Barns at Churchill Down filling with Kentucky Derby horses

Barns at Churchill Downs

It seems that Derby contenders are arriving more than two weeks ahead of the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Years ago, only a few horses arrived early or the horses only arrived early as their trainers were based at Churchill Downs.

Six Derby horses that have already arrived at Churchill Downs include:

Bob and Cathy Zollars’ Daddy Nose Best who continued his preparation for the Derby with a five-furlong breeze Monday morning in 1:00.20 for trainer Steve Asmussen. “I thought it was a great work,” Asmussen said. “He went over the track really well and I’m glad we were able to get the work in before the rain hit.” Asmussen noted that “if the weather lets us,” Daddy Nose Best will have two more workouts prior to Kentucky Derby 138 and they will take place at Churchill Downs on April 23 and April 30.

John Oxley’s Prospective will run in the Derby according to assistant trainer Norman Casse late Wednesday. “We wanted to see how he came out of the Blue Grass and he galloped great yesterday (Wednesday),” Casse said. “Ultimately, the decision was up to Mr. Oxley and he wanted to run.”

Zayat Stables LLC’s Bodemeister who won the Arkansas Derby arrived in Bob Bafferts barn on Monday.

Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Sabercat arrived for trainer Steve Asmussen. Sabercat recorded the biggest victory of his career in the $1 million Delta Jackpot last November.

Donegal Racing’s Dullahan is at Churchill Downs in the barn of Louisville based Dale Romans. Dullahan won the d Blue Grass Stakes last Saturday at Keeneland.

Brereton C. Jones’ Mark Valeski who is currently #21 on the Kentucky Derby graded stakes earnings is in the barn of Larry Jones.

Sadly, Secret Circle (already at Churchills Downs) will miss up to four months with a sesamoid injury, co-owner Mike Pegram confirmed April 19.

Three more Derby contenders are already in Kentucky and include:

Kendall E Hansen & Sky Chai Racing’s Hansen is at Churchill’s Trackside Training Center in Louisville. Hansen’s trainer is Mike Maker.

Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags trained by Michael Matz is currently at Keeneland.

Team Valor International and Mark Ford’s Went the Day Well trained by Graham Motion is currently at Keeneland.

Another scheduled to fly to Kentucky is Reveron. This Florida-based colt owned by Stipa Racing and trained by 59-year-old Agustin Bezara, is booked to ship straight to Churchill Downs in Louisville on Sunday. He is hoping to have enough graded stakes earnings to enter the Derby.

Kentucky Derby Tours hopes to see some of the Derby contenders when we tour the backside at Churchill Downs.