Work Tab For Thursday, Oct. 24: Binoculars Focused On Blue Prize, Hog Creek Hustle & Others

(Blue Prize after winning this year’s G1 Spinster Stakes / 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.

  1. Hog Creek Hustle, a 3YO son of Overanalyze and trained by Vickie Foley, was back on the track at Churchill Downs this morning. This hard-knocking over-achiever has been knocking on many doors this year. And, he has crashed in a few, too. Ran 5th when facing older horses last time out in the G2 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland. Looked to be making a huge run late when squeezed in-between horses. Before that, though, he was 2nd to Mr. Money in the G3 Pat Day Mile; won the G1 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park; and was second in the G1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Saratoga. Wow year for this one. This morning, he went a very nice half mile in :48.40. That was the 4th best time out of the 39 to go the distance. Hope he closes out a great 2019 campaign.
  2. Mr Darcy, a 5YO Harlan’s Holiday gelding trained by Angel Montano, has been a great “feel good story” this year. After being in the claiming ranks back in May, he has truly elevated his game. Ran a huge 3rd in the Ack Ack Stakes in his last outing on Sept. 28. He was back on the work tab this morning, going a half mile in a blistering :47.80. That was just his 2nd published work since the last race, and it was the bullet move out of the 39 to go that far.
  3. Roiland, a 3YO son of Successful Appeal and trained by Tom Amoss, worked this morning under the Twin Spires, as well. This one has not run since his 7th place finish in the G3 Indiana Derby, which was won by the talented Mr. Money. Earlier this Spring, Roiland was on the move when he ran third in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds, behind War of Will. Has not been the same since, but is working his way back to you now. Got his second published work since returning to serious training on Oct. 11. Went 5 furlongs today in 1:03.60. Hope this one can return with a flurry.
  4. Blue Prize, upset winner of the G1 Spinster Stakes for the second year in a row, worked this morning over at Keeneland. The 6YO daughter of Pure Prize and trained by Ignacio Correas, IV, went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. That was the 8th best time out of 14, but it was a pure maintenance move. Be interesting to see when this one gets the ship West for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She is coming off a win over Elate and Dunbar Road. Two of the best in the business.

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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