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Derby Winner Returns to the Track

May 8, 2001

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos returned to the track Tuesday for the first time since nearly breaking Secretariat’s record in his victory over 16 challengers.

The gray colt was scheduled for only a jog, but turned in a 1 1/2-mile gallop on the moist but fast Churchill Downs track.

``We had decided we would jog him and if he was feeling too good, we’d go ahead and gallop,″ trainer John Ward said. ``He galloped as good as he did three or four days before the Derby.

``So it looks like the Derby experience did not take a whole lot out of him.″

Monarchos, who won the Derby by 4 3/4 lengths over Invisible Ink, is scheduled to run again Wednesday before shipping to Baltimore for the May 19 Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

In covering the 1 1-4 miles in 1:59 4-5 on Saturday, Monarchos was just 2-5ths of a second off the Derby record of 1:59 2-5 set by Big Red in 1973.

Also:

_ Fifty Stars, ninth in the Derby, is out at least three months after chipping a bone in his right foreleg during the race. Trainer Steve Asmussen said the Louisiana Derby winner will have surgery in the next 10 days.

``He walked fine after the race,″ Asmussen said. ``But there was some inflammation. We took a look at it, and there it was.″

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