Work Tab for Dec. 31: Binoculars Focused On Noble Indy, Prince Lucky, Dream Maker, Seek N Justice

3-24-2018 – Noble Indy with John Velazquez aboard gets a head in front of Lone Sailor to win the 105th Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

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. Dream Maker, a super talented 2YO son of Tapit and trained by Mark Casse, turned in a brilliant move at the Casse Training Center in Central Florida on Monday. The colt went a half mile in a lightning fast :46.60 in his second published work since Dec. 23. This one, bred and owned by John Oxley, has raced three times in his career to date. Broke the maiden on debut June 7 at Churchill Downs. Came back to run 5th in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga in September, and then ran a very troubled 12th in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in October. In that last effort, he was nearly dropped at the start of the race and was barely able to stay afoot as the PT favorite. In the Hopeful, he was well back at the start and ran a bit green behind the eventual winner Mind Control (who will race tomorrow in the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct.) Keep an eye on this guy. He could be a serious runner before all is said and done.
  2. Road to Victory, a 3YO Quality Road filly also trained by Casse, worked at the same training center this morning. She went 6 furlongs in 1:14 flat. That was the bullet out of 2 to go that far. It was her 6th published work since Nov. 8 — all at the farm track. In her career to date, she has 3 wins and a second in only 4 starts. Ran a game second to Midnight Bisou in the G2 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park in her last start on June 30. Went right? She is right. Looks to be getting close to a return to the track, soon. Very soon.
  3. Prince Lucky, a 3YO son of Corinthian and trained by Todd Pletcher these days, got in a nice work at Palm Beach Downs on Sunday. This guy looked to be on a roll towards becoming one of the best Pennsylvania-bred in history earlier this year when he steamed to an impressive victory in the Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day. In 8 career races to date, he now has 4 wins and 2 thirds. Unfortunately, for he and the connections, he has not raced since then. But good news may be on the way. He looks to be headed back to the races soon. On Sunday, he got his second published work since Christmas Eve and went an easy half mile in :50.60. That was 19th of 25 to go the distance, but he was certainly not asked for gas. Just legging up. And, he was impressive. Got to see the video of the work. This guy is big, solid, and impressive. Keep an eye out here, folks. He’s not done yet.
  4. Noble Indy, winner of the 2018 Louisiana Derby for Team Pletcher, is another on the comeback trail. This one got his third published work at Palm Beach Downs on Sunday, as well, going a half mile in :48.76. The time before, he went a half in :51.82. Progress. In 7 career starts to date, this one has 3 wins and a third. In addition to the Louisiana Derby, he ran third in the Risen Star Stakes before running 17th in the KY Derby; 10th in the Belmont Stakes; and 7th in the Dwyer Stakes. Look for better things from this one, too.
  5. Seek N Justice, our very own 2YO son of Caleb’s Posse, worked at the Fair Grounds on Sunday for trainer Buff Bradley. The gutty guy went a half-mile, breaking from the gate, in :49.80 — which was 21st out of 56 to go over the sloppy track. Of those breaking out of the gate for the timed work, he was third best out of 8 at the distance. Galloped out well, and may be ready for the career debut soon. Keep fingers crossed. Home team could use a bit of good luck.

(Seek N Justice at the farm earlier this year, and then at Churchill Downs. Last photo by Holly M. Smith)



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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