(Copper Bullet winning at Churchill Downs / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
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:
- Combatant, a 3YO Scat Daddy cot trained by Steve Asmussen, is now calling Santa Anita home base. At least for the time being. The highly-regarded colt, owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing, has only one win in 13 career starts and is 0-for-10 this year. But he has won nearly $500,000 in those starts. Last time out, he was third in the Zia Park Derby, and before that was fourth in the G3 Oklahoma Derby. Best finish this year was a nice second in the G3 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 19. Ran behind My Boy Jack that day. This morning, he went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. That was the second fastest time out of 17 for a solid work horse. Will be interesting to see where he shows up next. Malibu?
- Copper Bullet, a 3YO More Than Ready colt who is trained and owned by the same connections as the one above, worked this morning at Santa Anita, as well. He went the same 5 furlong distance in 1:01.20. That was the bullet move out of the 17 to go that far at “The Great Race Place.” This one is definitely a contender for the G1 Malibu, which will be contested at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. And, he is a super star in the making. In 5 lifetime starts, he has 3 wins and 2 seconds. Finally returned to the races and made his long-awaited 2018 debut on Nov. 23. Returned with a powerful, impressive win against allowance company. Will have to step it up in the Malibu. But this guy has all kinds of gears and gas pedals. He is a good one.
- Emboldened, a 3YO Elusive Quality filly trained by Team Baffert, has made only three career starts to date. She has 2 wins and a third, but has not raced since May. Today, she worked at Santa Anita and went 6 furlongs in 1:13.80 from the gate. That was the 3rd best time out of the 7 to go that far. Today’s work was her 10th published move since Oct. 15. And, the gate work indicates that she is ready and sitting on go. Worth watching the first time back. A good one for the Godolphin Stables.
- Much Better, a 2YO son of Pioneerof the Nile and trained by Team Baffert, as well, worked this morning at Santa Anita, too. This one — who ran 14th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in his last outing — went 6 furlongs in 1:14.20. That was the 4th best work of the day at the distance. It was his fourth published work since the Breeders’ Cup debacle, and he has been training well of late. Going into the BC, he had a MSW win at Del Mar and a second in the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita. Look for a return to form very soon.