Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing's Combatant, most recently fourth behind unbeaten Magnum Moon in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, worked an easy half-mile in :49.60 for trainer Steve Asmussen at Churchill Downs Monday morning.
Combatant, 19th of the top 20 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard that are expected to be entered on Tuesday for Saturday's 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, was clocked in eighth-mile splits of :12.60, :24.60 and :37.20. He galloped out five furlongs past the wire in 1:03.40 on a cool morning under clear skies and over a fast main track.
One of four colts by the deceased stallion Scat Daddy in the prospective Derby field, Combatant's only victory came last Oct. 29 at Churchill Downs in a maiden race. Since then he's compiled three seconds, one third and a fourth in five consecutive stakes races at Remington Park and Oaklawn Park. In the Arkansas Derby, Combatant closed from last to finish fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths by Magnum Moon, one of four Todd Pletcher runners in the Derby field.
Combatant, produced from the Boundary mare Border Dispute, was a $320,000 purchase by Winchell Thoroughbreds at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
The breeze by Combatant is likely the last timed workout by any Derby starter, the remainder of the horses having had their final serious preparations over the last several days.
The remaining Derby runners not currently in Louisville are expected to arrive later today. A plane carrying several horses from California, including Bob Baffert-trained Justify, the unbeaten G1 Santa Anita Derby winner, is expected to land around 1:30 p.m. Mendelssohn, 18-length winner of the G2 UAE Derby who also won last year's G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf for Aidan O'Brien, is expected to arrive from Europe at approximately 5:30 p.m. He will be quarantined for 48 hours and permitted to train on Thursday.
Justify, Mendelssohn and G3 Sam F. Davis winner Flameaway are also by Scat Daddy.
Current weather forecast for the remainder of the week in Louisville: warming temperatures into the 80s on Tuesday through Thursday, cloudy skies and possibility of a thunderstorm on Friday with highs in the upper 70s, and 79 and sunny on Saturday for the Kentucky Derby.
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