Work Tab for Monday, Jan. 21: Binoculars Focused On McKinzie, Mucho Gusto, Bano Solo, Hot Springs, J Boys Echo & Some “To Look For”

(J Boys Echo gallops at Churchill Downs back in 2017. Here’s hoping that he gets back in 2019 / Coady Photography & 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:

  1. A Thousand Reasons, a 3YO Munnings filly trained by Tom Amoss for owner Maggi Moss, may be one worth watching on a go-forward. Ms. Maggi purchased this one at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2017 for $80,000, and the filly has lodged a third and a win in the first two career starts at Delta Downs. It may be time to move up to the big leagues soon, and the filly worked this morning at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. She was impressive, too, going a nice half mile in :48.40, which was the 2nd fastest time out of the 42 to work the distance. Keep an eye on this one. Connections know how to win races.
  2. Hot Springs, a talented 4YO son of Uncle Mo and trained by Steve Asmussen for Woodford Racing LLC, worked this morning at the Fair Grounds, as well. This one — who has posted 4 wins and a second in 7 career starts to date, including a win in the G3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs in the last start — went an easy half mile in :51.60. It was the first published work since the last race in November. Will take a bit before he is ready to return to the turf, but bears watching as he preps for a 4YO campaign.
  3. Lagniappe, a 3YO filly by Bind and trained by Al Stall, may turn out to be quite a nice Louisiana-bred. In two career starts to date, she has a second and a win at the Fair Grounds. Won last time out on Dec. 9. Worked this morning in New Orleans, getting a half in :48.80 over the dirt track. That was the 7th best time out of the 42. Watch for this one’s return. Will be moving up to face winners for the first time, but may be a nice play.
  4. Bano Solo, a 3YO colt by Goldencents and trained by Steve Asmussen for the Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing, has not been seen in the afternoons since he was fourth in the G3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga last July. Make a name and a splash when he won on debut at Churchill Downs on June 23. Got his ninth published work since Nov. 29 this morning at the Fair Grounds, going 5 furlongs in 1:00.40. That was the bullet move out of 31 to go the distance. Ready. Now time to aim and fire. Watch out here.
  5. New Frontier, a 3YO Speightstown colt from the Asmussen barn, worked the same exact time as his room mate, too, on Monday. This one has raced just once, finishing 7th in a MSW event on New Year’s Eve. This one could be a real handful when he makes the gate next time out, too. He’ll be facing maidens. Watch out.
  6. Tiz Mischief, a 4YO Into Mischief colt trained by Dale Romans for great friend Frank Jones, worked this morning at Gulfstream Park. This guy has not run since finishing 7th in an allowance event at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 3. Before that, though, he won an allowance at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3 in his first start since running second in the G3 Matt Winn Stakes back in June of 2018. Got his first published work since the Jan. 3 race today, going an easy half in :50.62 over the dirt track. That was the 20th best time out of 28 to go the distance. Rooting for this one.
  7. J Boys Echo, a 5YO horse by Mineshaft and trained by Romans, had a rough 2018. Ran only 3 times. Best finish was a 6th in an allowance at Churchill Downs in September. Far cry from the days of winning the G3 Gotham Stakes; running fourth in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes; and running in the KY Derby in 2017. He went 5 furlongs this morning at Gulfstream Park, getting the distance in 1:00.72. That was the 4th best time out of 16. It was the horse’s sixth published work since Dec. 15. Hope he is getting back to the track soon. Wishing him luck.
  8. McKinzie, a 4YO Street Sense colt who will not run next in the Pegasus World Cup for Team Baffert, got a 7-furlong work at Santa Anita this morning. This one — who has 5 wins and a second in 7 career starts and earnings over $1.08 million — worked the distance in a nice 1:25.40 for the bullet move of the day out of 3 horses to go that distance. McKinzie came out of the Breeders’ Cup Classic debacle and romped impressively in a highly competitive field for the G1 Malibu at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. Has not raced since, but got his third published work since that effort today. Should be ready for a race soon. Could be a dominating factor in the older division this year.
  9. Mucho Gusto, a 3YO son of Mucho Macho Man and one of many highly-touted contenders for this year’s Triple Crown Trail for Team Baffert, worked 7 furlongs at “The Great Race Place” today. This one went the distance in 1:26.40, just a second slower than his much more accomplished teammate. This one cost $625,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic 2YO Sale last year, and has since broke his maiden; won the G3 Bob Hope Stakes; and run second to Improbable in the G1 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity. So far, he has won back $144,000 in purses. But the real fun is yet to come. Watch for his 2019 debut and where he goes from there. Could be interesting Spring for these connections.

(Well Defined) has a ton of natural talent and I was going to take advantage of that today,” Morales explained. “I wasn’t too worried about where I was going to be because we were really lucky with the draw position on the outside, so I figured I was going to ride a cool race.

“The horse is naturally fast and has a super-long stride, so I was going to come out running, but if somebody wanted to take the lead, I was OK with that,” Morales said. No one did, and he stretched the lead to three lengths from Knicks Go up the backstretch.

“All I wanted to do was ride a cool and collected race and keep my horse running,” Morales said. “I didn’t feel like I was going that fast at all, and my horse was going as comfortable as he possible could.

“I knew he was doing it relaxed and very much on his own. I had a lot of horse going into the second turn, so I figured I was going to ask him a little more and not wait for them to get me. If they were going to catch me, they were really going to have to come running.”

PABLO MORALES, RIDER OF THE WINNER WELL DEFINED
  • 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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