In addition to the multitude of workout analyses provided in the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet Kentucky Derby Wager Guide, our XBTV racing analysts have provided some updated notes from the training sessions in recent days.
Zandon: His last five-furlong solo breeze looked fantastic. Really reaching out well to the wire and beyond with a lovely stride. I love how controlled this colt is, you can tell he really wants to do more, but is so kind to listen to Prat who was aboard for the move. If you weren't a fan of him before, you have to be now.
Smile Happy and Tiz the Bomb: McPeek pair was supposed to go in tandem an easy half-mile, but the plan didn't come to fruition when the always-eager Tiz the Bomb built up a large lead under BJ Hernandez and Corey Lanerie on Smile Happy opted to hang back off that mate. Once allowed into stride, Tiz relaxed but maintained the advantage for the work. A warm-looking Smile Happy closed a large portion of ground late and with no ask to be the better of the pair in my opinion.
Cynberknife and Zozos: Cox barnmates with a very nice six-furlong move. Cyberknife started behind and drew even without being asked a drop. Florent had a snug hold for the entirety of the work and easily could have gone faster or breezed by. As it was, this supposed, stamina-type move at the six panels was not even a touch testing for the temperamental chestnut Cyberknife. You couldn't ask for a better work for an improving horse coming into his biggest day.
Epicenter: This time working inside a new workmate in Alejandro, a maiden winner at Oaklawn, this week's drill had a more tepid pace than last week. I love the energy that Epicenter shows here and my only critique is he appears to be lugging out going into and coming out of the turn. Now this could well be attributed to the fact that the rider has a massive hold of the horse and he wants to do more. That being said, he was straight and true down the lane and galloped out very well, indeed. But this is the first time I have seen him lean out even a little bit, raising some question marks. Still using in top three … in no particular order: Zandon, Epicenter and Mo Donegal.
Messier: He came out of his swift Santa Anita work well and appears to be acting sharp at Churchill Downs, bouncing off the track after a gallop Tuesday morning. Trainer Tim Yakteen told me, “He got over the track in great shape this morning – I’m very happy with him.”