Mendelssohn Announces His Presence During First Training Session At Churchill Downs

by | 05.03.2018 | 1:25pm
Mendelssohn, seen here before the Kentucky Derby, reportedly arrived in New York Tuesday to compete in Saturday's Dwyer

The highly-anticipated appearance of UAE Derby winner Mendelssohn on Thursday morning was announced with his usual high-pitched whinnies as the colt stepped out onto the Churchill Downs surface for the first time. A half-brother to champion Beholder and to top young sire Into Mischief, Mendelssohn is well-known for his “talkative” nature during his morning exercise.

“We just wanted to get him out and have him stretch his legs,” said trainer Aidan O'Brien's head traveling lad Pat Keating. “He handled the quarantine a lot better than I do.”

Coming out of the quarantine barn at 7:45, along with his three Coolmore stablemates, Mendelssohn jogged about 1 1/4 miles clockwise around the track, then turned around for a nice, slow over the course. The colt got a bit frisky at the end of the exercise, and was playful underneath rider Dean Gallagher before being attended to by Keating on the ground.

Mendelssohn beneath the Twin Spires

The son of Scat Daddy's breeders were on hand to watch him train on Thursday morning as well. Clarkland Farm owner Fred Mitchell and Clarkland's Matt Ernst were pleased with what they saw on the track.

“He looked like he just skipped over it this morning; very easy,” Mitchell told “So we'll just keep our fingers crossed until Saturday afternoon and hope for the best for everybody.”

Mendelssohn's record boasts wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and an 18-length romp in the UAE Derby, on the dirt. He will be ridden on Saturday by regular jockey Ryan Moore, who notably skipped out on several top contenders for the 2,000 Guineas to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

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