Work Tab for Saturday, July 20: Binoculars Focused On Tax, Harvey Wallbanger, Ulele, Strike Power & Others

(Tax 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. Parsimony, a 3YO son of Dominos and most recently 2nd to the game Game Winner in the G1 Los Alamitos Derby, worked this morning at Del Mar. Went a half mile in :49.60, which was 43rd best out of 67 to go the distance. Over the last four starts, this one has two seconds and two thirds. But, still, in 13 career starts, Parsimony is still a maiden. Has 6 seconds and 2 thirds. But still? No wins? Trained by Doug O’Neill. Enough said.
  2. Harvey Wallbanger, on the comeback trail for trainer Ken McPeek, worked at Churchill Downs this morning. Went 5 furlongs in a very nice 1:00 flat. That was the bullet move out of 14 to go that far today. After upsetting the world and Code of Honor to win the G2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in the winter time, this one has run 8th in the Florida Derby; 7th in the G3 Lexington Stakes; and 7th in the Oaklawn Invitational. Been off since then. Got his 6th published work since mid-June today. Should be about ready to return to the afternoon action soon.
  3. Tax, a 3YO gelded son of Arch and trained by Danny Gargan, is working his way back to you, as well. He breezed a very nice half mile this morning at Saratoga. Went the distance in :47.09, which was the bullet move out of 62 to work the distance. After running a very game and tough 2nd to Tacitus in the Wood Memorial, Tax was 14th in the Kentucky Derby and then 4th in the Belmont Stakes. Been off since then, but got his third published work since that last race today. Looks like the zip has returned to his step. Watch out. Could be tough fresh.
  4. Strike Power, a 4YO son of Speightstown and trained by Mark Hennig, worked this morning at Saratoga. Went an easy half mile in :49.03, which was the 9th best time out of 30 to go the distance. This one has returned to the races this year in style. Won two races back, and then was tremendous on (or near) the lead in the G2 True North. Finished second that day, but should benefit from that game effort. Look for this one to be one of the game’s top sprinters all year long.
  5. Night Ops, a 3YO son of Warrior’s Reward and trained by Brad Cox, worked at Churchill Downs this a.m. Went a half mile in :49 flat. That was 29th best out of 70 to work the distance, in a pure maintenance move. Last time out, this guy ran 5th in the Iowa Derby. Winner that day, Winning Number, was disqualified for interference. Top Line Growth was the beneficiary of the DQ and took the top spot. Shang was next. In 5 starts this year, Night Ops has 2 wins and a second. May not be top Stakes caliber, but look for his return. If he goes to Ellis, he may be awfully tough next time out.
  6. Ulele, a 3YO daughter of Candy Ride and also trained by Cox, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. The filly, who has been second in both the G2 Black-Eyed Susan and the G3 Iowa Oaks in the past two starts, went an easy half mile in :48.80. that was the 25th best time, but she was in absolute cruise control. Talent here. Don’t miss the next out.
  7. Snapper Sinclair, a 4YO son of City Zip, may be back on the winning track. Won the last time out, in allowance company, at Churchill Downs on June 23. In 6 starts this year, has 2 wins and a second now. Worked 5 furlongs over the main dirt track this morning  for trainer Steve Asmussen. Went the distance in 1:00.20. Nice move. That was the 4th best time out of 14. Look for his next out. If spotted right, he could be a tough out.

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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