(Trainer Todd Pletcher / Coady Media)

From the KY HBPA Media Team / Jennie Rees:

This morning:
Owner-breeder Mike Repole addressed the media at Churchill Downs the morning that 2-year-old champion and Florida Derby winner Fierceness had his final work for the Kentucky Derby. This video is long but very entertaining – and sobering. Fierceness is the third 2-year-old champion that Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher have brought to the Derby. Uncle Mo was scratched the day before and Forte the morning of the race last year. Repole says that’s not bad luck – it’s good look that he’s back the very next year. Repole mentioned his close friendship with the late Kobe Bryant and said that puts having what you think is a bad day in perspective.
Todd Pletcher after Fierceness’ work at Churchill Downs with jockey John Velazquez. Video starts off with b-roll and work video (video shot from grandstand courtesy Churchill Downs’ Kevin Kerstein). Fierceness worked a half-mile in 48.4 after splits of 12.4, 24.4, 36.4 and then really picked it up on the gallop-out: Five-eighths in 1:00.3, 1:12.3 and 1:26 pulling up.
Saffie Joseph talks about Catalytic, who in his third start finished a well-beaten second to champion Fierceness in the Florida Derby – but earning the points to get in the Kentucky Derby. He also discusses being in the Derby the year after his horses, including Derby entrant Lord Mile, were scratched following the inexplicable collapsing and death of two of his horses. No wrong-doing was found, and Joseph was allowed back at Churchill Downs. But the circumstances cost him his 2022 Florida Derby winner White Abarrio, who went on to win the Grade 1 Whitney and Breeders’ Cup Classic for Rick Dutrow. Joseph says the experience made him a better person. Video begins with lots of b-roll of Catalytic training. Note: In this video, I incorrectly say that White Abarrio won the Met Mile. He was third in that race. But I didn’t take it out because it sets up the response.