LOUISVILLE, Ky. - No matter how swiftly or slowly horses work out, trainers usually say, "It was perfect, just what we wanted." After We Miss Artie went 4 furlongs in 49.20 seconds Sunday at Churchill Downs, Todd Pletcher went against the grain.
"I wasn't that happy with his effort," Pletcher said. "I just expected more, and I'm not sure We Miss Artie should be running in the Derby. I'll talk to and we'll see."
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The colt's career highlight is a nose victory in the Grade III Spiral Stakes at synthetic Turfway Park, and he's 0-for-3, beaten a combined 27 1/4 lengths, on conventional dirt. No matter, because Pletcher's attempt to convince Ramsey to consider other options was unsuccessful. Artie will be entered Wednesday.
Asked about their conversation, the diplomatic Pletcher just smiled.
An electrical storm of biblical proportions hit Churchill around 6:30 Monday morning, just as trainer Steve Asmussen sent out Derby contender Tapiture for a workout. Some trainers said the conditions were the worst they ever could recall seeing horses train in. As rain blew sideways and lightning crackled, Tapiture went a half-mile in 50 seconds.
"It felt like the priest's round at the end of 'Caddyshack,' " Asmussen said. "Only, thank goodness, we didn't get struck by lightning at the end of it."
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According to weather.com, there's a zero percent chance of rain on Derby Day . . . Despite drawing post 13, Untapable, trained by Asmussen, is the 4-5 morning-line favorite for Friday's Kentucky Oaks.