Now that’s a combo! Wood winner Resilience works with filly champ Just F Y I

Kevin Kerstein’s Derby Update for April 18 (Coady Media photo of Bill Mott)


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, April 18, 2024) – On a gorgeous Thursday morning at Churchill Downs, trainer Bill Mott’s barn was bustling with activity as Emily Bushnell & Ric Waldman’s Wood Memorial (Grade II) winner Resilience (4F, :50.20) along with George Krikorian’s Ashland (GI) runner-up Just F Y I (4F, :50) retuned to the work tab to continue their preparations for the 150th running of the $5 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and $1.5 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), respectively.

          The accomplished duo began their work together at 7:30 a.m. ET after galloping about one mile. Just F Y I worked to the outside of Resilience and began one-length behind. By the quarter-pole, Just F Y I moved about a length in front of Resilience but, by the wire, the duo finished together. Resilience finished his five-furlong gallop out in 1:02.80 while Just F Y I completed five furlongs in 1:03.40, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols

          “I thought (Resilience) had a great trip in the Wood Memorial,” Mott said. “I thought Johnny (Velazquez) rode him great. He might have gotten a little jammed up on the first turn but got clear down the backside. When he asked him, he responded and he finished up well. The best part is he looked good visually.

          “The entire family of this horse has been very accomplished on the racetrack. Part of the family isCourageous Cat, who I trained for a Grade I win (in the Shoemaker Mile). The owners have been in the breeding business a long time and Resilience is just the result of their program.”

          Resilience was bred in Kentucky by Pam and the late Marty Wygod, the parents of Bushnell. This would be the first starter in the Kentucky Derby for the Wyogod family along with Waldman, a longtime partner of the Wygods.

          Resilience and Just F Y I are stabled in Mott’s Barn 19.

LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS CONTENDER TAPIT JENALLIE SCORCHES FIVE FURLONGS IN :58.40 – Willis Horton Racing’s Fantasy Stakes (Grade III) third-place finisher Tapit Jenallie made her first appearance working at Churchill Downs on Thursday when she and jockey Rafael Bejarano flew five furlongs in :58.40, the fastest of 19 works at the distance.

          Trained by Eddie Milligan Jr., Tapit Jenallie blitzed an opening quarter-mile in :22.80 and galloped out six furlongs in a solid 1:11.80, according to Churchill Downs Clocker Adam Wallace.

          The speedy homebred daughter of Tapit was based this winter at Oaklawn where she finished fourth in the Martha Washington and second in the Honeybee (GIII) prior to her third-place finish in the March 30 Fantasy Stakes.

          Milligan’s Kentucky base is located at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Louisville, located about three miles from the main track. However, Tapit Jenallie will remain at Churchill Downs, borrowing a stall in trainer Bret Calhoun’s Barn 28.

KENTUCKY DERBY MORNING WORKS SHOW TO BEGIN SATURDAY– The “Kentucky Derby Morning Works Show presented by” will begin its 13-day run on Saturday and feature Churchill Downs’ expert handicappers Joe KristufekKaitlin FreeTony Calo and Kevin Kilroy along with an array of popular industry figures such as former leading rider Rosie Napravnik, Churchill Downs Track Announcer Travis Stone and handicapper James Scully.

            The 20-minute program will be streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and X via @KentuckyDerby from 7:25-7:45 a.m. (all times Eastern) and will feature the 15-minute exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders from 7:30-7:45 a.m.    

Fans will be invited to join in the discussion using the hashtag #KyDerby.

As of Wednesday, there were 12 Kentucky Derby contenders on-site at Churchill Downs and all are expected to be on-track Saturday: Catching FreedomDornochEncinoEndlesslyForever Young (JPN), Honor Marie,Just a TouchJust SteelMystik DanResilienceSociety Man and Track Phantom

TRAINERS WATCHING WEATHER FOR FRIDAY, SATURDAY WORKS – Many of the local Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders are scheduled to return to the work tab either Friday or Saturday as trainers continue to watch the weather with a possibility of overnight rain Thursday into Friday.

          The National Weather Service calls for a 90% chance of showers before 5 a.m. ET with the weather improving by Friday afternoon with sunny skies and a high near 67 degrees.

          On Friday, Longines Kentucky Oaks hopefuls TarifaGin Gin and Into Champagne could all have published workouts while Saturday’s work tab is expected to include Kentucky Derby contenders Catching FreedomDornochEndlesslyJust a TouchJust SteelMystik Dan and Society Man along with Oaks contenders Lemon Muffin and Thorpedo Anna

DOWN THE STRETCH – Japan’s UAE Derby (GII) winner Forever Young is scheduled to work Tuesday at Churchill Downs, according to Kate Hunter, Asia Correspondent for the Kentucky Derby. His trainer, Yoshito Yahagi is scheduled to be in Louisville on April 30. … Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Honor Marie had a 1 ½-mile gallop early Thursday morning under Maurilio Garcia before enjoying a session in the equine salt-water spa. Honor Marie is slated to work Sunday. … Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) runner-up West Saratogais likely to work at Keeneland on Friday with jockey Jesus Castanon aboard, according to trainer LarryDemeritte. West Saratoga has done much of his training prior to the Kentucky Derby at the Thoroughbred Center, located about 12 miles east of Keeneland. … The early stakes probables for Kentucky Derby week will be released Saturday morning. … For more information about the Kentucky Derby, fans can follow @KentuckyDerby on all social media channels. For up-to-date information about the Kentucky Derby contenders and additional media information, follow @DerbyMedia and @HorseRacingKK on X (formerly Twitter). 

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.