4 ruled out of Kentucky Derby// Golden Soul, Fear the Kitten make the cut// Orb steals Monday workout spotlight// Oxbow posts bullet// Will Take Charge breezes

Derby week kicked off Monday with a flurry of defections, additions, and workouts. Bob Baffert announced his Derby hand is empty after deciding Govenor Charlie is not ready and Code West will point for the Peter Pan (G2). Todd Pletcher quickly stated Lexington Stakes (G2) winner Winning Cause will bypass the Run for the Roses and the connections of Tiz a Minister also concluded it was too much to ask of their colt. Those decisions allowed Dallas Stewart’s Golden Soul and Mike Maker’s Fear the Kitten to take over the open spots #19 and #20 respectively. Alan Garcia was named to ride Fear the Kitten, while Stewart was still mum on the jockey for Golden Soul. Both colts will go off as big price long shots, but cases can be made for both to be part of the superfecta mix. Golden Soul should like the added distance and has closed well in most of his races. Fear the Kitten is undoubtedly bred for the grass, but has won at Churchill on the dirt and also closed strong in a majority of his contests// It’s no secret Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch favors Orb for the Kentucky Derby. After his official four-furlong breeze Monday he said it was “reminiscent of Barbaro and Street Sense” before they won the roses. Welsch wasn’t the only one heaping praise on the workout as the backside was abuzz over the potential favorite lighting up the track with ease// Oxbow’s bullet move in five-furlongs was overshadowed by Orb’s work, but the final time doesn’t tell his whole story. Apparently Oxbow bore out five or six wide when going through the turn, which was a cause for concern for Welsch. His stablemate Will Take Charge had an even more troubling breeze as he labored towards the end and was essentially “shut down” with no gallop out. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas didn’t seem too upset and was pleased the time was slow as opposed to fast so close to the Derby. For reports and video see below// Several handicappers are choosing Vyjack as their sleeper. If you can comfortably cross out his dull Wood Memorial (G1) effort, then a case can be made. However, I believe the Wood exposed him as a notch below Verrazano and Normandy Invasion// If you want to get excited about the potential of striking it rich Saturday, check out SB Nation’s chart on Derby payouts from the past twelve years// much more…

Orb workout video 4/29 (Churchill Downs)
Oxbow workouts video 4/29 (Churchill Downs)
Frac Daddy gallop video 4/29 (Churchill Downs)
Derby Update 4/29 (Churchill Downs)
Haskin: A mud-dled Derby (Bloodhorse Blog)
The quest for winning your first (Horse Racing Nation)
How to handicap the big race (Horse Racing Nation)

Orb- CD- 4F- 47:80- B- 5/43 (Splits 12, 23.80, 35.80. Out 5F in 1:00.80 & 6F 1:14.60)
Oxbow- CD- 5F- 59:80- B- 1/34 (Splits 11.80, 23.40, 35.20, 47.40. Out 6F 1:14.80)
Will Take Charge- CD- 5F- 1.01:00- B- 12/34 (Splits 11.60, 23.20, 35.20. 6F in 1:17.40)