Work Tab for Saturday, Oct. 12: Binoculars Focused on Code of Honor, Guarana, Come Dancing & Others

(Code of Honor 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.

  1. Code of Honor, the 3YO son of Noble Mission and trained by HOFer Shug McGaughey, worked this morning at Belmont Park. The winner of 3 major Stakes events in a row after finishing 2nd in this year’s KY Derby went an easy half-mile in :50.65. That was the 46th best time out of 55 to go that far. This one is set, prepared and ready for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Now, time will tell if he is good enough. I’m saying that he is. In 9 career starts, he has 5 wins, 2 seconds and a third. The last 3 Stakes races, though, have been impressive. Wins in the G3 Dwyer Stakes, the G1 Travers Stakes and the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Next?
  2. Guarana, a 3YO filly by Ghostzapper and trained by Chad Brown, worked at Belmont Park this morning, as well. The classy filly went a half-mile in an impressive :47.45, which is the 2nd best time out of the 55. In 4 career starts, Guarana has 3 wins and a second. The only time she didn’t cross the finish line first was last time out in the G1 Cotillion Stakes — when she was behind Street Band. Any time you have a filly that is compared to the great Ruffian (and Guarana beat her time at Saratoga)? You have a special filly.
  3. Strike Power,  4YO son of Speightstown and a potential candidate to tackle the BC Sprint for trainer Mark Hennig, worked this morning in New York, too. He went a half-mile in :48.77 — which was 13th best. This guy has run 2 straight 5th place finishes, but was 2nd in the G2 True North Stakes three back. Talent is there. Consistency may not be, yet.
  4. Structor, a 2YO son of Palace Malice and trained by Chad Brown, worked at “The Big Sandy.” Undefeated in the first two starts, Structor won the G3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park last time out. Worked a half-mile today in :49.88. That was 36th best of the 55. Look for improvement out of this one next out. Could be a special one.
  5. Wow Cat, a candidate for this year’s overly deep pool in the BC Distaff, worked this morning at Belmont Park for trainer Chad Brown. The 5YO Lookin At Lucky mare went 4 furlongs in an impressive :47.45. That was 2nd best of the 55. In 15 career starts now, she has a 9-4-1 record and has earned over $1.182 million in purses. Not too bad for a filly rarely recognized in the top 5 contenders this year. I’ll have her in my mix.
  6. Come Dancing, a top contender for the BC Filly & Mare Sprint, worked at Belmont Park this morning for trainer Carlos Martin. The 5YO Malibu Moon filly went 5 furlongs over the dirt training track in 1:00.40. That was the bullet move out of 14 to go over that surface. In 13 career starts, Come Dancing has 8 wins and 2 seconds. Coming off back-to-back wins in the G1 Ballerina Stakes and the G2 Gallant Bloom Handicap. Speedster with stamina. Dangerous combo.

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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