Well all the works are complete as of this AM. We had several Kentucky Derby contenders work this AM and also gallop this AM also. Once again this morning, Hence looked very strong as I alerted you all to his final work along with his splits. It has been noted by some that the track was harrowed after the early AM session, and therefore the times were much quicker per the experts. I can see the track being somewhat faster, but not 3/4 seconds. But that’s what makes this the greatest sport as we all get to pick which horse we want back in each race. Below is the other colt that hasn’t missed a beat, since arriving to Churchill Downs. I’m also sick and tired of seeing media pundits in the industry, stating McCraken will go off at 10/1 or higher, that’s delusional!!! He’ll be at worst 4th choice going into the gate at 7/1 or at best 8/1!!!
McCraken – He’s been just as impressive as Hence from my POV, since arriving back to his home track. His work 10 days out of the Bluegrass was something special. He needed the Bluegrass start in a HUGE way and if Wilkes doesn’t start him that race, then no Kentucky Derby this coming Saturday. This colts work on April 18th was STRONG. He worked a 1/2 mile in 47.8 B over the Churchill main, his splits for the work are the following (12.6 / 24.6 / 36.4 & galloped out in 5F 1:00 / 6F 1:13.4) from the start at his first 1/8th to the final clocking of 47.8, he worked 3F in 35.2 and his last 1/8th was 11.4 and then galloped another 1/8th in 12.2!! This is serious type of work over the CH main, as he had just ran a race 10 days earlier. It showed the race didn’t take anything out of him and also why he was flat down the lane that afternoon. He was way too KEEN in the Bluegrass, he also received the needed adversity that afternoon that will propel him with a big run down the lane this coming Saturday.
His final work on April 30th was just flat out WICKED and Wilkes must be on edge for this coming Saturday. McCraken came onto the track in a very nice demeanor and broke off to BJ’s command. He had his ears pricked forward and was teetering them back and forth during this 5F move and he was barely hitting the ground it seemed he was just floating over the surface. We all know that McCraken is undefeated over the Churchill main track and this has been his home base since he was a 2 year old. This means a lot come this Saturday afternoon. Going back to July of 2016 through this past Sunday this colt has put in 18 works and countless gallops over this surface. He’s also had ten 4F works over this strip and not once has he worked a 47!!! His final time for this work was 5F 1:00.80 and his gallop out was the BEST to date of all the Kentucky Derby workers this year. Below are his internal splits and gallop out times. What I want to alert to you all, is that McCraken was finishing down the lane in a very STRONG head wind and he still finished in 12.2 and galloped out another 12.6 at the 6F marker. It looked to me that he re-broke on the gallop out and what the workout video doesn’t show, it took and out rider to help BJ pull up McCraken!!!
McCraken 5F 1:00.80. Splits: 13, 25.20, 36.80 and 48.60. Out 6F 1:13.40, 7F 1:27.20, 1 Mile 1:41.80
UNDER THE RADAR GALLOPS & WORKS
STATE OF HONOR – He’s been working real well and also galloping very eager over this surface. The distance is the main concern and it’s just a little to far to consider him a win contender, but he could blow up the Super or HI 5 as he just might hang on for a piece down the lane as he’s had 7 route races to date and has been facing the cream of the crop in competition down south all winter.. Leave him off your tickets at your own risk, there isn’t much speed lined up on paper!!!
TAPWRIT – Don’t let the Bluegrass make you toss this colt. He’s worked very good and has been galloping with authority since arriving to Churchill Downs. I’m expecting a big rebound race from Tapwrit. This colt has never been higher than 9/1 in his 6 career starts and he will be at least 15/1 or more come post time on Saturday. Do you all remember Invisible Ink with Jr or Bluegrass Cat with Ramon in the irons for TAP. Both ran 2nd at HUGE odds at Churchill on the first Saturday in May!!!