Downpour leads to early start
LOUISVILLE -- Heavy rain dampened the Derby morning routines for the field of 20 horses and the veterinarian who was going barn to barn checking on them.
Kentucky state veterinarian Bryce Peckham began his checks earlier than usual because races began at 10:30 a.m., and the downpour complicated matters.
"Nobody's really ready for us at 6 in the morning because they're not used to it," Peckham said. "It's a tough day."
The soggy conditions canceled morning workouts on the dirt track. Many trainers, including Nick Zito and D. Wayne Lukas, were out early to watch their horses walk inside their covered barns.
"We can't go to the track, so we just jog them in the shed as best we can and hope for the best," said Zito, who sent Ice Box and Jackson Bend in the Run for the Roses.
No 'Luck' in Preakness
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has no plans to send Kentucky Oaks winner Blind Luck to the Preakness.
The 3-year-old filly nipped Evening Jewel by a nose in the distaff version of the Kentucky Derby, cementing her status as the successor to superstar Rachel Alexandra.
Yet a year after Rachel Alexandra used an Oaks romp as a springboard to a win against the boys in the Preakness two weeks later, Hollendorfer is skipping the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
"I would think she'll run at least once in New York at some point," he said. Does that mean a spot in the Belmont in June? Hollendorfer didn't say, though he expects Blind Luck to return to Churchill Downs in the fall for the Breeders' Cup.