(Tacitus / 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:
- Tacitus, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood Memorial before being moved up to a troubled 3rd in the KY Derby, is slated to run next in the Belmont Stakes this Saturday for trainer Bill Mott. The big gray son of Tapit tuned up on Sunday with his last major morning prep by going 5 furlongs in 1:00.42 at “The Big Sandy.” That was the bullet move out of 16 to go the distance. Looks primed and ready. Beware.
- Award Winner, a 3YO son of Ghostzapper and trained by Brian Lynch, is coming off a nice allowance win at Churchill Downs on May 19 in his last start. Worked this morning at Keeneland for the barn operation, going a half mile in :50.80. That was the 10th best time out of 13 to go that distance in Lexington today. In 6 career starts now, Award Winner has a 2-1-1 record. Look for more out of this one. Looks to just now be gearing it up.
- Long Range Toddy, a 3YO son of Take Charge Indy and trained by HOF Steve Asmussen, has not run since being totally eliminated by Maximum Security’s wild actions in the Kentucky Derby. After destroyed in the final turn, he was basically pulled up and finished 16th. On Sunday, he worked at Churchill Downs. Went 5 furlongs in 1:01 flat. That was the 5th best time out of 23. Will be interesting to see if he is shipped to NY for the Belmont Stakes or not. May be preserved to run in some other the other “Derbies” before heading East for either the Haskell or the Travers. Best run was a win in the G2 Rebel Stakes, beating Improbable. Stay tuned.
- Catholic Boy, one of the best older horses in training around the world, worked at Belmont Park on Saturday. He went a half mile in :49.93, which was the 38th best time out of 89. Started the 2019 campaign with a win over the grass at Pimlico in the G2 Dixie Stakes. Capable of running huge ones on either the sod or the main track. Look for this one to improve moving forward.
- Spinoff, a disappointing 18th in the KY Derby after an impressive second place finish in the G2 Louisiana Derby for trainer Todd Pletcher, may be a “sleeper” in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. The 3YO son of Hard Spun — who has a 2-1-1 mark in just 5 career starts — prepped for Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown with a 5 furlong work on Saturday at Belmont Park. Went the distance in 1:02.16. That was 20th best out of 28. Looks primed. Is he ready and good enough?
- Tax, a 3YO gelding by Arch and trained by Danny Gargan, has not run since finishing 14th in the KY Derby. Worked on Saturday at Belmont Park, too, but his time of :49.03 was rather pedestrian for the half mile. It was the 33rd best time out of 68. Questions now arise. Will he still run on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes? Questions abound here.
- Joevia, an improving sort by Shanghai Bobby and trained by Gregory Sacco, is coming off a win in the Long Branch Stakes on May 19 at Monmouth Park. He breezed a nice 5 furlongs on Saturday down on the Jersey Shore, covering the distance in a nice time of 1:00 flat. That was the 3rd best time out of 20 to clock the distance. Will be interesting if the connections step it up and enter for this Saturday or no. Could be seen in the bigger races a bit later.
- Signalman, 9th in the Preakness Stakes after missing the KY Derby, worked on Saturday at Keeneland in Lexington. He went a nice half mile in :47.80 — which was the 5th best time out of 76 to go that distance. The son of General Quarters is 2-2-2 in 8 career starts, and has had some good moments. Will be interesting to see if the connections try the Belmont Stakes next.
- By My Standards, winner of the Louisiana Derby for trainer W. Bret Calhoun, got his first breeze since the KY Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs. The big, impressive and fast son of Goldencents went the half mile in an impressive :47.60. That was the 3rd fastest time out of 86 to go that far. In 6 starts now, he has a 2-2-1 record — with the only miss being an 11th in the KY Derby. Will be interesting to watch and see if this guy makes one of the other “Derbies” this summer. If so, he will be a handful. Caught up with the affable and courteous trainer after the work. Bret said, in a text message: “Great,” when asked about the work. “…went too fast, but did it the right way.” I wrote him back: “Great ones do that.” This one could be a great one.
- Owendale, a 3YO son of Into Mischief and trained by Brad Cox, won the G3 Lexington Stakes two back and ran a bang-up third to War of Will in the Preakness Stakes in the last out. The colt moved 4 furlongs in an easy :50.60 at Churchill Downs on Saturday. That was 69th best out of 86. Moving on. Chance.
- Code of Honor, moved up to second in the KY Derby and winner of the Fountain of Youth earlier this year for trainer Shug McGaughey, got in work on Saturday, as well. The Noble Mission colt went 4 furlongs in :49.95 at Belmont Park. That was the 29th best time out of the 36 to make the distance. This one could be one of the best of the division. Yet.