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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kentucky Derby Contenders Arrive & Work At Churchill Downs For Kentucky Derby 135

Several Kentucky Derby contenders entered the grounds at Churchill Downs this week, including Thursday’s arrival of Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy, the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Papa Clem made the trip from Oaklawn Park to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

Other Kentucky Derby entries at Churchill Downs include Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner General Quarters; Illinois Derby (G2) winner Musket Man; Wood Memorial (G1) runner-up West Side Bernie; the Dubai-based duo of Regal Ransom and Desert Party, the 1-2 finishers in the $2 million UAE Derby (G2); and Churchill Downs-based Flat Out, winner of the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn.

Before his departure for Kentucky, Zayat Stables’ Pioneerof the Nile turned in an impressive 4-furlong work on Wednesday at Santa Anita Park. The Bob Baffert-trained son of Empire Maker, Pioneerof the Nile, covered the distance in :46.20 – the fastest of 29 moves at the distance.

“I didn’t think he went that fast,” said race horse trainer Bob Baffert. “It’s probably the best he’s ever worked.

I Want Revenge
Wood Memorial (G1) winner I Want Revenge, who could be the horse betting favorite in the May 2 Kentucky Derby 2009, got a feel for the Churchill Downs track on Tuesday when the colt worked an easy four furlongs for race horse trainer Jeff Mullins.

The son of Stephen Got Even, I Want Revenge, covered the distance in :50 over a muddy surface under 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo, who flew in from California for the move.

“I think it was pretty much what we wanted,” said jockey Joe Talamo. “He didn’t really need much coming out of his last race and he’s plenty fit. He handled it great. Actually, for all the rain we had I thought it felt pretty good.”

“He just needed to do enough to keep himself safe,” said race horse trainer Jeff Mullins. “He’s been tearing the barn down and we had to do something with him. If they get to feeling too good, they might get themselves hurt.”

Horse racing news edited from www.churchilldowns.com.

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