Bejarano will ride Line of David
Line of David was out for his first workout since posting his 17-1 upset in the April 10 Arkansas Derby when he breezed five furlongs in 1:02 Tuesday, but most of the buzz about the John Sadler-trained colt concerned his jockey situation.
Sadler said Tuesday that Rafael Bejarano will ride Line of David in the Derby, replacing Jon Court, who picked up the Arkansas Derby ride on short notice. Bejarano, who leads all North American jockeys in earnings in 2010 with more than $4.2 million, teams up often with Sadler on the Southern California circuit.
"We felt for this race we would go with our home-team player," said Sadler.
Exercise rider Lupillo Alferez was aboard Line of David for the Tuesday work, which came without company. Sadler said he was pleased with the move and added Line of David will have a more serious work early next week.
Noble's Promise recuperating
Noble's Promise, working alongside stablemate Beautician, pulled away down the stretch when getting five furlongs in 59.80 seconds, convincing trainer Ken McPeek to keep the colt under serious consideration for the Derby. Willie Martinez, aboard for the Tuesday breeze, would ride the colt in the Derby, said McPeek.
A minor lung infection diagnosed after Noble's Promise finished a troubled fifth as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby is the main hurdle to still get past, said McPeek.
"That was an awesome work today," he said, "but we're still not completely committed to run. We still have some work to do on the lung issue, but he's definitely going in the right direction. If he keeps moving forward like he has, I'd say we'll be running."
Eskendereya arrives from Florida
Eskendereya was among the Tuesday arrivals at Churchill, coming through the stable gate at about 1 p.m. Eastern following a morning flight from south Florida. Eskendereya was accompanied on the trip by three other Todd Pletcher-trained Derby prospects: Rule, Mission Impazible, and Discreetly Mine.
Among the other horses making the trip were the filly Devil May Care, who may run in either the Derby or Kentucky Oaks, and Oaks candidate Ailalea. The Pletcher contingent was scheduled to go to the track Wednesday, said assistant Michael McCarthy.
American Lion works five furlongs
Over at Keeneland, American Lion, the Illinois Derby winner, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Eoin Harty. Jockey James Graham was aboard for the work, but David Flores has the mount in the Derby.
"Everything went well," said Harty, who said American Lion worked by himself. "I'm very happy with him. He's doing as well as I could hope for. He's always done well. The only thing he wasn't doing well before was winning."
Harty said American Lion would be sent by van to Churchill Downs on Wednesday and would have his final work for the Derby at Churchill Downs early next week.
* Saturday and Tuesday charter flights from Ontario International Airport will be transporting the rest of the Southern California horses that will compete here Derby week.
- additional reporting by Jay Privman and Mike Welsch