Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Exaggerator, expected to be the second wagering choice behind the unbeaten Nyquist in the May 7th Kentucky Derby, completed his preparations for the “Run for the Roses” when he breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 on the morning of April 30th.
With regular rider Kent Desormeaux aboard, Exaggerator started off a bit slowly with fractions of :12.80 and :25.20, but picked up speed through three furlongs in :37.80 and four furlongs in :50.40 before getting the final furlong in a sharp :12.20. He also galloped out nicely past the wire, getting six furlongs in 1:15.60 and seven furlongs in 1:29.60.
“The track was a little loose, but he had a good work,” Kent Desormeaux was quoted as saying in a Churchill Downs press release.
Kent’s brother Keith Desormeaux, who trains Exaggerator, was pleased with how the colt finished the workout.
“Kent told me he thought the track was a little loose and that the horse labored just a bit getting started,” Keith Desormeaux said. “But he also said he got into a good rhythm and he finished up very strong. He said he never asked him but that the colt had good energy from the eighth pole to the seven-eighths; that he did it all on his own. Then he galloped out well and finished up the way you’d like him to.”
Keith added that the workout was similar to Exaggerator’s final timed exercise before his dominating victory in the Santa Anita Derby.
“He worked at Santa Anita in a similar time (1:02.80) and fashion before winning their big race,” he said. “That tells me he’s still at least at the level he was before his big effort in that one. I don’t work my horses fast; I prefer to go the stamina route. I know that goes against the general grain, but that’s what I prefer to do. I want them to go on and I train them that way. I think he’s in a good place right now and I’m glad to have this last (work) done.”