Work Tab for Saturday, July 13: Binoculars Focused On War of Will, Joevia, Tacitus, Tax & Others

(War of Will / 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. War of Will, winner of the Preakness Stakes for trainer Mark Casse, worked at Saratoga this morning. The son of War Front went 5 furlongs in 1:00.43, which was the 2nd best time out of the first 7 to go that far. This one has been training at Keeneland for much of the Spring and early Summer, but most recently joined the Casse string at Churchill Downs before shipping North. May be pointed to the Jim Dandy and the Travers Stakes now. Bears watching.
  2. Hoffa’s Union, a 3YO son of Union Rags and trained by Casse, worked at Churchill Downs this morning. Went 5 furlongs in 1:00.20. That was the 2nd fastest time out of 15 to go the distance. This one has not raced since finishing 5th in the Marine Stakes at Woodbine in late May. Broke the maiden at first asking earlier this year, and ran 7th in the G2 Wood Memorial in the next out. Big hopes for this one. Be interesting to see where he shows next. Ellis?
  3. Joevia, 3rd in the G1 Belmont Stakes in the last outing for trainer Gregory Sacco, worked this morning at Monmouth Park. Went 5 furlongs in a snappy :58.40, which was the bullet move out of 17 to make the distance. This 3YO son of Shanghai Bobby won the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park two starts back in May and now has a 2-2-1 record in 6 starts. May be a contestant in the Haskell Invitational.
  4. Tacitus, a 3YO Tapit colt who ran second to Sir Winston in the G1 Belmont Stakes and was moved up to 3rd in the KY Derby, worked at Saratoga this morning for trainer Bill Mott. Went 5 furlongs in 1:01 flat. That was the 5th best out of 9 to work that distance over the dirt training track at “The Spa.” Another who could be pointed to both the Jim Dandy and the Travers later this summer. Before the KY Derby, this one won the Wood Memorial and now holds a 3-1-1 record in 6 career starts to date. May be the most consistent of the top level 3YOs this year.
  5. Tax, a 3YO son of Arch and trained by Danny Gargan, worked a half mile at Saratoga this morning. Went the distance in an easy :49.95, which was the 39th best time out of the 61 to go that far. Traveled over the dirt training track. Was 4th in the Belmont Stakes in the last out, but may be pointed toward the grass courses soon. Interesting choice for the connections.
  6. Strike Power, a top notch sprinter from the barn of Mark Hennig, worked this morning at Saratoga. Went a half mile in a nice :47.82 — which was the 10th best time out of 122 to go that far over the main dirt track. Look for this one to be spotted in a Stakes event soon. Will be tough, too. He’s built for speed. And, can deliver.
  7. Distant Shore, a 3YO Maryland-bred son of Algorithms and trained by Tom Amoss for the Churchill Downs Racing Club, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. Went a nice half mile in :48.80 — which was the 13th best time out of 65 to go the distance. In 8 starts to date, he has a 2-2-2 record and won three starts back at Keeneland. After a 9th in a Stakes event at Presque Isle, Distant Shore returned with a nice third in an allowance event at Churchill Downs on June 29. Look for more 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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