Pletcher squads heads Derby workout tab Saturday

In what will be their final major moves before next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher sent out all five of his expected starters Saturday morning just after the renovation break at Churchill Downs.

Working in company with stablemate Authenticity, undefeated Wood Memorial winner Verrazano covered five furlongs in :59.40, sixth fastest of 52 moves at the distance. The striking bay son of More Than Ready recorded splits of 11.80, 23.20, 35, 47 galloping out in 1:13.

“He was relaxed breaking off, finished up strongly and galloped out well,” Pletcher said of Verrazano, who is unbeaten in four starts this year after not racing as a 2-year-old. “I thought he handled the track really well. I thought it was well in hand throughout. He gave me every indication he liked the surface.”

Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary and Blue Grass Stakes third place finisher Charming Kitten worked four in company with each other with Revolutionary covering the distance in 48.20 and galloping well out in front of Charming Kitten, who clocked in at 48.40.

“He did everything perfect, just like last week,” said newly-minted Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel, who was aboard Revolutionary in the work and will ride WinStar Farm’s colt for the first time in the Kentucky Derby.

“I thought Charming Kitten spun his wheels a little bit the last 50-60 yards of the work,” added Pletcher. “But I thought both of them accomplished from a fitness standpoint what we were looking for”

Grade I Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze, who Gary Stevens in the iron, and Palace Malice, with Mike Smith up,  also worked four furlongs in tandem with the former breezing a bullet in :47 flat and Palace Malice coming in a tick behind in :47.20. Palace Malice, second in the Blue Grass Stakes, wore blinkers for the move and will keep them on for the Kentucky Derby, Pletcher said.

“I thought both horses worked super,” Pletcher said. “It was a little bit faster than we set out but it was the right kind of fast for me. They started off in 24  and finished in 23. Both them were doing it against the bridle without the riders asking them for anything. I thought they both finished very well and galloped out great.”