Three More Derby Contenders Arrive at Churchil Downs

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1:40 pm

Improbable, Country House, Long Range Toddy

Arkansas Derby runner-up Improbable (pictured), along with third-place finisher Country House and sixth-place finisher Long Range Toddy, arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday morning following a flight from Little Rock, Arkansas.

The colts, who finished behind Omaha Beach on Saturday, stepped off the Brook Ledge Horse Transportation van and walked to their nearby barns shortly after 10 a.m. ET.

Improbable is the first of trainer Bob Baffert’s potential trio of Kentucky Derby contenders to arrive in Barn 33. He's 11th on the Derby points leaderboard after earning 40 points in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile test. He races for WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and Starlight Racing and has a total of earned 65 points.

Country House, a stable mate of leading points earner Tacitus in Mott’s Barn 19, has 50 points and sits at 17th on the points list. He is owned by Mrs. J.V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. and LNJ Foxwoods.

Willis Horton Racing’s homebred Long Range Toddy made his reappearance at Churchill Downs Monday morning for trainer Steve Asmussen. The winner of a division of the Rebel Stakes finished sixth in the Arkansas Derby. He will be stabled in Barn 38.

Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach, the Arkansas Derby winner trained by Richard Mandella, will be vanned to Louisville and is expected to arrive on Tuesday afternoon between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., according to Steve Hargrave, Senior Director, Stable Area. He'll be walked into barn 28.

Plus Que Parfait

Imperial Racing’s Plus Que Parfait, who picked up 100 Derby points with a narrow victory in the UAE Derby, is likely to return to the worktab this weekend, according to trainer Brendan Walsh.

Plus Que Parfait, which translates to “more than perfect” in French, spent more than a week in Europe prior to his return to Churchill Downs’ Barn 9 on Thursday.

“I think the extra eight or nine days over in Europe helped him,” Walsh said. “I think that allowed him to relax a little bit after the race and gather himself before flying to America. He settled in really nicely at Churchill and I’ll probably work him towards the end of the week depending on the weather. He’s a happy horse right now.”

Plus Que Parfait was the runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old, but he began his 3-year-old campaign with a fifth-place finish in the Lecomte Stakes and a 13th-place effort in the Risen Star Stakes before winning the UAE Derby.

Edited release with content by Dick Downey