Riding the wave of momentum as leading trainer of Laurel Park's ongoing spring meet, trainer Mike Trombetta will ship record-setting stakes winner Win Win Win to Kentucky on Wednesday to finish preparations for the May 4 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Trombetta's plans also include giving Win Win Win, ranked 16th with 50 Derby qualifying points, one final work at Churchill Downs over the weekend.
Win Win Win is based with Trombetta at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., where the Live Oak Plantation homebred colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01 over the all-weather track on Easter Sunday, a day later than scheduled.
“He's good,” Trombetta said. “We had to postpone the work Saturday. It rained really, really hard up there, so we postponed it until yesterday and worked him yesterday morning. He worked a good five-eighths. It looks we're going the middle of this week. I think we're going to ship him Wednesday, and then he'll get his final work there on Sunday.”
Sunday marked Win Win Win's return to the work tab for the first time since closing to be second behind Vekoma in the Blue Grass (G2) April 6 at Keeneland. In his prior start, the son of Hat Trick was third to Tacitus in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) in his graded debut; he will face both winners in the Derby.
Win Win Win won each of his first two starts before running second to Preakness (G1)-bound Alwaysmining in the Heft Stakes – all at Laurel Park – to close his 2-year-old season. He launched his 3-year-old campaign with a 7 ¼-length romp in the Pasco Stakes Jan. 19, breaking Tampa Bay Downs' seven-furlong track record (1:20.89).
Julian Pimentel, aboard for each of his three victories as well as the Heft, will make both his Derby and Churchill debut aboard Win Win Win.
This will be the second trip to the Derby for Trombetta, a career winner of 1,741 races and more than $56 million in purse earnings. He finished seventh with post-time favorite Sweetnorthernsaint in 2006; Sweetnorthernsaint would go on to run second in the Preakness.
“It's cool,” Trombetta said. “No one knows if we're ever going to make it at all, and to be able to get a second crack at it is a lot of fun.”
Heading into a special Easter Monday program, where he has three horses entered in two of nine races, Trombetta tops Laurel's spring meet standings with seven wins from 20 starters. He also has four seconds and a third, ranking third with $172,085 in purse earnings. The current meet, which opened April 5, runs through May 5.
Trombetta went 10-for-57 at Laurel's winter meet, ranking eighth with $332,732 in purses earned.
“It was a little slow getting started [this year] with all the winter stuff,” he said, “but we've picked up a little bit of momentum here in the last six or eight weeks and that does help, no doubt about it.”
After Monday's card, live racing returns to Laurel Park with a nine-race program Thursday, April 25. First-race post time is 1:10 p.m.
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