Trainer switch for Isn't He Clever, Derby possible// Contenders gallop at Churchill [with video]// Trouble for Hansen and Bode?

Trainer switches occur quite often throughout the year, however when it happens to a stakes caliber horse it’s always surprising. When it happens to a possible Kentucky Derby contender two weeks before the race, it’s almost shocking.  Sunday it was announced Isn’t He Clever, once trained by Henry Dominguez, has joined Steve Asmussen’s barn.  Isn’t He Clever currently sits at #21 on the graded earnings list and his owner J. Kirk Robison said the race is only a possibility at this stage.  The reason behind the switch supposedly had to do with geography and opportunity for better races in Kentucky and the East.  However, you still have to question the timing of such a move so close to possibly the gelding’s biggest race of his career// Training activity continued at Churchill Downs Sunday.  Steve Asmussen’s Derby contenders Sabercat and Daddy Nose Best were the first to hit the track in near darkness before 6am. Both horses will put in official moves Monday morning around the same time.  Later on Sunday during the Kentucky Derby-Kentucky Oaks special training session Optimizer, Dullahan, Mark Valeski, and Bodemeister galloped around the Churchill oval several times.  While the latter turned heads with his romp in the Arkansas Derby (G1) a week ago, there was nothing impressive about his morning gallop.  As Mike Welsch from DRF stated, Bodemeister is “definitely not a pretty mover at all”. Videos of his backstretch gallop as well as the others can be viewed below// More analysis on the addition of Trinniberg to the Derby field.  I couldn’t have said things better myself than Mike Watchmaker’s blog entry on DRF.  There has been a lot of talk about the supposed disadvantage for Hansen and Bodemeister with the addition of a horse with early speed, however both colts have proven they don’t have to be on the front end// If you need a break from thinking of the Derby pace, speed figures, who’s working when, who’s training who, etc.  then check out the Irish Central’s piece on Dullahan, and the mythical monster he was named after// more…

Kentucky Derby News and Opinion
Kentucky Derby barn list (Churchill Downs)
Ill-conceived Derby dreams (Foolish Pleasure Blog)

Video from the backstretch at Churchill Downs: