Work Tab for Saturday, April 20: Binoculars Focused on Game Winner, Roadster, Sparky Ville, Gray Magician, Signalman, Restless Rider

(Game Winner training before this Spring’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park / Photo Courtesy of Oaklawn Park)

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. Game Winner, the 2YO Champ of a year ago and the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile over the Churchill Downs’ main track last November, worked at Santa Anita this morning for trainer Bob Baffert. The Candy Ride colt went 5 furlongs in a handy 1:00.80, which was the 2nd best time out of 38 to go that far. Looking good for his upcoming trip to Churchill Downs for Team Baffert.
  2. Sparky Ville, a 3YO colt trained by Jeff Bonde, appeared to be on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year when he won the G2 San Vicente on Feb. 10. But the son of Candy Ride has not been to the races sent then, and is now being pointed to another event other than the KY Derby. Got his 9th published work since the last race this morning, going a half mile in :48 flat at Santa Anita. That was the 2nd fastest time out of 36 to go that far. Talented. But why the long time between races? Bothersome.
  3. Parsimony, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Dominus, just ran 14th in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland for trainer Doug O’Neill. Still a maiden after nine starts, Parsimony does have 4 seconds on the resume. He’s back in California now, and he went 4 furlongs in :49.80 this morning. That was the 15th best time out of 36. Maybe a MSW event next?
  4. Roadster, winner of the Santa Anita Derby in his last out for the barn of Team Baffert, is now a jilted lover. He was stood up by HOF jockey Mike Smith, who chose to ride Omaha Beach in the upcoming KY Derby over this talented guy. Still, Roadster continues on. He worked 6 furlongs this morning at Santa Anita, getting the distance in 1:13.60 — which was the 2nd fastest time out of 7 to go that distance. Looks to be back on top of his game this year after corrective throat surgery helped to fix a breathing issue that compromised him last summer. Wonder how Florent Geroux will fit this one?
  5. Gray Magician, another prospect for this year’s KY Derby, worked at the San Luis Rey Training Center in Southern California on Saturday morning. Went 4 furlongs in :48.40, which was the bullet move out of 9 to work that distance. This guy — who ran second in the most recent UAE Derby in Dubai to gain the necessary points to make the 20-stall starting gate of the Derby — has a 1-3-2 resume in 8 career starts. His only win came in the fourth career start at Del Mar, when he captured a MSW event for trainer Peter Miller. This son of Graydar did not exceed his “Reserved Not Obtained” price at the 2017 Fast-Tipton July Sale for a modest $18,000. So…he is now a Derby contender. Good story.
  6. Signalman, third in the most recent G2 Blue Grass Stakes for trainer Ken McPeek, worked at Churchill Downs this morning. The son of General Quarters — who did win over the Churchill Downs strip in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last November — went 5 furlongs in a brisk :59.60, which was the bullet move out of 10 to go the distance. Looks to be getting good at just the right time.
  7. Restless Rider, runner-up in the G1 Ashland Stakes in her 2019 debut, worked right along her male counterpart at Churchill Downs. Went the same 5 furlong distance in :59.80. That was the 2nd fastest time out of the 10. This daughter of Distorted Humor has now run three impressive seconds in a row. She was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and second in the G2 Golden Rod — both at Churchill Downs — last November. Look closely at this one. Looks ready and primed for a big one in the KY Oaks.

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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