Work Tab for Friday, Feb. 22: Binoculars Focused On Seeking the Soul, Bourbon War, Restless Rider, Well Defined, & Our “Horse To Watch” Aquadini,

(Seeking the Soul headed to the paddock before last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile / Photo By Holly M. Smith)

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. Coach Rocks, a 4YO Oxbow filly trained by Dale Romans, rocked it this morning at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. The filly went 5 furlongs in 1:01.91, which was the 7th best time out of 16 to go the distance.  This gal won the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks last year and then went on to run 7th in the KY Oaks. After that ran second in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan, the G3 Delaware Oaks and 5th in the G1 Alabama. Was shelved after that race on Aug. 18. Working her way back to you now, with her 9th published work today since Dec. 31. About ready, I would think.
  2. Aquadini, a 3YO Bernardini colt trained by Dallas Stewart, just may be one that you want to keep an eye on as he develops. A close source of mine says that this one is training very well, of late, and could be headed to some Stakes races before the meet at the Fair Grounds is completed. He won the last time out in New Orleans on Feb. 2 — going 11/16 miles. And, he won by nearly 6 lengths over a highly-regarded colt from the Steve Asmussen barn by the name of Copper King. Aquadini went three and then four wide into the first turn. So, in other words, it was an eventful and impressive run. Take note. Today, he worked an easy half mile in :49.40. That was the 17th best time out of 45 to go the distance. The connections spent $150,000 to purchase him a year ago at the OBS 2YO Sale. I will be on this one.
  3. Break Even, a 3YO son of Country Day and trained by Brad Cox, may be another rising star to keep a watch on, as well. This one is a perfect 2-for-2 after winning at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 28. Won that 6-furlong sprint by over 4 lengths as the even-money favorite. Worked a half mile in :48 flat today, and that was the bullet move out of the 45 to go. This guy has some kick in his step.
  4. Cornacchia, a 3YO Tapit colt trained by Cox, worked side-by-side with the one above this a.m. Clicked off the same fractions. This one won on debut in New Orleans on Dec. 22. Came back to run 4th in his first try against winners on Jan. 17. Capable of much better. Look for it next out. Entered for Feb. 28 at the Fair Grounds. Take note.
  5. Fortunate Girl, a 3YO daughter of Hard Spun trained by Mark Casse, worked this morning at the Fair Grounds, as well. She went a half mile in :48.20, which was the 6th best time. She ran second in the Wait a While Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 8 and returned to run fourth in the Ginger Brew Stakes here on Jan. 5. Look for more soon.
  6. Seeking the Soul, a 6YO son of Perfect Soul, tuned up for his trip to Dubai with a work at the Fair Grounds this a.m. This guy — who has earned nearly $3 million in purses to date — went 5 furlongs in 1:01.20. That was the 8th fastest time out of the 25 to go. The war horse ran 2nd to City of Light in the Pegasus World Cup in his last out, after running third in the G1 Clark Handicap and 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. What a classy horse.
  7. Restless Rider, a 3YO Distored Humor filly who stamped herself as one of the best juveniles in the country last year, worked this morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer Ken McPeek. This one — who ran 2nd in the G2 Golden Rod and the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to end the year — was super impressive in winning the G1 Alcibiades at Keeneland and the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs earlier in the year. Undoubtedly, she is being pointed towards the KY Oaks this Spring, and she got her second published work since Feb. 16 this morning. Went 3 furlongs in :36.44 — which was the 9th best time out of the 19. Has some catching up to do to get ready, but this one is all class.
  8. Bourbon War, a 3YO son of Tapit trained by Mark Hennig, is one of my “Super Sleepers” on the “Road to the KY Derby” this year. This guy has 2 wins in the first 3 career starts, and looked mighty impressive when he won an allowance at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18. Ran off to a 21/4-length win that day when coming from the near rear of the pack in the 11/16-mile event over the dirt. He was three-wide in that crowd before emerging with a powerful run. Split horses. Powered through and around. Finished strong. My kind of horse. Worked a half in :48.68 this morning at Gulfstream, and that was 15th out of the 42. I’ll be watching his next out. Will you?
  9. King Zachary, a 4YO Curlin colt trained by Dale Romans, worked this morning at the Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida. This mucho-talented colt has not been out since running 6th in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby, but did win the G3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs and was 4th in the G1 Travers a year ago. He got his second published work since Feb. 15 today, and went a half mile in :51.80. That was 36th of 36.
  10. Well Defined, a 3YO son of With Distinction and winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay in his last out for trainer Kathleen O’Connell, worked this morning at Gulfstream Park West. Went 5 furlongs in 1:02 flat, which was the bullet move of the day. This one is a speedy sort, and is likely to try the Tampa Bay Derby next. Will be interesting to see how far he can carry that speed.

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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