Work Tab for Saturday, Dec. 29: Binoculars Focused On “The Great” Accelerate

(Accelerate after winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic / 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. Accelerate, 5YO son of Luckin at Lucky and winner of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic, worked in preparation for the Pegasus World Cup at Santa Anita early on Saturday morn for trainer John Sadler. The colt — who has put up a spectacular 6-1-0 record in 7 starts this year and has now earned nearly $5.8 million for his career — went 5 furlongs at “The Great Race Place” in 1:00.40. That was the 4th fastest time out of 29 to go the distance this a.m. We will be adding quotes from the connections soon.
  2. Qahira, a 2YO son of Cairo Prince and trained by Team Baffert, is a perfect 1-for-1 after winning the debut effort at Del Mar on Nov. 25. Won that one at 6 furlongs by nearly 5 lengths and was much the best. He was back on the track at Santa Anita this morning, working 5 furlongs in 1:01.80. That was the 16th fastest time out of 29 to go that far. Keep an eye on this one. May stretch out soon.
  3. Vasilika, a 4YO Skipshot filly who has turned into one of the best female runners in the world for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, worked at Santa Anita this morning, as well. This one went 5 furlongs in a brilliant 1:00.80 — which was the 6th best time. Vasilika ran fourth in the G1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar on Dec. 2, but that snapped an 8-race win streak, and a run of 10 wins in 11 races dating back to November 2017. She was claimed by Hollendorfer and turned into a G1 winner in the Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. This one will be back. She loves Santa Anita.
  4. Gunmetal Gray, a 2YO Exchange Rate colt who ran 5th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2 in his last run, worked this morning at Santa Anita for the Hollendorfer barn. It was his 8th published work since the race at Churchill Downs, and he went 6 furlongs in 1:14.60. That was the 5th best time out of 10. This one ran second to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Champ Game Winner in the G1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. He looks to be prepping for a route race soon.

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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