(Endlessly, winner of the G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks, works at Churchill Downs on Saturday. He is on the outside / All Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Darren Rogers:



 Amerman Racing’s Jeff Ruby Steaks (Grade III) winner Endlessly returned to the work tab for the first time since his convincing victory two weeks ago with an easy half-mile move in :49.60 on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.

          Trained by Michael McCarthy, Endlessly is possible to compete in the $5 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI). Should the son of Oscar Performance run in the Derby, it would be his first start on a dirt surface.

          “After the Jeff Ruby, Mr. Amerman and I talked and we’re going to leave all of our options open,” McCarthy said. “We still have a few weeks to train here and have some time to make a final decision as to what we do next.”

          Endlessly worked at 7:30 a.m. ET with exercise rider Walter Davila in the irons outside of stablemate Blue Eyed George. The duo stayed together for most of the work with Endlessly taking a slight advantage on the gallop out, completing five furlongs in 1:02.80, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

          Two hours earlier, Rebel Stakes (GII) runner-up Common Defense breezed a half-mile in a swift :47.80 outside stablemate Real Men Violin. Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Common Defense began his work in a modest :24.60 quarter-mile split and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker Adam Wallace.

          Trained by Kenny McPeek, Common Defense has 37 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, which currently sits No. 17 on the leaderboard prior to Saturday’s Wood Memorial (GII), Blue Grass (GI) and Santa Anita Derby (GI).

          McPeek’s other top 3-year-old, Southwest Stakes (GIII) winner Mystik Dan, is tentatively scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs from Oaklawn in the coming days, according to assistant trainer Greg Geier.

          Two Kentucky Derby contenders are scheduled to return to the work tab Sunday at Churchill Downs: Risen Star (GII) runner-up Track Phantom and Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up Honor Marie.