Godolphin on the Kentucky Derby Trail
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said both had impressed in their final gallops at Palm Meadows Training Centre and were set for their reappearance on the racetrack.
Enticed, winner of two of his three starts, will tackle Saturday’s G2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, the year’s first Derby prep in Florida.
Joel Rosario has been booked for a first ride on the son of Medaglia d’Oro.
The rapidly-improving Avery Island will be ridden by regular partner Joe Bravo in the G2 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct the same day.
“We’re right on schedule with both colts,” McLaughlin said. “They are both right there in the top 10 Derby contenders at present, but it is important for them to finish strongly and be in the first three in their respective races on Saturday.” he added.
Both impressed in separate workouts over the weekend. The trainer said: “Enticed breezed a half-mile in 49 and three-fifths with a work mate, while Avery Island went five (furlongs) in one minute and four-fifths of a second on his own.”
McLaughlin said it was too early to pinpoint major contenders for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, 5 May, but that the forthcoming trials should be informative.
“Avery Island was second (to Catholic Boy) in the G2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. We know he likes Aqueduct, that’s why we’ve sent him back there,” he pointed out.
“He is improving with every race and every workout. It’s exciting.” the trainer added.
McLaughlin also gave an encouraging progress report about Enticed prior to his Holy Bull engagement.
“Both horses will be first or second choice in their races. They are pretty close (contests) on paper,” he said.
Avery Island is scheduled to fly to New York on Tuesday. He will be stabled at Belmont Park.