(Trainer Todd Pletcher / Photo 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. Trade Imbalance — This 3YO son of Dialed In made only one start as a 2YO for trainer Chad Brown and the Klaravich Stables. But he made it count, winning the MSW at Saratoga by a nose over the dirt when rain washed the 1-mile event off the sod. Looked good in that one, to be sure. But has not been back to the track since. Got his first work since that win this morning at Belmont Park. Went 3 furlongs in :37.90, which was the 5th best time out of the 11. May take awhile for this one to get back in racing shape, but worth the watch.

2. Underinvested — This is a 3YO son of Justify, who sold for a nice $350,000 as a weanling at the KEE November Sale in 2021. Did not get to the gate as a 2YO, but reported his first published work this morning at Belmont Park, as well. Went 3 furlongs in :37.90, as well. May be another who shows up in the Chad Brown ranks.

3. Stolen Magic — This is a 3YO colt by Good Magic and out of the multiple Graded Stakes-place Tapit mare Glory. May be one worth watching for trainer Linda Rice. Has started 3 times so far with a 3rd, a 2nd and a victory in the last race on Nov. 17 at Aqueduct. Got his 3rd published work today since that win with a 5-furlong test in 1:02.31. That was the bullet move out of the group of 6. Put a check next to this one to watch out.

4. Moonlight — A 3YO son of Audible, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, is coming off a 4th in the G2 Remsen Stakes and a strong 2nd in the G3 Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs. May be one to watch early on this year’s KY Derby trail. Sold for $285,000 as a 2YO in training last year and now has a 1-2-0 record in 4 starts. Got his 4th published work since Nov. 10 this morning at Palm Beach Downs in South Florida. Went 3 furlongs in :38.87. That was the bullet move out of 2 to go the distance. Coming on.

5. Surprisingly — This 5YO mare is a Graded Stakes winner and has earned over $339,000 under the tutelage of HOF trainer Shug McGaughey. Has not raced since running a disappointing 7th at Saratoga last August. Got her 4th published work since mid-December this morning at Palm Beach Downs. Went a half-mile in :49.03. That was the bullet out of 3 to go that far.

6. Fierceness — The winner of the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for trainer Todd Pletcher got his first published work in 2024 this morning at Palm Beach Downs. Went 5 furlongs in 1:01.34, which was the 5th best out of 6 to go this morning. It was the 4th work since mid-December. This home-bred son of City of Light is owned by Mike Repole. Will be interesting to see where this “soon-to-be” Eclipse winner will start the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” And, when?

7. Locked — This 3YO son of Gun Runner is another in the barn of Pletcher and another contender for this year’s 150th Kentucky Derby, come the first Saturday in May. Locked has two wins in 4 starts — including the G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland — on his resume. Ran 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup, and was beaten 4 lengths that day after a brutal 5-wide trip. Did his best running late in that one. Connections purchased this one for $425,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sales in 2022.