Work Tab for Sunday, Jan. 6: Binoculars Focused On Seeking the Soul, Hog Creek Hustle, Manny Wah

(Seeking the Soul headed to the paddock on Breeders’ Cup Day / 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. Assemblyman, a 3YO Speightstown colt trained by Michael Stidham for the Godolphin Stables, is coming off a fifth place finish in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Dec. 22. Ran behind the likes of Gray Attempt, Manny Was, Hog Creek Hustle and Super Steed in that one. Next out is scheduled for Jan. 11 here in an allowance event going 5.5-furlongs over the turf.  Worked at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, turning in a half mile effort in :48.80. That was 20th best out of the 158 that went the distance. Bears watching.
  2. Limari, a 4YO Medaglia d’oro filly trained by Brad Cox, won her last time out to break the maiden. That came here on Nov. 29. In three career starts, she now has a win and a second. Will run next on Jan. 11 here in allowance company. Tuned up for that effort with a work on Saturday in the “Big Easy.” Went a half in :48.40. That was 12th best of the 158. This one looks to be getting good about now.
  3. Manny Wah, who has put up a record of 2-2-1 in the first 7 career starts and ran in the Sugar Bowl Stakes the last time out, worked on Saturday at the Fair Grounds, as well. The Wayne Catalano-trainee went a half in :49.80. That was 78th best. Look for this one to show up in the Lecomte Stakes — the first step towards the Louisiana “Road to the KY Derby.” Son of Will Take Charge is a grinder, for sure.
  4. Hog Creek Hustle, a talented one for sure and trained by Vickie Foley, worked on Saturday, as well. This son of Overanalyze ran third in the Sugar Bowl, but looks to want more ground with his closing kick. Has won two of four races — with the only debacle coming in the G3 Iroquois Stakes last September at Churchill Downs. Went 5 furlongs here on Saturday in 1:02.60 — and that was 44th of 75 to go that far. Look for this one to show next in the Lecomte. My pick there, too.
  5. Seeking the Soul, who ran third in the G1 Clark Handicap in his last start and now is closing in on $2 million in purse earnings for the barn of Dallas Stewart, worked at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, too. The 6YO horse by Perfect Soul went 5 furlongs in a sparkling :59.60 — which was the second fastest time of the day at the distance. This guy ran a huge second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in one of his 6 starts last year. And, he does not appear to have lost a step. Look for him to run huge next time 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean