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Kentucky Derby Notes - Wednesday May 4, 2005

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SORT IT OUT - Sort It Out, the longshot hope of trainer Bob Baffert in the 131st Kentucky Derby, returned to galloping this morning under exercise rider Mick Jenner.

The Out of Place colt will be among the more experienced entrants in the Derby, with a dozen starts, the most recent of which was a runner-up effort to Coin Silver in the Lexington Stakes April 23. Wilko is the only Derby entrant with more races, 14.

Brice Blanc has the call on Sort It out.

SPANISH CHESTNUT - Training in the quiet of Keeneland, the Horse Chestnut colt galloped a mile and a half around the main track there with exercise rider Rodolph Brisset aboard.

He's doing well, trainer Patrick Biancone said. No problems at all.

Spanish Chestnut, who won the San Rafael in January, was sixth in the Blue Grass Stakes last out after setting the pace for nearly a mile. He is owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, who also have the Todd Pletcher-trained Bandini in the race.

A confirmed front-runner, Spanish Chestnut is expected to vie for the early lead in Saturday's Derby. He gets a new rider for the race in Joe Bravo, who had Grade I success with the Biancone-trained Lion Heart last year.

Lion Heart, who finished second to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Derby, was shipped to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Saturday morning, and Spanish Chestnut will also arrive early on Derby Day.

WILKO - The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner galloped a mile and a quarter around the oval Wednesday morning with exercise rider Sergio Martin in the boot.

Trainer Craig Dollase, who will be saddling his first Derby starter, said he's happy with the way the Awesome Again colt is coming up to the race and feels his foot problems are in the past.

He was battling quarter-cracks all winter, Dollase said. The weather in California was bad this winter with all that rain, and it was difficult to train.

He popped a quarter-crack before the San Felipe (in March), but he's been going good ever since, and maybe the problems are behind him. I'm happy with where he's at today, Dollase said. He's bred to get the distance, and he's a very durable, well-seasoned horse, which can help in a race like the Derby.

Wilko, now owned by J. Paul Reddam and Susan Roy, raced in England for trainer Jeremy Noseda last year, winning two of 11 starts before coming to the U.S. for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. In that race, he rallied to upset Afleet Alex and Sun King, two of the rivals he faces again in the Derby.

He's had his two prep races now and I think he's ready for the Triple Crown, Dollase said.

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From a Churchill Downs press release

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