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Dullahan Beats the Heat and Breezes a mile at Churchill Downs
Courtesy of Churchill DownsBarn Notes
Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, third behind I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), was scheduled to work after Saturday’s renovation break at Churchill Downs, but trainer Dale Romans called an audible and sent the chestnut son of Even the Score out for a one-mile breeze at 6:15 a.m. (all times Eastern), shortly after the track opened for training.
Dullahan covered the distance on a fast track in 1:43 under former jockey and regular work rider Tammy Fox.
“I was afraid it was going to be too hot and muggy at 8:30,” Romans said. “We wanted to beat the heat.”
Romans’ star recorded fractions of :26, :38.60, :51.40, 1:04.60, 1:17.40 and galloped out 1 1/8 miles in 1:57.
“He worked great,” Romans said. “It was just what we were looking for. He seemed to get stronger as he went along.”
It was the second work for Dullahan since his third-place finish in the Derby and Romans said he will work once more before the Belmont.
“He’s going to van to New York tomorrow (Sunday) night and arrive at Belmont early Monday morning,” Romans said. “He’ll breeze next Saturday at Belmont.” Romans said jockey Javier Castellano, who will ride Dullahan in the Belmont, would be aboard for next Saturday’s work. Castellano will replace jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode Dullahan in his last five races and was aboard for his victories in the Breeders’ Futurity (GI) and Toyota Blue Grass (GI) over the Polytrack at Keeneland.
“We’re going from a Hall of Fame jockey to a future Hall of Fame jockey,” Romans said. “Also, Castellano knows the track (at Belmont) very well.”
Romans will board a plane bound for New York early Sunday afternoon to saddle Shackleford in Monday’s Met Mile (GI), but before he does, he will saddle Roman’s Avenue in the first race at Churchill Downs. Roman’s Avenue, a $230,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase, will be making his career debut.