Barrage of Kentucky Derby Workers Unleashed

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11:14 am EDT

Eight Breeze at Churchill Downs

By Dick Downey

Updated 12:43 p.m. ET

A large contingent of Kentucky Derby contenders breezed at Churchill Downs on a cool Friday morning under partly cloudy skies.

After the renovation break, the track re-opened at 8:30 ET, the time reserved for Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses. A rapid-fire succession of activity followed.

The Todd Pletcher trainee Always Dreaming led off going solo. He broke off at the five-eighths pole and went five furlongs in 59.60 with internal splits of 13.00, 24.40, 35.80 and 47.60. Always Dreaming galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.60, seven in 1:25.60 and a mile in 1:40.00, per Churchill Downs clockers.

Tapwrit and Patch, also trained by Pletcher, went in company with Tapwrit to the outside. A Twitter post showing him inside is in error. Those two ran in tandem, getting five furlongs in 1:00.20, out six furlongs in 1:12.80. Internal splits were 12.20, 24.00 and 36.00.

Gunnevera, trained by Antonio Sano, worked on his own and was timed for five furlongs in 1:03.60 in a designed maintenance move with splits of 14.00, 26.20, 39.00 and 51.80. He went out six furlongs in 1:18.20.

Chad Brown's Practical Joke, sporting blinkers, was outside workmate Bobby on Fleek, a 3-year-old two-time winner in New York. Both were timed in 13.40, 25.40, 37.40 and 49.60 with five furlongs completed in 1:01.60, out six in 1:14.60.

State of Honor was next in line and went on his own with trainer Mark Casse looking on from the fourth floor clockers' stand. After initial splits of 25.20 and 36.80, he completed the four-furlong breeze in 48.80 and was out six furlongs in 1:02.00.

Pletcher's Battalion Runner completed the day of Derby horse training activity. In company with the 3-year-old graded stakes winning turfer Made You Look, Battalion Runner was slightly outworked in the lane while both were timed in 48.40 for four furlongs with splits of 12.60, 24.40 and 36.60. He was out five furlongs in 1:01.60.

Classic Empire was sent out at about 6:00 ET at Churchill Downs and breezed four furlongs in company with Perfect Performer in 49.60. He gallloped out an easy five furlongs in 1:03.00 according to Churchill Downs clockers. DRF's Mike Welsch caught the fractions in 24.02 and 49.21, with a gallop-out of 1:04.06.  Casse expressed satisfaction with the work.

Over at Keeneland, Irap worked a mile in 1:44.20, with the first couple of furlongs two-minute licking and the final six furlongs in 1:14.40, per a report by Nicole Russo of Daily Racing Form.

Battle of Midway worked at Santa Anita, going six furlongs in 1.13:40 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Jeremy Balan of Blood-Horse tweeted that Battle of Midway broke off two or three lengths behind a workmate, was a length behind at the top of the stretch and two lengths ahead at the wire.


Fast Forward to 3:21 to view workouts