HomeHorse RacingKentucky Derby news & notes from Wednesday training

Kentucky Derby news & notes from Wednesday training


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Susumu Fujita’s undefeated Japan-bred colt Forever Young worked
six furlongs in 1:19.6 over a fast track Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 4 running of
Kentucky Derby 2024.

With jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard, Forever Young posted
fractions of 14.8, 28.8, :42.6, :55.2, 1:19.6 and out seven furlongs in 1:33.6.
He was joined for the last half-mile by Cuffed Candy, an unraced
3-year-old for trainer Dale Romans.

Trained by Yoshito Yahagi, Forever Young also visited the
starting gate after the work. A two-time graded-stakes winner in the Saudi
Derby (G3) and UAE Derby (G2) is scheduled to have another work next week.

Honor Marie, trained by Whit Beckman for owners Ribble Farms, Michael
Eiserman, Earl Silver and Kenneth and Dave Fishbein,
is scheduled to work Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.


After coming to the track for the first time Tuesday
morning, Tami Bobo, Julie Davies and George Isaacs’s Catalytic returned
Wednesday to gallop 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Olaf Hernández.

Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Catalytic arrived at Churchill
Downs on Monday morning after vanning from South Florida.

“He just galloped the mile-and-a-half,” said Tristan Ford, an
assistant to Joseph. “We’re happy with everything. He’s feeling good.”

Catalytic, the Florida Derby (G1) runner-up behind expected
Kentucky Derby favorite Fierceness, is on target to work Sunday.

Catching Freedom, Encino, Just a Touch

Trainer Brad Cox’s Derby trio of Catching
Freedom, Encino and Just a Touch all galloped about 1 1/2
miles Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. EDT and schooled in the starting gate.

All three horses are scheduled to breeze
Saturday morning.

Cox said Encino’s jockey has yet to be
confirmed for the Kentucky Derby.

Domestic Product, Sierra Leone

Trainer Chad Brown’s Derby duo of Sierra Leone and
Domestic Product galloped 1 1/2 miles during the 7:30-7:45 a.m. EDT training
window for Derby and Kentucky Oaks (G1) horses.

Kriss Bon was aboard Sierra Leone, who gave Brown his third
Blue Grass Stakes (G1) victory. Brown’s other Blue Grass winners were Good
Magic, who finished second in the 2018 Derby, and Zandon, who finished
third in the 2022 Derby.

Sierra Leone is owned by the partnership of Peter Brant, Susan
Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Brook Smith.

Peter Roman partnered Domestic Product, winner of the Tampa
Bay Derby (G3) in his most recent start. Klaravich Stables owns
and bred Domestic Product.

Both colts are scheduled to work Saturday, weather permitting.

Dornoch, Society Man

Trainer Danny Gargan’s two Kentucky Derby hopefuls each
galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Pricilla Schaefer.

Winner of the Fountain of Youth (G2), Dornoch is owned by the
partnership of West Paces Racing, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar
Racing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing
Stables. He put in his morning work at 7:30 EDT. Luis Sáez has
the Derby mount.

Coming out at 9 o’clock EDT for his morning exercise was Wood
Memorial (G2) runner-up Society Man, who is owned by the partnership
of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, West Paces, GMP Stables and Carl
and Yurie Pascarella. Frankie Dettori has the mount on Society Man.

The two colts are scheduled to work in company Saturday morning
with Sáez aboard Dornoch.

“I think they worked fine together last week and going to do it
again this week,” Gargan said. “This time I’ll put Dornoch on the inside of
Society Man. Another day of training down and one closer to the Derby.”


Amerman Racing’s Endlessly had a
normal training day Wednesday, galloping 1 1/2 miles around 5:45 a.m.


The winner of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) is
scheduled to work Saturday.


Repole Stable’s champion Fierceness galloped 1 3/8 miles
under regular exercise rider Danny Wright for trainer Todd

Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November at Santa Anita to
wrap up the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male, Fierceness is scheduled
to work Friday morning with John Velázquez aboard.

Forever Young

Susumu Fujita’s undefeated Forever Young worked his six furlongs in company.

“Thanks to Dale Romans (for providing the workmate) so we were
able to do exactly what we want to do this far out (from the Derby),” Sakai
said through a translator.

As usual Forever Young warmed up in the mile chute for a half-hour
during the first harrow break of the morning before starting his work that went
off slowly and finished with a final quarter-mile in 24.4 seconds.

Following the work, Forever Young visited the starting gate.

“The gate was no problem,” said Sakai, who missed out on riding in
last year’s Derby after Continuar was scratched days before the race.
“He has been to the gate before at all the places he has run.”

Sakai has been aboard Forever Young in all five of his starts
ranging in distance from a mile to 1 3/16 miles. Forever Young raced in Japan
last year at age 2 and has been to Saudi Arabia and Dubai this year before
coming to America.

Sakai said Forever Young, trained by Yoshito Yahagi, would
have another work next week. However, Sakai will not be aboard for that,
because he is returning to Japan to ride this weekend before coming back to
Louisville late next week.

Grand Mo the First

Granpollo Stables’ Grand Mo the First exited his
six-furlong work of 1:16.46 on Tuesday morning at Gulfstream Park in good order
and is on schedule to van to Churchill Downs on Thursday.

Trainer Víctor Barboza will be at Churchill Downs on Friday,
which is a scheduled walk day for Grand Mo the First.

Honor Marie

Trainer Whit Beckman was
“calm, cool and relaxed” Wednesday morning watching Louisiana Derby (G2)

“I don’t really get nervous when I run a
horse in a race I think they can win,” Beckman said. “It’s a weird feeling, but
right now I don’t feel too nervous.”

Honor Marie is scheduled to work Thursday
morning with jockey 
Ben Curtis in the

Just Steel

BC Stable’s Just Steel was the
first Kentucky Derby contender to train Wednesday morning with Hall of Fame
Wayne Lukas
watching aboard his pony.

The son of new Hall of Fame inductee Justify galloped
about 1 1/2 miles.

Mystik Dan

Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing and Daniel Hamby
III’s Mystik Dan galloped an easy 1 1/2 miles for trainer Kenny

The winner of the Southwest (G3) and most recently third in the
Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn, Mystik Dan is scheduled to work Saturday. Brian
Hernandez Jr. has the Derby riding assignment.


Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman’s Resilience
had an easy gallop at 7:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

The winner of the Wood Memorial (G2) is
scheduled to school in the paddock a couple times before the Derby, according
to trainer 


Eric and Sharon Waller’s Stronghold, who arrived
at Churchill Downs Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT from his base at Santa Anita, jogged a
mile Wednesday morning with trainer Phil D’Amato’s wife Sherri
in the saddle.

Weather permitting, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner is scheduled
to work Saturday with Joe Talamo up.


Welch Racing’s Epic Ride, third in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1)
in his most recent start, galloped Wednesday morning at The Thoroughbred Center
in Lexington, Ky., for trainer John Ennis.

Trainer Jeff Engler reported Mugatu is back in
consideration for the Kentucky Derby also-eligible list. The fifth-place
finisher of the Blue Grass (GI) is based at Belterra Park in Ohio.

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