Mor Spirit “Really Nice” in Final Derby Workout

Mor Spirit “Really Nice” in Final Derby Workout

Coady Photography

Mor Spirit breezing at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography
Mor Spirit breezing at Churchill Downs – Coady Photography

According to trainer Bob Baffert, his Kentucky Derby contender Mor Spirit breezed “really nice” at Churchill Downs on the morning of May 2nd, an exercise which will mark Mor Spirit’s last serious workout before the Derby.

With regular rider Gary Stevens in the saddle, Mor Spirit breezed in company with the maiden Jimbo Fallon and went five furlongs in a sharp :59.80 seconds. The son of Eskendereya started several lengths behind his workmate and posted fractions of :12.40, 23.60, 35.40, and 46.80 before finishing on even terms and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.20.

“It was a cruising half mile,” Stevens was quoted as saying in a Churchill Downs press release. “He gave me everything I wanted. Bob wanted an easy half mile in 49 and I let him gallop out an easy five-eighths. He wanted to do more than I let him. He’s getting over the surface well. He’s always been a good mover. No wasted action. He does seem to be handling this surface better than Santa Anita’s.

“I thought he went in 1:01. I had no idea of his time until I was told. To hear that puts a smile on my face. If I’m two seconds off on a good horse that usually means good things for me.”

Bob Baffert was also pleased with Mor Spirit’s workout. “In his last work, he broke off a little too fast, but today he went really nice,” Baffert said. “It looks like he was moving really well. Now, we just need a good draw and a good break. So many things can happen. The break can make you or destroy you. The last work is important and then the last stressful thing is the draw, waiting to see what number you get.”

Mor Spirit has finished first or second in all seven of his races thus far, including a win in the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) and a runner-up effort in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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Eric Rickard

He could be ready for a breakout performance.