Work Tab for Dec. 30: Binoculars Focused On City of Light, Audible

(Todd Pletcher trains both Audible and Copper Town / Photo by Gene McLean)

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country.  We are looking for workouts that may be of interest and helpful to you — as both race fans and handicappers.  Some of the horses we will be tracking, you will know.  Some of them, you may not know — as of yet.  We will keep a keen eye and stopwatch to see who may be working well:

  1. Marley’s Freedom, a 4YO Blame filly who has a 5-1-0 record in 8 starts this year and is coming off an impressive victory in the G3 Go For Wand Stakes at Aqueduct on Dec. 1, worked on Saturday at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. Like most of her early morning routines, she went a half-mile in :47.80, which was the second fastest time out of 47 to go that far. Talk about your bargain-basement, dream-come-true stories. Cicero Farms purchased this filly for $35,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September Sale in 2015. Since then, she has earned over $815,000 in purses. Nice.
  2. Paradise Woods, who looked like a world-beater when she ran away with a spine-tingling victory in the 2017 Santa Anita Oaks, is on the comeback trail. Since the SA Oaks win on April 8, 2017, she has raced a total of 8 times. Has a win in the G1 Zenyatta Stakes in September of 2017; one second and two thirds. This year, she has a 0-0-1 record in three starts — with the last run being a 6th in the Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar in July. Simply, not the same. On Saturday, she got her fifth published work since Dec. 2, and the daughter of Union Rags put up a bullet move. She went a half mile in a brilliant :46.60 — which was the bullet out of the 47 to go. Is she back?
  3. City of Light, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and now a consideration for the Pegasus World Cup, worked at Santa Anita on Saturday, as well. The 4YO son of Quality Road went 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat. That was the 2nd fastest time out of the 86 to go that far. Impressive. Ready. Aim. Fire.
  4. Audible, winner of this year’s Florida Derby and third place finisher behind the great Justify in the KY Derby, worked at Palm Beach Downs on Saturday. Despite this one’s second in the G2 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 15, he is still be pointed to the Pegasus World Cup in January. And, rightfully so. The track was a sloppy mess in the Harlan’s Holiday, and it was his second race after a 6-month layup. Some times, that is the toughest race in a comeback effort. I think he will show up big in the Pegasus. On Saturday, he went a half mile in :49.80. That was the 5th best time out of 10 to go the distance. Don’t count out this son of Into Mischief. Could seek and find redemption soon.
  5. Copper Town, a very nice son of Speightstown and trained by Todd Pletcher, worked an easy half mile at Palm Beach Downs on Saturday, as well. he went the distance in :51.02. That was the 10th best out of 10. This one has not run since finishing 8th in the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Dec. 1. Before that, he returned from a year layoff to win impressively at Keeneland in October. Another who failed in the second try off a layup. This one is talented. When right.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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