In his first work over the track, William Mack and Robert Baker’s Dublin sizzled five furlongs in :59.20 at Churchill Downs April 19 as he continues to work toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).The breeze by the 3-year-old son of Afleet Alex was the fastest of the day for the 44 horses working that distance on a bright, sunny morning in Louisville.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who will be seeking his fifth Derby win this year, said the work indicated Dublin has an affinity for the Churchill strip.
“When you have horses coming in here from other areas, you are always looking to see if they handle the surface well and he handled it beautifully,” Lukas said. “All my colleagues tell you every work is perfect, but it really was.”
Lukas, who is tied for second on the list of most all-time Derby wins, said he was not concerned about the fast time. “The way he did it was very easy,” said Lukas, who has saddled Derby winners Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995), Grindstone (1996) and Charismatic (1999). “Derby horses are supposed to break a minute (in five furlong works) and the better horses will break a minute. We’re not going to the junior prom here. We had better get ready.”
Bred in Kentucky by Peter E. Blum and Gerry Dilger, Dublin was consigned by Dilger’s Dromoland Farm to the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he was purchased by Baker and Mack for $525,000.
From eight starts, the colt has two wins, including a victory in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last year, while earning $408,623. In three outings this year, all at Oaklawn Park, Dublin finished second in the Southwest Stakes (gr. II) and third in both the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) and Rebel Stakes (gr. II).