ARCADIA, Calif. (April 25, 2013)—In his final work in preparation for the Kentucky Derby on May 4, Grade I Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents breezed six furlongs in 1:16.20 Thursday morning at Santa Anita under regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia, as trainer Doug O’Neill, jockey Kevin Krigger, and several owners watched from the grandstand.
Working from the half mile pole around the Club House turn to the three quarter pole, Goldencents was timed through splits of 27.20, 40.20, 51.20 and 1:03, according to Santa Anita clocker, Dane Nelson.
“We had him galloping out seven furlongs in 1:29 and two (fifths) and the mile in 1:43 and two,” said Nelson.
“We try to make his workouts similar to a gallop,” said O’Neill, who won last year’s Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies with I’ll Have Another. “We try not to zap him. This is very similar to what he does every day, just a little quicker.
“I thought he went great. My biggest focus was to have him finish up stronger than he started off, and he did just that. I got him in forty (seconds) for the first three furlongs, and thirty six for the second three furlongs, so he definitely picked it up when Jonny (Garcia) asked him to, and I liked the gallop out. I’m very happy.
“This is all the ‘tune up’ he needed. He’ll leave here Saturday at about 4 a.m.”
For his part, Krigger was ecstatic about the move and how it was executed.
“Jonny gets along with this horse so well and he gets him to relax early,” said Krigger, who will be riding in his first-ever Kentucky Derby. “Ever since the San Felipe (a disappointing fourth place finish on March 9), Doug has been trying to gear him down and get him to relax. Jonny did a great job this morning and he finished up real strong, which is what Doug wanted.”