Work Tab for Sunday, Dec. 16: Today’s Focus On Tight Ten / Keep An Eye On This One

(Tight Ten winning at Churchill Downs / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

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. Champagne Tale, a 2YO filly by Tale of Ekati and trained by Dallas Stewart, may be one to keep an eye on when she runs next on Dec. 21 at the Fair Grounds. In her two starts to date, she has a fourth and a third. The first start came at Saratoga, where she was beaten by the favorite Takecharge Mirella. Two months later, she ran third at Churchill Downs, when she was third to the favorite Positive Spirit. This barn normally takes its’ time with 2YOs, and this one is a closer. So, she may be primed on the third career start. Tuned up for this week’s effort with a work in NO today. Went an easy half-mile in :50.20. That was 47th of the 95 to go. Looks ready.
  2. Switzerland, a 4YO son of Speightstown and trained by Steve Asmussen for the new ownership group of Sh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, is entered in the Bonapaw Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Dec. 22. He tuned up this a.m. with a 4-furlong breeze in :51 flat. That was the 67th best time out of the 95. This guy started the year with 4 straight wins. He has 5 now on the year, including victories in the G3 Frank J. De Francis Stakes at Laurel Park and the G3 Maryland Sprint. Last ran here on Nov. 22, when he was third in the Thanksgiving Handicap. Should be primed for this one.
  3. Tight Ten, a 2YO colt by Tapit and trained by Asmussen for the Winchell Thoroughbreds, worked this morning at the Fair Grounds. He went 5 furlongs in 1:01.60, which was the 7th best time out of 33 to go that far. This one is a real talent, for sure. Opened the career with a nice MSW win at Churchill Downs on June 28. Came back to run second in both the G2 Saratoga Special and the G3 Iroquois Stakes. Was beaten by the likes of Call Paul in the former, and Cairo Cat in the latter. Was no factor in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes at Churchill Downs. But there was a serious excuse. Was steadied hard going into the first turn and hit the rail in that one. Was pretty much done after that. Don’t be surprised by a resurgence of this one in the coming days and months. For one, off-spring of Tapit may take a few races to fully grasp the full game. But when they do? They really do. And, this one has shown ability already. Today’s work was the third published event since the Breeders’ Cup debacle. Look forward to more from this one. I am.

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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