Final Contender Preparations Continue at Churchill

The Life

Photos by Eclipse Sportswire

Monday morning brought lots of rain to Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby field entered their final five days of preparations before running for the roses. Only two contenders breezed today with Tapiture hitting the track at 6:15 a.m. right before a rainstorm hit. As the colt started his work, a crack of lightning was heard but he seemed unfazed with the weather, going four furlongs in 50 seconds flat.

The track was closed for more than half an hour due to the weather but as soon as it opened, Hoppertunity was on the track and working. He didn’t seem to mind the condition of the track or the weather, working in company with stakes winner Drill in a time of 48 seconds flat.

Trainer Bob Baffert had to call an audible and change the scheduled time of the colt’s work after the weather hit but he was pleased with how the colt handled the track.

“I brought him out and he worked really well with Drill. Usually Drill wouldn't work well on this and today he did. He's a really good work horse. We gave him a little bit of a head start this time - the last time Drill went to the eighth pole and didn't want to work, but today he stayed with him. They work together all the time and what they did today was a normal work,” Baffert said. "It was a good work. I'm glad I got the work in. He [Hoppertunity] looked great. He was reaching out well. Got it in and got it out of the way. I can relax now, sit around and go buy my tickets."

Likely Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome arrived at Churchill Downs at about 12:30 after taking a morning flight from California that also included Derby contender Dance With Fate.

SCENES FROM MONDAY MORNING WORKOUTS

Photos by Eclipse Sportswire

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