LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As contenders for the 146th Kentucky Derby continue to settle into the stable area at Churchill Downs, the final round of breezes for the Sept. 5 race are set for a busy coming weekend - both at Churchill and elsewhere.
Tiz the Law, expected to be the heaviest Derby favorite since Arazi was 9-10 in 1992, is scheduled to work Sunday at Saratoga before being flown Monday to Louisville via equine charter. The New York-bred colt, winner of the Belmont Stakes and Runhappy Travers, will be bedded down in Barn 20 upon his arrival at Churchill.
The other two Derby favorites, Art Collector and Honor A. P., also will have their final Derby works in the coming days.
Art Collector will work at Churchill on Friday or Saturday after having been vanned over Wednesday from the Skylight training center just east of Louisville and assimilated into Barn 3 for trainer Tom Drury.
Honor A. P. is scheduled for a final breeze at Del Mar this weekend before being flown Monday to Louisville on a charter from San Diego. He'll be accompanied on that flight by Storm the Court and the Bob Baffert duo of Authentic and Thousand Words, all of whom also will work at Del Mar over the weekend.
From New York, Caracaro and Ny Traffic will work at Saratoga before being flown Sunday to Louisville, while Dr Post also will work there while tentatively scheduled to accompany Tiz the Law on the Monday flight.
Finnick the Fierce is scheduled to ship Friday from the Thoroughbred training center in Lexington and will have his final work at Churchill. Sole Volante is scheduled to arrive here Sunday by van from the Florida base of trainer Patrick Biancone. Shirl's Speight will work at Woodbine for Roger Attfield before arriving Sunday or Monday by van from Canada.
Fewer than the 20-horse maximum appears likely for the Derby. Rushie, who arrived Tuesday from California, will run in the Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard, barring last-minute defections among the Derby favorites, while the connections of Attachment Rate also could opt instead for the Pat Day Mile. Trainer Todd Pletcher said this week he is leaning against sending Dr Post for the race.
Other Derby runners already at Churchill are Enforceable, King Guillermo, Major Fed, Max Player, Necker Island, and Winning Impression.
The draw for Derby post positions will be held at the track Tuesday morning.
The Derby is one of 17 stakes during a busy five-day Derby week that begins Tuesday. Racing will be held without spectators because of the ongoing global pandemic.
As for the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks (entries Monday), Churchill racing officials are maintaining a working list of 11 3-year-old fillies. Gamine will be the favorite for Baffert, with Swiss Skydiver a clear second choice. Others for the 1 1/8-mile race are Bayerness, Bonny South, Dream Marie, Donna Veloce, Hopeful Growth, Project Whiskey, Shedaresthedevil, Speech, and Tempers Rising.
In other stakes of major interest on the Oaks and Derby cards, McKinzie will square off with By My Standards and Owendale in the Alsyheba; Monomoy Girl will be heavily favored in the La Troienne; Serengeti Empress heads the field for the Derby City (formerly Humana) Distaff; Newspaperofrecord goes in the Distaff Turf Mile; and Chad Brown will send out Digital Age and Sacred Life in the Grade 1 race that directly precedes the Derby, the Old Forester Turf Classic.
Entries for the Tuesday opener, highlighted by the Champion's Day Marathon, will be drawn Friday.
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