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Lukas: Derby finish okay

Jockey Pat Day was largely responsible for High Yield's 15th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby on May 6, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

And he's thankful.

Bumped at the start and pushed wide, the Storm Cat colt labored to within 4 lengths of the lead early, "and used a lot of octane doing it," Lukas said. With the colt clearly no factor, Day began thinking long-term.

"When Pat saw he was not going to be 1-2-3, he knew we might as well take ahold of him and think about the next dance," Lukas said. "He knew Wayne Lukas was going to the Preakness without being told, and the great thing about a jockey like him is they leave you a little something."

WORKING UP A SWEAT: Trainer Neil Drysdale said he was happy with the way 3-5 favorite Fusaichi Pegasus schooled in the indoor paddock on Thursday and that the sweat and lather the colt worked up was of no concern. Sweating, especially the large amount that dripped off the colt's belly, is a sign of stress.

"He did that before the Derby also," Drysdale said. "It's of no worry. He dried right off as soon as he went outside."

WEATHER OR NOT: Intermittent rain showers fell Friday, and a threat of more today had trainers contemplating a possible sloppy track.

Drysdale said the effect on Fusaichi Pegasus should be minimal, considering the Mr. Prospector colt's breeding.

"He's bred to go on an off track," he said. " The Wood (Memorial) was on a wet track and he handled that fine."

Fusaichi Pegasus won that race by 4\ lengths over Red Bullet on a track listed as wet, but fast.

"One never knows," Drysdale said. "There is always a bit of apprehension because the problem with wet tracks is they change minute by minute. Sometimes they are slick, sometimes they are not."

Drysdale said he would consider scratching the $4-million yearling purchase "if the track became dangerous."

Trainer Bob Baffert thinks an off track makes his Captain Steve, an 8-1 choice, a more serious contender.

"He's only had one race in the slop and he won that," Baffert said, referring to the Breeders Futurity in October at Keeneland.

BLACK-EYED SUSAN: The case for the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs to retain its Grade III status got better when March Magic finished second in the filly companion to the Preakness. March Magic was beaten by a neck in the Florida Oaks by Secret Status, who went on to win the Kentucky Oaks, the filly companion to the Derby. In Friday's race, Kent Desormeaux guided Jostle to a 2{-length victory over March Magic. Jostle paid $13.80, $5.80 and $4.40. He ran 1[ miles in 1:52

2/5. March Madness returned $3.40 and $3. Impending Bear, losing for the first time in four career starts, paid $4 to show.

BAFFERT'S BARN SEARCHED: Baffert's barn at Hollywood Park was searched Thursday by investigators for the California Horse Racing Board, the Los Angeles Times reported. Neither a board spokesman nor Baffert would confirm the search.

"I have no comment about that," Baffert said when asked about the search. Sometimes state investigators conduct a barn search after a trainer's horse has tested positive for an illegal drug, according to the Times.

BITS: Arkansas Derby runner-up Snuck In gallopped 1\ miles on Wednesday and schooled in the paddock for a second straight day. Hugh Hefner galloped 1{ miles with exercise rider Andy Durnin, who had just completed an unusually uneventful gallop aboard Fusaichi Pegasus. Impeachment worked at Pimlico for the first time after vanning in from New York late Thursday morning. Red Bullet galloped once around the track. Hal's Hope galloped 1{ miles. The cut on his right front foot, suffered when he stumbled out of the Kentucky Derby starting gate, has healed, according to trainer Harold Rose.

_ BRANT JAMES, TIMES WIRES

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