I'm going to Rolex this year... the Friday before is the last day of the Keeneland's season and I'm wanting to go see some Derby contenders work out in the AM. Does anyone have some tips for me? Is there a way to find out which contenders are training at Keeneland?
The only way they would be training at Keeneland is if they were going to race there, unless their trainer has a stall for them at the training center across the street. Most of the derby contenders that race at Keeneland will run in the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes.
Keeneland is beautiful on a a lovely spring morning. I highly recommend a visit, even if you don't see any Derby contenders.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Keeneland main track and training track are both Polytrack, while Churchill is dirt, so the Derby horses will most likely be over there getting acclimated to the footing.
That isn't to say you won't see some very nice horses at Keeneland! I have no idea how you might find out who is working there. My suggestion would be for you to call Keeneland (859-254-3412 if memory serves me right ) and ask for the racing office. Tell them what you are looking for and see if they might be able to help you.
Go EARLY and eat breakfast in the track kitchen!
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton
During the meet on saturdays they have breakfast with the works. It runs from 7am-8:30am for a country buffet. Then at 8:45 they have paddock demonstrations. During the breakfast hours they have someone out there discussing the horses out there working and you might even get to meet Chris Mccaron (he's out there a lot). If they recognize one of the derby contenders they will announce it and follow that horse through it's workout. I remember one morning hearing about and watching Kodiak Kowboy. So there's another option.