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May 08, 2015

Derby champ takes jog around Churchill Downs

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah and stablemate Dortmund jogged around Churchill Downs Thursday morning for the first time since the Run for the Roses.

"Everything is good here. Everybody is happy," said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Baffert.

The Derby champ and the third-place horse each jogged once around Churchill Downs. American Pharoah was ridden by his regular exercise rider Jorge Alvarez and Dortmund had Dana Barnes in the saddle.

Derby runner-up Firing Line, trained by Simon Callaghan for Arnold Zetcher, jogged around to the front of Churchill's grandstand where he stood for 10 minutes and then jogged a little more alongside 2002 Derby third-place horse Perfect Drift. The colt's regular exercise rider Humberto Gomez was aboard.

"He was good this morning, a lot of energy and feeling good," Gomez said. "He has a lot of confidence in himself. He is so professional. He is the kind of horse that makes you look good.

"He stood on the front side for 10 minutes with horses jumping all around him and he didn't pay any attention to them. He has held his weight since the Derby and (assistant trainer) Carlos (Santamaria) says he is eating good."

Zayat Stables, owner of American Pharoah, is still deciding about running Mr. Z in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 16. Mr. Z, 13th in the Run for the Roses, galloped Thursday morning with regular exercise rider Edvin Vargas aboard.

"Mr. (Ahmed) Zayat is going to evaluate the field and the quality of it, but I would say we are probable," said Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a six- time winner of the Preakness. "The horse is doing really well. He came out of the race beautifully and we will read him throughout the week."

Another possible Preakness starter is Charles Fipke's Tale of Verve. The colt is trained by Dallas Stewart and broke his maiden going 1 3/16 miles in his most recent start at Keeneland on April 23.

"He had a perfect setup for the Derby (with the win at Keeneland)," Stewart said. "What a coup that would have been. We wanted to run. I thought he would have run well. He had been training well here with two five-eighths works in 59 (seconds) and change before that.

"He is a come-from-behind horse; a big good-looking horse like (2014 Derby runner-up) Commanding Curve. I think the Belmont may be better for him but he needs to run before then. He may run in the Preakness. I'll talk it over with the owner."

Tale of Verve was entered in the Kentucky Derby but did not draw into the race from the also eligible list.



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