Work Tab for Saturday, Sept. 28: Binoculars Focused On Valid Point, Dunbar Road, Restless Rider & Others

(Dunbar Road this spring at Churchill Downs / 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. Valid Point, a 3YO son of Scat Daddy and one of many impressive grass runners from the barn of trainer Chad Brown, worked at Belmont Park this morning. The colt breezed an easy half-mile in :49.89, which was the 27th best time out of 51 to clock the distance this morning. Will be interesting to see how the “Sod Zen” preps this one up to the Breeders’ Cup. The win in Chicago in the G1 Secretariat Stakes was some kind of impressive stretch bolt. Looks promising. Very promising. Now sits with a perfect 3-for-3.
  2. Dunbar Road, a top-notch 3YO Quality Road filly from the Chad Brown barn, didn’t make the KY Oaks field this year, but she is making amends. Has won 3 in a row now — including the G2 Mother Goose and the G1 Alabama Stakes in a row. Worked this morning at Belmont Park and breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.12. That was 6th best of 16 to go the distance. When you start handicapping the BC Distaff, don’t miss out on this one. My pick.
  3. Knicks Go, a 3YO son of Paynter who seems to have righted the ship just a bit for trainer Ben Colebrook, worked this morning at Keeneland. Went 5 furlongs in 1:00.40, which was the 5th best time out of 21 to go the distance. Had a superb 2YO season, but fell on hard times this Spring. Still winless in 6 starts this year, but…Looks to be regaining the game right now, and has speed to burn. Ran 2nd in the Ellis Park Derby two starts ago, and was 4th in the G3 Super Derby in the last out. May watch him next time out.
  4. Gray Magician worked at Churchill Downs this morning. And, did so impressively. Went 4 furlongs in :47.20, which was the 5th best time out of 106 to go the distance. Not sure the next spot for this one, but he is looking good right now. Poised.
  5. Henley’s Joy, a 3YO Kitten’s Joy colt trained by Mike Maker, worked at Belmont Park today, as well. The winner of the Belmont Derby breezed 5 furlongs over the dirt training track in 1:03.25. That was 8th best of 11. Has finished 5th in each of the last two outs, but is better than that. Look for more next time. Tough competitor.
  6. Restless Rider, a 3YO Distorted Humor filly trained by Ken McPeek, worked at Keeneland this morning, as well. This filly — who ran 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November but has not raced since finishing 12th in this year’s KY Oaks — went a nice half mile in :48.40. That was 17th best of 54 to clock the distance. Has 6 published works now since returning to training in August at Saratoga. Looks about ready. She’s a good one. In 8 lifetime starts, has 3 wins and 4 seconds. Watch 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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