Work Tab for Monday, July 29: Binoculars Focused On Omaha Beach, McKinzie, Mr. Freeze, Tight Ten & Others

(Omaha Beach before this year’s KY Derby / 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. Omaha Beach, a 3YO War Front colt who many regarded to be the best bet to win this year’s KY Derby before he was scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis, is back in training with best friend and conditioner Richard Mandella. The colt worked this morning at Del Mar, going a half mile in :49.20 — which was the 14th best time out of 34 to clock the distance. Going into the Derby, Omaha Beach had won 3 races in a row — including a division of the G2 Rebel Stakes and the G1 Arkansas Derby. In 7 lifetime starts, he has a record of 3-3-1. Will be interesting to see how this one returns to the races later this Summer or early Fall.
  2. Hot Springs, a 4YO son of Uncle Mo and trained by Steve Asmussen, has had a difficult 2019. Has not hit he board in 3 starts this year, with two 7th place finishes in a row in the Opening Verse Stakes and the G2 Wise Dan at Churchill Downs. Before that, though, Hot Springs had won 2 in a row — including the G3 Commonwealth Stakes over the Louisville sod. Interesting. Worked this morning under the Twin Spires. Went 3 furlongs in :38 flat. That was 9th best of 11. That was his 6th published work since the last race. Should be fit.
  3. Tight Ten, a 3YO son of Tapit and trained by Asmussen, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. Went a half mile in :48.40, which was the 19th best time out of 55 to go the distance. This guy has not been out since running 10th in the G3 LeComte Stakes in his only 2019 start to date. Before that, this one was 9th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. But he started the career with a win in the debut; a second in the G2 Saratoga Special; and a second in the G3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs. Today’s work was the 5th published morning move since July 1. Looks to be getting close to next outing. Talented.
  4. Mr. Freeze, a 4YO son of To Honor and Serve and trained by Dale Romans, worked this morning at Churchill Downs, as well. This one — who won the G3 West Virginia Derby a year ago — has raced only once this year. Ran 7th in the Tropical Turf Stakes back in January. Today, he breezed 5 furlongs in an impressive :59.60 — which was the bullet move out of 12. That was the 5th published work since June 29. Looks ready.
  5. McKinzie, one of the most talented runners in the world right now and a 4YO son of Street Sense, worked this morning at Del Mar for Team Baffert. Went a half mile in :48 flat, which was 4th of 34 to go the distance. Last time out, McKinzie — who has 6 wins and 4 seconds in 11 lifetimes starts and has already earned over $1.7 million in purses — ran second in the Met Mile at Belmont Park. Look for this one to show up in San Diego soon. It’s a place he has not run to date. Interesting.

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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