phil's (Hard Spun), meanwhile, entered the track with the Derby and Oaks horses and continued to take in all of his surroundings like a complete gentleman as the special 15-minute training window concluded. With the floodgates to the main track now open, the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks winner finally broke off with a powerful gallop just before 8 a.m.

Impressive Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire (Classic Empire) was not to be missed at this hour either, galloping 1 1/2 miles like a horse ready to take another step forward. Trainer Brad Cox's three other Derby runners Hit Show (Candy Ride {Arg}), 'Rising Star' Jace's Road (Quality Road) and Verifying (Justify) trained in the previous set.

Live longshot Skinner (Curlin) proved well worth the wait, heading out for John Shirreffs with his mane braided at the usual time following the final break at 9:00 a.m. The Santa Anita Derby third-place finisher galloped for 1 1/2 miles after visiting the paddock.

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