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Kentucky Derby Notes - Saturday April 30, 2005

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Churchill Downs works

Workouts as seen from the barn area at Churchill Downs.

Cindy Pierson Dulay

GREELEY'S GALAXY - B. Wayne Hughes' Greeley Galaxy, a likely $200,000 supplemental to the 131st Kentucky Derby, galloped one mile over the muddy Churchill Downs track this morning under exercise rider Mikki Fincher.

The impressive winner of the Illinois Derby worked a mile Thursday in 1:40.60 for 83-year-old trainer Warren Stute who is due to return to Kentucky from California in mid-week to supervise the chestnut colt's final Derby preparations which will include a five-furlong breeze Wednesday.

Unshaded, pointed for the 2000 Kentucky Derby won by Fusaichi Pegasus, was an intended supplemental but failed to draw in when a full complement of 20 three-year-olds passed the entry box. At this point, it appears likely Greeley's Galaxy, who has graded stakes earnings of $300,000 thanks to his win in the Illinois Derby, will be able to run in Saturday's Derby.

Storm Surge and General John B. are Derby defections and Don't Get Mad, also owned by Hughes, is favored in today's Derby Trial and reportedly is unlikely to run back in a week. Stute's only other Derby starter was Mr. And Mrs. J. Hal Seley's Field Master, who finished 13th and next-to-last under jockey Alvaro Pineda to Proud Clarion in 1967. Thus, it will be 38 years between Derby starters for Stute, believed to be a record.

HIGH LIMIT - Gary and Mary West's once-beaten High Limit, runner-up to Bandini in the Blue Grass Stakes, returned to the track this morning to jog a mile over a muddy Churchill Downs surface for trainer Bobby Frankel.

The son of Maria's Mon, who scored his third triumph without a defeat in winning the Louisiana Derby by four lengths in March, worked in company with Horse of the Year Ghostzapper on Thursday, traveling six furlongs in 1:13.80. Ghostzapper's time for five furlongs was 1:00.40. "He might work again in mid-week," Frankel said at the barn. "It depends on the weather. Either three-eighths or a half."

High Limit, along with Greeley's Galaxy the most lightly-raced of contenders in the 131st Derby with only four starts, will be Frankel's eighth runner in the race, his best finish being Empire Maker's second to Funny Cide two years ago.

SORT IT OUT - Trainer Bob Baffert, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner who didn't have a runner in the race for the first time since 1996 a year ago, said today that Sort It Out probably will compete in the 131st Derby next Saturday.

"I'm leaning toward running, " said Baffert who won Derbys with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in '98 and War Emblem in 2002. "I like what I see, how he came out of the Lexington (second to Coin Silver).

He came out of the race better than he went in. It's like he woke up. He looks good, like he's blooming in Kentucky. "He needs to improve another five lengths to have a chance, but I know he'll get the mile and a quarter and if he gets the right trip and the big horses don't show up, who knows? If he does win, he'll pay more than War Emblem ($43) because he might be the longest shot on the board."

Baffert said Brice Blanc, who rode Sort It Out in the Lexington, probably will retain the mount. The Out of Place colt galloped a mile and one-half this morning and a workout is planned for early next week, either Monday or Tuesday, depending on the weather, probably a half-mile, according to the trainer.

SPANISH CHESTNUT - The colt by Horse Chestnut galloped a mile and a half Saturday morning at Keeneland.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said Spanish Chestnut will ship to Churchill Downs early Monday morning and breeze five-eighths of a mile here after the break Monday. The colt, sixth in the Blue Grass Stakes last out, is owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, who also own Blue Grass winner Bandini.

Spanish Chestnut is not a confirmed Derby starter yet, but a decision is expected after the colt's breeze Monday. Joe Bravo will have the mount if he goes.

WILKO - The Awesome Again colt made trainer Craig Dollase happy Saturday morning as he breezed five furlongs in a brisk :59.80 at Hollywood Park.

"It was a good, strong work," Dollase said. "We caught him galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.80, so the last quarter was in 22 and change. He went really well."

Wilko, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year, was a closing third in the Santa Anita Derby last out, finishing a half-length behind Buzzards Bay. He was ridden by Frankie Dettori in that race, but Corey Nakatani will take the reins for the Kentucky Derby. Nakatani rode Wilko in the Hollywood Futurity (third) and San Felipe Stakes (fourth).

Dollase, who took over the colt's training in December, said Wilko is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs late Sunday afternoon after a flight from California. The trainer is also coming in Sunday evening.

Wilko turned in an identical work at Hollywood on April 19, 10 days after the Santa Anita race, and Dollase is encouraged that the colt is maintaining his sharp form.

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From a Churchill Downs press release

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