Kentucky Derby Worktab Heats Up at Churchill Downs

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7:36 am EDT

Asmussen Sends Out Four; Girvin Plan Changed

By Dick Downey

Last updated 10:29 a.m. EDT

Monday morning at Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby horses put in their penultimate workouts for the Kentucky Derby.

Lookin at Lee and Untrapped

Out soon after the track opened were the Steve Asmussen duo of Lookin at Lee and Untrapped, third and sixth, respectively, in the Arkansas Derby.

Looking at Lee breezed four furlongs in 51.20 on the watches of track clockers with internal fractions of 13.00 and 25.80. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.80.

Untrapped worked a furlong further, going five furlongs in 1:01.60. His recorded splits were 12.40, 24.60 and 49.20, and he was out six furlongs in 1:14.40, seven in 1:27.60.

Lookin at Lee needs one defection to make the Kentucky Derby field.

Classic Empire Gallops

Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire took two very early spins around the Churchill oval, jogging a mile and galloping a mile.

Hence and Local Hero

After the 8:30 renovation break at Churchill, Asmussen sent out Hence (outside) and Local Hero (inside) to breeze five furlongs. They went in tandem throughout the workout and gallop-out with Hence a neck or half-length back of Local Hero most of the way. The moves were timed in 1:00.00 with fractions of 12.20, 23.80, 35.60 and 47.80. The pair galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 and seven in 1:26.60.

Hence, winner of the Sunland Derby last time out, has more than enough points to make the Kentucky Derby. Local Hero needs several defections to make the field.


McCraken was next to work, with Brian Hernandez, Jr. aboard. McCraken broke off six lengths behind his workmate, a 3-year-old, three-race maiden colt named McCormick.  McCraken was timed for five furlongs in 1:00.60, and McCormick was clocked in 1:01.00. McCraken's splits were 12.00, 24.60 and 36.40. He galloped  out strongly and past McCormick six furlongs in 1:13.00 and seven 1:26.00.  DRF's Mike Welsch's watch had McCracken out a mile in 1:41.53.

McCraken looks to improve on a third-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

Girvin Work at Keenland Doesn't Happen

Trainer Joe Sharp had previously said Louisiana Derby winner Girvin was set to work at Keeneland this morning, but he merely jogged. Sharp reportedly told an official at Keeneland that the work will be delayed until Friday. Girvin's last workout was nine days ago at Churchill Downs.

“We just decided we are probably going to work him Friday,” Sharp said. “Just one solid stiff work going into the Derby instead of trying to squeeze two half-mile in him. Probably five-eighths or three-quarters eight days out from the Derby.”

Sharp said the workout would take place at Keeneland. Girvin was stabled at Churchill Downs' Trackside facility until late last week. Sharp said at the time of the ship that he was taking Girvin to Keeneland to use the synthetic training track during wet weather.