(Saudi Crown / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Once again, in 2024, we will scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country to see who may be preparing for their next race.  Some of the horses that we track will be familiar to you.  Some of them, though, you may not know — but should.  We will note their current morning prep and make other comments about their backgrounds and pedigrees.  If you have a horse that you would like to add to our list, please let us know.

Here is a closer look at today’s list:

1.  Curly Jack — This 4YO son of Good Magic had a disappointing 2023 campaign after a brilliant one the previous 12 months. Jumped into the KY Derby chatterbox early on with a win in the G3 Iroquois Stakes and a nice 2nd in the G2 Kentucky Jocky Club as a 2YO in 2022. But faltered last year with no spots on the board in 6 starts. Now, trainer Tom Amoss is pointing toward a new year. The gelding got his fourth published work since returning to the track in November. Went 4 furlongs at the Fair Grounds today in :49.40. That was 32nd best out of 127. Here’s hoping this one finds the circle again soon.

2. West Omaha — This 3YO daughter of West Coast and trained by Brad Cox will most certainly be pointed to some of the major preps for this year’s Kentucky Oaks. She has never been worse than 2nd in 3 career starts to date and is coming off a nice 2nd in the Untapable Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Dec. 23. Worked an easy half-mile today in New Orleans in :50.40. That was the 77th best time out of 127, but it was purely maintenance. Take a look at this one. Talented.

3. First Mission — A 4YO son of Street Sense and winner of the G3 Lexington Stakes a year ago is gearing up for the 2024 season at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, as well, for Cox and Team. Went 5 furlongs this morning in a nice 1:00.20. That was the bullet move out of 48 to measure the distance. Looks primed and ready to pop. Look out.

4. Saudi Crown — This 4YO son of Always Dreaming is another talented runner in the barn of Cox. Won the G1 Pennsylvania Derby last September before running a disappointing 10th in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Prepping now for the 2024 season, as well, in New Orleans. Got his 5th published work since Dec. 8 this morning. Went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. That was 17th best out of the 48 to clock the distance. Looks ready to go, too.

5. Noted — This 3YO son of Cairo Prince, who is trained by HOFer Todd Pletcher, worked at Palm Beach Downs in South Florida this morning. The winner of the Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 9 and the runner-up in the G2 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland last October went 4 furlongs in :48.82. That was the 3rd best time out of 15 to go the distance. In 6 starts now, this one has 3 wins and 2 seconds. Will be interesting to see where he pops next. Stay tuned.

6. Tireless — This 3YO son of Not This Time is another trained by Pletcher and another gearing in on the next race. Has been out 3 times so far with 2 runner-ups on the resume. Worked this morning at Palm Beach Downs. Went a half-mile in :48.82, as well. Next?

7. Webslinger — This 5YO son of Constitution, who is trained by Mark Casse, is coming off a 2nd in the G1 Hollywood Derby on Dec. 2. Won the G2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs last May, as well. Got his 2nd tuneup since being returned to training this morn at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida. Went a half-mile in :48.05. That was 6th best out of 38 to go. May be awhile yet, but this one has real turf talent.

8. Mr. Frisk — This 4YO son of Arrogate is coming off a win in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 26 for trainer Bob Baffert. Could be ready for a big 2024. Worked at Santa Anita this morning, going 6 furlongs in 1:13.80. That was the 2nd best time out of 4 to go that far. In 8 starts now, this one has a record of 3 wins and 2 seconds. More to come soon.