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Kentucky Derby Notes: Tuesday, April 26, 2022

by 1/ST BET

April 26, 2022


LOUISVILLE, KY (Tuesday, April 26, 2022) – Kentucky West Racing and Clarke Cooper’s Sam F. Davis (Grade III) and Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Classic Causeway {pictured above} will once again target this year’s $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).

Classic Causeway, trained by Brian Lynch, will attempt to avenge his enigmatic 11th-place effort in last month’s Florida Derby (GI) in the Kentucky Derby. The Giant’s Causeway colt was scheduled to run in the $500,000 Pat Day Mile (GII) but Lynch reported Monday Classic Causeway will once again join the Derby fray.

In other Derby news, Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) is scheduled to work Wednesday morning as is RED TR-Racing’s Rich Strike. Rich Strike is No. 24 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

BARBER ROAD – WSS Racing’s Barber Road had an easy gallop Tuesday morning for trainer John Ortiz.

Barber Road, the runner-up to Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby (GI), would be the first starter in the Kentucky Derby for Ortiz.

“This is a dream come true to even be here and participating in the Derby,” Ortiz said.

CLASSIC CAUSEWAY – Trainer Brian Lynch reported Monday afternoon that three-time winner Classic Causeway will now target the Kentucky Derby instead of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG and E & KU (GII).

“My owners have about 160 years, combined, and who am I to hold them back on running in the Derby,” Lynch said Tuesday morning. “You go back to his races at Tampa and he fits right in with this field. I think he can have an advantage on the pace.”

Classic Causeway galloped about 1 1/2 miles around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday with Lynch’s exercise rider Calamity Compton in the saddle.

Julien Leparoux has the mount in the Derby.

CHARGE IT, MO DONEGAL, PIONEER OF MEDINA – Donegal Racing’s Mo Donegal and Whisper Hill Farm’s Charge It galloped 1 3/8 miles during the special 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls.

Amelia Green was aboard Mo Donegal and Hector Ramos was on Charge It.

As for Sumaya U. S. Stables’ Pioneer of Medina, he had a walk day Tuesday following a :59.80 five-furlong breeze Monday morning. Pioneer of Medina is 21st on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, a spot that would leave him on the outside looking in should all the horses above him with more points enter on Monday.

“We got bumped yesterday,” trainer Todd Pletcher said alluding to the re-entry into the Derby picture of Classic Causeway.

And should there be one defection from the prospective Derby field, would Pioneer of Medina be a go on the first Saturday in May?

“We’re thinking about it,” Pletcher said.

CROWN PRIDE (JPN) – Teruya Yoshida’s Crown Pride (JPN) warmed up in the mile chute and then had a light gallop under exercise rider Masa Matsuda.

Winner of the UAE Derby (GII) in his most recent start, Crown Pride is scheduled to work Wednesday morning. His trainer, Koichi Shintani is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Sunday.

CYBERKNIFE, TAWNY PORT, ZOZOS – Trainer Brad Cox’s Derby trio of Cyberknife, Tawny Port and Zozos all had a 1 1/2-mile gallop at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Gold Star’s Arkansas Derby (GI) winner Cyberknife, who’s named after the non-invasive procedure that helped cure owner Al Gold’s prostate cancer, is scheduled to work Saturday along with Peachtree Stable’s Tawny Port.

Zozos, the runner-up in the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (GII) for owners Barry and Joni Butzow, is slated to work Friday.

Cox announced Monday that Zozos will be ridden in the Derby by Manny Franco. Florent Geroux has the call on Cyberknife while the jockey on Tawny Port has yet to be determined.

EPICENTER – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Epicenter returned to the track Tuesday morning following his scheduled Monday walk day.

Epicenter jogged one mile and had a light one-mile gallop under exercise rider Roberto Howell.

The speedy Epicenter showed a new style of running in the Louisiana Derby and was able to track just off of the early leaders.

“To see the way Epicenter was able to sit just off the pace in the Louisiana Derby is very pleasing considering how fast the early pace is each year in the Derby,” Hall of fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. “With 20 horses in the Derby, the post-position draw matters. We obviously hope he’s able to get away from there cleanly but the success he’s had with variable styles is one less thing to worry about.”

SMILE HAPPY, TIZ THE BOMB – Trainer Kenny McPeek’s Derby duo of Magdalena Racing’s Tiz the Bomb and Lucky Seven Stable’s Smile Happy galloped a mile and a half with Edwardo Ruvalcaba aboard the former and Danny Ramsey on the latter.

The colts worked together last Saturday with their final pre-Derby drill penciled in for this Saturday, a day in which rain is in the forecast.

“I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” McPeek said. “I would have no problem working on an off track here.”

SUMMER IS TOMORROW – Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke’s Summer Is Tomorrow galloped a mile and a half under Heinz Runge.

Trained by Bhupat Seemar, who is scheduled to arrive in Lousville Wednesday, Summer Is Tomorrow is scheduled to work Sunday.

UN OJO – Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm’s Un Ojo galloped about a mile and a half under Clay Courville, son of trainer Ricky Courville.

The Rebel (GII) winner is scheduled to have his final pre-Derby drill Saturday.

ZANDON – Jeff Drown’s Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Zandon galloped about 1 1/2 miles at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Trainer Chad Brown was on hand and watched his top Derby contender from the Churchill Downs clocker stand.

The Upstart colt is likely to work Saturday.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY DERBY – Here’s the current Top 20 horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby (with jockey and trainer): Epicenter (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen); Zandon (Flavien Prat, Chad Brown); White Abarrio (Tyler Gaffalione, Saffie Joseph Jr.); Mo Donegal (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher); Tiz the Bomb (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Cyberknife (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crown Pride (JPN) (Christophe Lemiere, Koichi Shintani); Taiba (Mike Smith, Tim Yakteen); Simplification (Jose Ortiz, Antonio Sano); Smile Happy (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek); Classic Causeway (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch); Tawny Port (TBA, Brad Cox); Barber Road (Reylu Gutierrez, John Ortiz); Un Ojo (Ramon Vazquez, Ricky Courville); Early Voting (TBA, Chad Brown); Messier (John Velazquez, Tim Yakteen); Zozos (Manny Franco, Brad Cox); Summer Is Tomorrow (Mickael Barzalona, Bhupat Seemar); Charge It (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Happy Jack (Rafael Bejarano, Doug O’Neill).