Work Tab for Sunday, July 14: Binoculars Focused On Owendale, Durkin’s Call, Skywire, Naughty Joker, Well Defined

(Owendale getting his daily bath outside the barn of trainer Brad Cox / 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. Durkin’s Call, a 3YO gelding by Jump Start and trained by Bill Mott, worked at Belmont Park this morning. Went a nice half mile in :47.60, which was the 2nd fastest time out of 48 to go that far. Earlier this year, this one won two races in a row — including the Gander Stakes at Aqueduct in March. But when moved up to face tougher foes, he was found wanting. Wanting more speed. Wanting less company. He ran 10th in the G3 Pat Day Mile and then 6th in the Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont in late May. Has been off from the race scene since then. May be ready for a return soon.
  2. Skywire, a very talented 3YO colt trained by Mark Casse, worked this morning at Woodbine. Went a half mile in :48.20 breezing. That was the 6th best time out of 21 to work over the fast dirt training track there. In 6 career starts to date, he has established a nice resume of 3 wins, and a second. Most recently, though, he fired a blank in the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, finishing 11th. The only other time he was off the board was when he was 8th in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park this Spring. Look for more from this one next time out. Talented.
  3. Naughty Joker, a 3YO filly by Into Mischief, has not run since finishing 10th in the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland back in early April. Before that, though, this gal had turned up the notches and the speed and winning the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway to start the 2019 campaign. In the first four career starts, she had 2 seconds and 2 wins. Got her 4th published work since May 17 this morning at Keeneland. She worked 5 furlongs over the turf track in 1:01.80. That was the 4th best time out of 5 to make the distance. Should be getting about ready for a return to the afternoon races soon for trainer Wesley Ward.
  4. Well Defined, a speedster of sorts and a 3YO gelded son of With Distinction, worked at Gulfstream Park West this morning for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. The winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes went 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 and that was the 3rd fastest time out of 10 to breeze the distance today. Since the huge win in the Davis, this guy has run 8th in the Tampa Bay Derby and 5th in the Carry Back Stakes at Gulfstream Park on June 29. First work since that race today. May be better prepared the next time back. Bears watching.
  5. Owendale, a 3YO Into Mischief colt trained by Brad Cox, has emerged — along with Mr. Money — has one of the best runners of his generation of late. Over his last 3 races, Owendale has won both the G3 Lexington Stakes and the G3 Ohio Derby. Squeezed in-between those two trips to the winner’s circle was a nice 3rd to War of Will in the G1 Preakness Stakes. May be ready to step it up and face the big boys again soon. Worked an easy half mile at Churchill Downs this morning. Went the distance in :49 flat. That was the 10th best time out of 39 to make that distance. Be interesting to see where the connections take him next.

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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