Post-Derby Reactions/Horse Conditions

Let’s be honest: this year’s Derby was a madhouse between the track conditions and the 20 horse field, the chaos has extended to social media as fans and connections alike try to make sense of the previous day’s results. To dispel any nasty rumors and inaccurate reports, here are the most up-to-date information on the horses and their connections. This article will actively update as the information comes available, so stay tuned here!

Royal Mo:

According to Claire Novak on twitter- trainer John Shirreffs confirms that the AE (also eligible #21) that was scratched out from the Derby will head to the Preakness after he worked this morning at Churchill. Gary Stevens has the call.


According to the official Sano Racing Stables twitter account- Gunnevera came out in good shape. The race didn’t take much out of him and they haven’t decided what’s next for him just yet. A decision is possible by later on today.


According to Byron King on twitter- Louisiana Derby winner Girvin, 13th in the Derby, was well this morning (said his trainer Joe Sharp) but the Preakness is not in the books for him. He’ll be pointed toward a race in the summer.

Classic Empire:

According to many tweets by Alicia Wincze Hughes- Mark Casse says Classic Empire has swelling in his right eye. A quote from the trainer says that he can barely open it and that his eye condition will determine whether or not he makes the Preakness. He also has superficial cuts to his side but it, again, will be the eye condition that determines his Preakness chances.


According to Alicia Wincze Hughes- Trainer Ian Wilkes says that McCraken came out of the Derby with a puncture wound on his left side. No Preakness for him either.

Update as of 12:02- No Preakness or Belmont for McCraken. The puncture wound on the outside of left hind came from the rough start. He’s fine but he’ll need time to heal according to Wilkes.

Irish War Cry:

According to David Grening- Per Graham Motion, IWC came out of the Derby fine. He added that his gut instinct is to skip the Preakness and likely just train him into the Haskell.

Lookin At Lee:

According to Alicia Wincze Hughes- Trainer Steve Asmussen says all good with LAL. He’s very probable for the Preakness.

Always Dreaming:

According to Alicia Wincze Hughes- All good with Derby winner Always Dreaming this morning. He’ll likely ship to Baltimore on Monday.

Practical Joke:

According to Alicia Wincze Hughes- Trainer Chad Brown confirmed that PJ and all of his entrants are fine this morning. Practical Joke will likely get shortened up from here on.

Thunder Snow:

The official statement from Godolphin on Saturday Night:

 “Thunder Snow walked back to the stables where he was checked by the vets on course and initial reports suggest that he appears to be sound. We will closely monitor him over the next 24 hours to ensure that he is OK. Our first priority is his welfare. He worked well all week and we were very happy with his progress. We want to thank everyone for their support this week. We gave it our best. The team was amazing but it just wasn’t to be. Congratulations to the winning horse and the connections of Always Dreaming.”

Regarding this incident, this is the truth. Do NOT spread rumors about broken legs or about him being pumped up on drugs. Not only are there legal repercussions for spreading malicious lies, but you’ll piss off more than a few people, including one of the wealthiest and most powerful racing operations in the world. Make good life choices and keep your mouth shut if you’re going to start lies.
Per Churchill PR- Trainer John Shirreffs reported that he came out of the Derby fine after his finish. He will head back to Santa Anita.
J Boys Echo:
Per Churchill PR- A quote from his trainer Dale Romans states that he’s doing fine and that they’ll give him a few days rest before making plans.
Per Churchill PR- He looked fine Sunday morning. He did not like the wet Derby surface and he returns to his California base on Tuesday.
Fast And Accurate:
Per Churchill PR- he also exited the race in good shape. Kendall Hansen hasn’t been spoken to yet but the idea is to return to turf or synthetic racing for the spring and summer.
Per Churchill PR- He generally had a miserable experience. He was slammed coming out of the gate and he couldn’t see for most of the trip since he was caked in mud. He will return to Southern California  and plans will be decided for him; they do not include the Preakness.
Tapwrit and Patch:
Per Churchill PR- Tapwrit and the one-eyed fan favorite Patch, who pulled in 14th, both came out of their efforts none the worse for wear. That duo would head up to New York in the next few days, as would most of Todd Pletcher’s runners stabled at Churchill Downs.
Hence and Untrapped:
Per Churchill PR- Both returned fine. Trainer Dale Romans thinks that Hence did not get a chance to run his race believing that the kickback and the slop was just extremely overwhelming. Untrapped will be put into a better spot.
Battle of Midway:
Per Churchill PR- He returned from his third place finish in good order and will return to Southern California on Tuesday. His trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has indicated to the Maryland Jockey Club that a start in the Preakness was highly unlikely.
State of Honor:
Per Churchill PR- He came back well despite faltering after setting the pace and finishing 19th. Regrouping and plans for the future are in the works.

Full Order of Finish:

1) Always Dreaming
2) Lookin At Lee
3) Battle of Midway
4) Classic Empire
5) Practical Joke
6) Tapwrit
7) Gunnevera
8) McCraken
9) Gormley
10) Irish War Cry
11) Hence
12) Untrapped
13) Girvin
14) Patch
15) J Boys Echo
16) Sonneteer
17) Fast And Accurate
18) Irap
19) State Of Honor
20) (DNF) Thunder Snow
The First Saturday in May

Everyone mentioned here as a source either works for BloodHorse or is the official connections for the animal. No fan-pages or unofficial chatter is included.

For the compete Derby write-up, follow this link to get a detail report on all the contenders: