Work Tab for Monday, April 22: Binoculars Focused On By My Standards, Improbable, Long Range Toddy, Tacitus & Others

3-23-2019 By My Standards, with Gabriel Saez aboard, pulls to the lead in the 106th running of the Grade II $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

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. Hidden Scroll, a 3YO son of Hard Spun trained by Bill Mott and the “hot horse” on the Triple Crown earlier this year, worked at Churchill Downs this morning. The colt — who broke his maiden over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park, before running 4th in the Fountain of Youth and 6th in the Florida Derby — went a half mile in :48.40 over the fast dirt surface. That was the 8th best time out of 79 to go the distance today.
  2. Improbable, a 3YO son of City Zip who has never been worse than second in 5 career starts for trainer Bob Baffert, worked at Churchill Downs this morning in preparation for the upcoming Kentucky Derby. The big chestnut, who looks remarkably like the great Triple Crown winner Justify, went a half mile in :48 flat, which was the 4th best time out of the 79 to make the distance. Appears that Irad Ortiz, Jr. now has the mount on this one for the big race.
  3. Long Range Toddy, who upset Improbable in a division of the G2 Rebel Stakes before stumbling home 6th in the G1 Arkansas Derby behind Omaha Beach, worked this morning under the Twin Spires for trainer Steve Asmussen. Went 5 furlongs in 1:02.60, breezing over the fast dirt surface. That was 29th out of 35 to go that far. The son of Take Charge Indy probably will stalk off the pace in the KY Derby and try to make a closing run on the front-runners. Patience is being practiced.
  4. Tacitus, winner of two in a row heading into the KY Derby for trainer Bill Mott, worked this morning in Louisville, as well. Went the half mile in a maintenance-move like :50 flat. That was 50th best of the 79 to go that far. This guy will get the services of Jose Ortiz, who rode him perfectly and to victory in the Wood Memorial in the last out. Son of Tapit appears to be getting better at just the right time of year.
  5. By My Standards, upset winner of the Louisiana Derby in the last outing, has now become this year’s official “Hot Horse.” Every year, it happens. The media types — most of whom can’t tell a good work from a bad bath — latch out to a horse and tout them higher than the famous Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires. Unfortunately, most of the time these horses fall flatter than a hard-boot handicapper down to the their $2 show bet. Don’t know if it will happen again this year or not, but the 3YO son of Goldencents looked impressive again this morning at Churchill Downs. And, the wags were swishing faster than the horse’s tail. Went 6 furlongs in 1:12.80, which was the 2nd best time out of 5 to go the distance. Take your best shot. I’ve seen this phenomenon ever since I covered my first Derby back in the 1980s. I won’t be on board.
  6. Mother Mother, a 3YO daughter of Pioneerof the Nile and trained by Bob Baffert, ran second in the G3 Beaumont Stakes over at Keeneland on April 7. Don’t know the next outing for this one, who has a 2-3-1 mark in 7 career starts — including a win in the Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs last October. I guess she could show up next in the KY Oaks, and worked a half mile in :48.80 — which was the 22nd best of 79 to go the distance. Be interesting to see where Team Baffert slots this filly.
  7. Henley’s Joy, a 3YO son of Kitten’s Joy and one of the best grass performers of his generation so far, worked over at the Churchill Downs Training Center in Louisville on Monday for trainer Mike Maker. Went 5 furlongs over the dirt track in 1:00.20 — which was 3rd best out of 11 to go that far. Look for this guy on Derby Day. On the sod. Maybe in the winner’s circle. Tough one.
  8. Concrete Rose, a 3YO daughter of Twirling Candy and trained by Rusty Arnold, worked at Keeneland this a.m. This grass filly has won 3 of 4 lifetime starts, with the only bad outing coming in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November. Won the G3 Florida Oaks, besting a very nice field of fillies, to start the 2019 campaign. Look for this on to appear on either Oaks or Derby Day, as well. She went a half mile today in :48.20, which was the 3rd fastest time out of 48 to o over the fast dirt surface. Watch out. Looks primed.

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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