At the tender age of 23 and already sparkling with an aura of stardom at Santa Anita, Drayden Van Dyke returns to his home town of Louisville Saturday to ride in his first Kentucky Derby.
Van Dyke will pilot longshot Instilled Regard in the 144th running of the mile and a quarter classic, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Sunday morning after the jockey worked the Arch colt five furlongs in 1:00.80 at 6:45 a.m.
Working in company with Magic Musketeer, Instilled Regard had fractional times of 24.80 and 49 flat, with a six furlong gallop out of 1:13.60. “He's ready to go,” Hollendorfer said after the breeze. Magic Musketeer was timed in 1:01.20.
While a fast pace is anticipated, as well as possible traffic issues in a full field of 20, Instilled Regard likely would benefit from the former, and that's just fine with Hollendorfer.
“In most (Kentucky) Derbies, there's quite a bit of pace,” he said, “and I think the distance definitely is not an issue for him. He'll leave for Kentucky early Monday morning.”
Meanwhile, Van Dyke, mature beyond his years, was concise but on point in anticipation of his debut in the Run for the Roses.
“It's exciting,” he said, “but I'm well-prepared and ready.”
Also working Sunday for the Kentucky Derby was another longshot, Solomini, trained by Bob Baffert, more prominently known as the conditioner of Santa Anita Derby winner Justify, the undefeated Kentucky Derby favorite.
With Martin Garcia aboard, Solomini went six furlongs in company at 7:45, receiving a final time of 1:14.60, with fractions of 25, 49.80, 1:01.80, and a seven furlong gallop out of 1:28.20. Van Dyke was on stablemate Once On Whiskey, who also went in 1:14.60.
“They stayed together,” Baffert said of the duo. “Solomini is a one-paced kind of horse, but it's all good.”
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