Work Tab for Thursday, Feb. 21: Binoculars Focused On Bravazo, Into Trouble, Reride & Team Baffert’s Superstars

(Bravazo working at Churchill Downs last year / Coady Photography & 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. Gio Game, a 4YO Gio Ponti filly trained by Mark Casse, worked at the trainer’s farm site in Central Florida on Tuesday. This one — who finished 3rd in the G3 Monmouth Oaks and 3rd in the G1 Acorn Stakes last year — is prepping for a return trip to the racetrack. She has been idle in the afternoons since August, but got her 3rd published worked since Jan. 22 on Tuesday. She went a half mile in :49 flat. That was the bullet move out of 5 to go the distance. Be fun to see this one back at the track.
  2. Urban Diva, a 2YO City Zip filly bred by KatieRich Farms, appears to be one of the first juveniles to post a work this year. On Tuesday, this one — who was RNA’d for $47,000 at the Keeneland September Sale last year — was clocked going 3 furlongs in :39.80 at Keeneland. Don’t know yet if this one is in “New & Improved” Keeneland 2YO Sale in April, or just getting started for the 2YO races at this Spring meet, but she is off and running.
  3. Bravazo, the gritty 4YO colt by Awesome Again trained by D. Wayne Lukas, prepped for the Dubai World Cup at Oaklawn Park this morn. The colt — who ran 4th to City of Light in the Pegasus World Cup in his last outing — is now 3-4-3 in 17 career starts and has posted over $2 million in earnings for owner Calumet Farm. He breezed 5 furlongs today in 1:01 flat. That was the 3rd best out of 15 to go the distance in Hot Springs, AR. Will travel, again, soon.
  4. Mucho Gusto, the 3YO son of Mucho Macho Man trained by Bob Baffert, worked at Santa Anita on Wednesday. The winner of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes over a sloppy racetrack in his last out, went a nice half mile in :47.60. That was the 4th best time out of 57 to go the distance. In 4 lifetime tries now, he has 3 wins and a second. The only time he was runner-up was in the G1 Cash Call Futurity, when second to teammate Improbable.
  5. Improbable, the 3YO son of City Zip and who has not run in the afternoons since that win at Los Alamitos, prepped on Wednesday, as well. He went 6 furlongs in 1:13.20. That was the 7th best time out of 23 to go the distance, and it was his 8th published work since Jan. 9. Looks ready for the seasonable debut coming up on March 9 in the G2 San Felipe.
  6. Chasing Yesterday, the beautiful Tapit filly who was scratched out of the G2 Rachel Alexandra last weekend, worked 7 furlongs on Wednesday for Team Baffert. She went the longer distance in 1:25.20, which was the fastest time out of 1 to go that far. It was her 6th published work since Jan. 2 and since she won the G1 Starlet at Los Alamitos in December. Looks ready to rip.
  7. Into Trouble, a 3YO Into Mischief filly trained by Ben Colebrook, worked this morning at Tampa Bay Downs. This filly ran second in the Gasparilla Stakes in her last out and the only time she has been off the board in 4 lifetime starts was in the G1 Alcibiades — when she ran 9th. As a 2YO, she won the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park, as well. On Thursday, she went 5 furlongs in 1:01.80, which was the 3rd fastest time out of 18 to go that far. Mike Ball purchased this one for $180,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2017, and she looks like another good one for Donamire Farm.
  8. Reride, a Candy Ride colt who ran 3rd in the UAE Derby a year ago to Mendelssohn, was back in training at Tampa Bay on Thursday, as well. This one went 5 furlongs in 1:02.40. That was 6th best. Reride ran 5th in the Woodchopper Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Dec. 29. Since the UAE Derby, he has run 6 times and hit the board just once. That was a second in an allowance at Keeneland last October. Would be nice to see him regroup and come back strong in 2019.

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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