Kentucky Derby 2013: Vyjack works half mile at Churchill Downs

Vyjack, who finished third behind Verrazano and Normandy Invasion in the Wood Memorial, led a group of workers for next week's Kentucky Derby on Friday morning at Churchill Downs. Falling Sky and Golden Soul also performed training on the occasion. The 3-year-old Into Mischief went five furlongs under trainer Rudy Rodriguez in 1:00 2/5, was third-fastest of 32 at the distance on the day.

"If I'm not happy now, then I'm never gonna be happy," Rodriguez said of the effort of Vyjack in preparation for the May 4 Derby. "He worked very, very good, without company, did everything within himself. I really didn't get into him. He did everything very good and is very alert."

Vyjack has been training at Churchill since the April 22, arriving after a short stay at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, where he recovered from a not very severe lung infection detected after the April 6 Wood. He achieved an easy half there in :51 3/5 April 19 under Rodriguez. Vyjack was unbeaten until his Wood loss with a fine streak of four victories including the Gotham, Jerome, and Traskwood stakes.

Falling Sky turned in his pre-race preparations for trainer John Terranova II under exercise rider Cassie Garcea going five furlongs in :59 3/5. The Lion Heart colt started a length back of two workmates and finished half a length in front. "He worked the way we wanted him to. We're just trying to keep him happy. We just wanted him to settle a bit and he showed he can. He settled and did his thing at the eighth-pole," assistant trainer Reynaldo Abreu said. "We weren't looking for him to open up and crush those other horses. We wanted them to finish together and for him to settle."

Golden Soul, ranked number 23rd for the 20-horse field, went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 for trainer Dallas Stewart. "We'll be ready if we have the opportunity," Stewart said. Golden Soul was fourth in the Louisiana Derby on March 30 and will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Junior.

Vyjack is 16 to 1 to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Intertops, place odds being at 16/5.

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