LOUISVILLE — One day after giving his connections a scare, Grade I winner Dublin was on his best behavior when it was time to get serious.
The son of Afleet Alex was the only Kentucky Derby contender to put in a work at Churchill Downs on Sunday, turning in a 5-furlong breeze in 1:02.80 with jockey Terry Thompson aboard.
Dublin bolted on the backstretch during a routine gallop Saturday and nearly hit Kentucky Oaks contender Beautician. He had a smoother time of things Sunday, galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:17.80 after working in company with stablemate Luv Gov.
"I was the first one on the track when it opened and I had walked it at 4:30 a.m. and it was even and smooth," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "It's a little bit dead, but we weren't asking for much anyhow. Like anybody working at about this time — and I think all of my colleagues would agree — you don't want a lot. He came home in :24 flat, though, so that's OK."
Several other contenders are scheduled to put in their final moves Monday, including American Lion and Noble's Promise.
Noble's Promise emerged from his fifth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby with a slight lung infection and Monday's effort will help determine his status for Saturday.
"Tomorrow's a big day for him," said Ken McPeek, trainer of Noble's Promise. "He'll work and then we'll scope him. So far, everything is great."
Woolley reliving past success
Trainer Chip Woolley could hardly go a minute on Sunday morning without someone coming up to offer their well wishes or inquire about his Derby-winning charge Mine That Bird.
That attention was only a sample of how much things have changed for Woolley compared to his Derby experience last year.
The fact that Woolley isn't on crutches with a broken leg this time around is only part of the reason he is enjoying this Derby more than last year's trip.
"I tell you I'm having a lot more fun than I did last year," Woolley said with a laugh. "I got two legs to walk on for one. Last year I was sick, I didn't feel good the whole time I was here, plus you have the pressure of your first (Derby) and hoping not to make a fool of yourself."