Thursday, May 2, 2013
Vyjack breezes Thursday morning
By Ron Mitchell Bloodhorse
Two days before he is scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby, Vyjack "blew out" three furlongs in :37 at Churchill Downs May 2.
Vyjack's time was eighth fastest of nine at the distance on the day, as he was timed in fractional splits of :12 3/5 and :24 3/5. He finished up a half-mile in :51 3/5.
The first horse for owner David Wilkenfeld's Pick Six Racing, Vyjack is coming into the Derby off a third-place finish, only a length behind one of the Derby favorites Verrazano, in the Wood Memorial Stakes. Purchased by his owner for $100,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training, Vyjack has won four of five starts to go along with his Wood third. Previous to the Wood, the gelded son of Into Mischief won a listed stake at Aqueduct and followed with victories in the Jerome Stakes and Gotham.
With Garrett Gomez assigned the mount, Vyjack will break from the 20 post at 15-1 morning-line odds. He is trained by Rudy Rodriquez.
Vyjack's breeze came on a beautiful, sun-splashed morning at the Louisville, Ky. track, resulting in a large crowd of onlookers on the backside. Among those seen in the crowd was NFL star Vince Wilfork, a five-team All-Pro Team lineman for the New England Patriots.
All of the Derby entrants, except Lines of Battle who is in quarantine until Friday, and Giant Finish, were on the track. In addition to Vyjack, Normandy Invasion had a strong exercise regimen that some private clockers had as a timed work but the official clockers did not report it on the daily work tab.
Giant Finish arrived at Churchill shortly after 9 a.m., meeting the deadline in which all 20 starters must be on the grounds by Thursday before the Saturday race. Trained by Tony Dutrow, the New York-bred son of Frost Giant who finished third in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes, was a last-minute addition to the Derby field.
Ray Handal, assistant to Dutrow, said Giant Finish traveled well on his van trip from the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. Handal said if Dutrow decided to be in Louisville to saddle Giant Finish, he would be arriving at the last minute.
With early training hours on Kentucky Oaks Day, Churchill has set aside 15 minutes, beginning at 5:45 a.m., in which only Derby and Oaks horses can be on the track.