Wednesday's Trackside Derby Report


By My Standards | Sherackatthetrack


LOUISVILLE, KY – With the rising sun making its way through partly cloudy skies, well before the stunning late scratch of likely favorite Omaha Beach (War Front) rocked the racing world, the backstretch at Churchill Downs was buzzing on a warm and breezy Wednesday morning ahead of this weekend's 145th GI Kentucky Derby.

Two of Bob Baffert's three Derby-bound 'TDN Rising Stars' Roadster (Quality Road) and Improbable (City Zip) were among the first to step foot on the freshly manicured surface during the special 15-minute training window reserved for Derby/Oaks horses at 7:30 a.m. Champion and fellow 'Rising Star' Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}) galloped during a later Baffert set at 9 a.m.

Former claimer Tax (Arch) made a very nice impression as he began to jog while Hall of Fame trainers Steve Asmussen and Bill Mott ponied their respective charges–Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy) and Tacitus (Tapit)-onto the track.

Cutting Humor (First Samurai) and Spinoff (Hard Spun) made their first local appearances since shipping in from South Florida as two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher watched closely through the binoculars while standing on the track near the chute.

By My Standards (Goldencents) couldn't be looking any better in the flesh. One quick glance at him is all it takes to see what all the buzz has been about the past few weeks since his big upset in the GII Louisiana Derby.

Juddmonte's aforementioned stunning gray Tacitus was another show stopper during training hours.

With so much talk about Vekoma (Candy Ride {Arg})'s awkward action since his GII Blue Grass S. win, it was interesting to see that he doesn't display that same 'paddle' while galloping.

Like Vekoma, it was the first day of training at Churchill for the unbeaten GI Florida Derby winner Maximum Security (New Year's Day).

Kentucky Oaks headliner Bellafina (Quality Road) caught the eye while briefly taking in her surroundings by the clubhouse turn after entering from the Lukas gap.

Japanese invader Master Fencer (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}) was pretty impossible to miss sporting those loud red-and-pink blinkers/ear muffs combo with jockey Julien Leparoux in the irons during his five-furlong breeze in a leisurely 1:05.20.

Gray Magician (Graydar), runner-up in the G2 UAE Derby, was noticeably lathered during his preparations in the summer-like conditions.

The streaking Oaks contender Lady Apple (Curlin) was on her toes exiting the track as she passed by the large throng of photographers hugging the rail on the backstretch.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.