Work Tab for Saturday, May 18: Binoculars Focused On Tacitus, Break Even, Bell’s the One, Chocolate Kisses & Others

(Tacitus before the 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. Chocolate Kisses, winner of the G3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park before misfiring in both the G1 Ashland Stakes at KEE and the G1 KY Oaks at CD, was back in training this morning for trainer Mark Casse. Serious training. She fired a bullet move of :47.20 for a half mile at the Churchill Downs’ oval this morning. That was best of 56 to try the distance. Looks like the connections are trying to sharpen the blade here a bit after the last two.
  2. Break Even, a 3YO Country Day filly and trained by Brad Cox, is now a perfect 4-for-4 after her impressive showing and win in the G2 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs in her last start. Worked this morning, going an easy half mile in :50.40. That was the 47th best time out of the 56. Maintenance move. Rare talent here. Special talent here.
  3. Bell’s the One, a versatile sort who has won over polytrack, turf and traditional dirt for trainer Neil Pessin, worked at Churchill Downs this morning. She went 5 furlongs in a nice :59.80. That was the 3rd best time out of 23 to go that far. Watch this one. Didn’t fire in the G1 Ashland, but is game, versatile and talented. Many spots for those kind.
  4. Mihos, who appeared to have a shot of getting on the KY Derby Trail earlier this year for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, worked this morning at Belmont Park. Went 4 furlongs in :50.02. That was the 8th best time out of 31. This son of Cairo Prince ran fifth in the G2 Holy Bull on February 2 in his last start. Has 2 wins in 4 career starts, and has some potential to capture.
  5. Tacitus, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood Memorial, worked at Belmont Park this morning for trainer Bill Mott. The big gray son of Tapit — who was moved up to third in the most recent KY Derby — went a half in :48.57. That was the 9th best time out of 32 to clock the distance. This guy may have been the best horse in the Derby field, as well. Troubled trip. Watch for his return.
  6. Strike Power, brilliant in his return to the races after a bit of throat surgery to fix a breathing issue, worked this morning at Belmont Park for the barn of Mark Hennig. He went a half mile in :48.34, which was the 8th best time out of the 32. Look for this one to have a superb 2019. Speed. Power.

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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