Work Tab for Friday, Feb. 8: Binoculars Firmly Focused On Chasing Yesterday, Brill, Rockerty , Bourbon War

(Chasing Yesterday winning the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar / Photo Courtesy of Del Mar)

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. Bourbon War, a 3YO Tapit colt trained by Mark Hennig, could really be a good one. He won on debut at Aqueduct on Nov. 14 and immediately launched into the G2 Remsen Stakes on Dec. 1. Ran fourth to the impressive Maximus Mischief, Network Effect and Tax in there. All three of those are very highly touted. Came back to win an allowance at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18 — coming from well off the pace to run-away by over 2 lengths going 11/16 miles. Today, he got his second published work since that win, going a half mile in a nice :48.03. That was 5th best out of 42 to go the distance. Better watch out here. Has the breeding and the trainer knows how to train a good one.
  2. Never Have I Ever, a 3YO Irish-bred gelding by No Nay Never, was impressive on debut at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 4. Won going 5 furlongs over the turf that day. Was back on the training track at Palm Meadows this morning, going a half mile over the dirt. Went the distance in :48.80 — which was the 12th best time out of the 30 to go. Be interesting to see where trainer Wesley Ward takes this one next.
  3. Rockertry, a 5YO horse by Hard Spun and trained by James Jerkens, worked this morning at Palm Meadows, as well. This one is coming off two wins in a row to finish the 2018 year, including a win in the G2 Marathon Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2. Ran fourth in the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes back in June of last year, as well. Got his second published work of the New Year today, going 4 furlongs in a leisurely :51.40. Gearing back up.
  4. Brill, a 3YO Medaglia d’Oro filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is a super talent that may be one to watch on the “Road to the KY Oaks.” This one won on debut at Del Mar last July, and then ran fourth to Bellafina and Mother Mother in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes. She followed that up with a third to Bellafina and Vibrance in G1 Chandelier Stakes on Sept. 29. Been idle in the afternoons since then, but got her fourth published work since Jan. 20 this morning at Santa Anita. Went a really nice half mile this morning in :47 flat. That was the bullet move out of 47.
  5. Vasilika, a brilliant transformation project of Hollendorfer’s, worked this morning at Santa Anita, as well. The 5YO mare went 5 furlongs in 1:02 flat. That was 29th of 44. Amazing runner who has gone from claimer to G1 winner. Amazing.
  6. Chasing Yesterday, another prime contender for this year’s KY Oaks for Team Baffert, worked at “The Great Race Place” this a.m. The 3YO Tapit filly — who has won 3 in a row and 4 of 5 lifetime — went 6 furlongs in 1:13.40. That was the bullet move out of 7 to go the distance. This one is a half-sister to the great American Pharoah, and so far she is turning out to be quite the runner, as well, for owner/breeder Summer Wind Equine. Coming off the huge win in the G1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos in the last start. Spring time is coming. So is the KY Oaks. So is Chasing Yesterday.

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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