Before they try to beat each other, trainers worked together to beat the rain as 10 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands hopefuls had their final tune-ups at Churchill Downs for the May 4 classic.
Leading the charge was Todd Pletcher, who sent out all five of his likely starters: Wood Memorial Stakes winner Verrazano in company with older mare Authenticity, Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary in company with Toyota Blue Grass Stakes third-place finisher Charming Kitten, and Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze with Blue Grass runner-up Palice Malice.
"At 12:57 [a.m. EDT] I made the mistake of looking at the radar on my phone and then I didn't get much sleep trying to figure out how to make everything work," Pletcher said of juggling workout plans for his Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.
Undefeated Verrazano breezed five furlongs in :59.40. The likely morning line favorite for the Derby galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 after furlong splits of :11.80, :23.20, :35.00, and :47.00.
"I thought his breeze was very good," Pletcher said. "He was relaxed at the start and well in hand throughout, and it looked like he moved well over the surface."
Revolutionary got the best of his workmate, Charming Kitten, breezing four furlongs in :48.20 with his stablemate a tick slower in :48.40. Revolutionary galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.60 and six furlongs in 1:14.80.
"I thought Charming Kitten spun his wheels in the last 50 or 60 yards, but we got what we wanted fitness wise," said Pletcher, who added that he has been very pleased with Revolutionary's training since arriving at Churchill.
Overanalyze and Palice Malice began their works with the former a length behind the latter, and they finished four furlongs on even terms with Overanalyze in :47.00 and Palice Malice a tick slower at :47.20. Overanalyze galloped out five furlongs in :59.60 and six furlongs in 1:13.40.
"I thought [Overanalyze's] breeze this morning was the best I've ever seen from him," Pletcher said. "I thought both worked well."
Palice Malice wore blinkers for his move today, and Pletcher said that he will wear them in the Derby after jockey Mike Smith gave his approval.
"Mike said he liked the way he handled them; he wasn't too head strong," Pletcher said. "[Jockey Garrett] Gomez [who rode Palice Malice in the Blue Grass] said that he got a little distracted in that race as well as when he was in traffic in the Risen Star."
A potential sixth starter for Pletcher, Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Winning Cause, will work on Monday with a decision about his next start made following that move.
Other workouts on Saturday at Churchill Downs were Normandy Invasion five furlongs in :59.00, Mylute four furlongs in :50.60, Black Onyx four furlongs in :48.60, and Frac Daddy in company with Java's War five furlongs in 1:02.
Churchill Downs's spring meeting opens Saturday night with the 11-race Downs After Dark program headlined by the Derby Trial Stakes, which could provide a Kentucky Derby starter in Titletown Five.