Other Sports

Odysseus getting feel for Polytrack ahead of Blue Grass

With the post position draw for the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes 24 hours away, several of the contenders for Keeneland's signature Kentucky Derby prep race hit the track Tuesday morning.

Padua Stables' Odysseus, winner of the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby on March 13, jogged a mile at 7:15 a.m., stood for a few minutes at the entrance to the paddock runway and then galloped a mile and a half under assistant trainer Dan Blacker.

The Blue Grass Stakes will be the first start over a synthetic track for Odysseus. The son of Malibu Moon has three wins in four starts on dirt, including his exceptional rally to win the Tampa Bay Derby by a nose over Schoolyard Dreams.

"That's always a concern, and you never really know how you handle it or take to it until you try it," trainer Tom Albertrani said about Keeneland's Polytrack.

Blacker said Odysseus would probably have a paddock schooling session Wednesday afternoon.

"I got on him the first day he arrived at Saratoga," Blacker said. "He's got a lot of class about him and a great feel. The owners are very high on him."

Fellow Blue Grass contender Paddy O'Prado was on the track at 7 a.m. to gallop 1½ miles under Mary Doser.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Pleasant Prince came to the track at 9:40 a.m. just before it closed and jogged a mile under exercise rider Brian Pena.

Dogwood Stable's Aikenite walked the shedrow for trainer Todd Pletcher after galloping about a mile on Monday and Bred to Win Partners' Codoy took a stroll through the paddock en route to a gate schooling session before galloping 13⁄8 miles on the main track.

Ellen and Peter Johnson's Make Music for Me was scheduled to arrive at Keene land later Tuesday from his Southern California base.