Work Tab for Thursday, Oct. 3: Binoculars Focused On Roadster, Moonlight Romance & Others

(Roadster before this year’s KY Derby / 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. Clifton Park, a 2YO son of Awesome Again and trained by Dale Romans, may be one to put on your “Watch List.” This guy, who ran 7th in his career debut at Saratoga back on Labor Day weekend, has been tearing the training wheels off in the mornings, since returning from New York. The colt breezed a half-mile this morning at Churchill Downs in :47.80. That was the 2nd best time out of 44 to clock the distance. And, it was the second time that the colt has ripped up the morning work sheet. On Sept. 14, after the first race and the first time he got to stretch his legs over the Churchill Downs dirt, he went a half mile in :47.40. That was 3rd best of 103. The owner, Trade Winds Farm, purchased this one for $75,000 at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale from the consignment of Hidden Brook Farm. Beware.
  2. Strike Appeal, a talented 2YO son of Tonalist and in the barn of Mark Casse, has raced twice so far. Ran 2nd at Ellis Park before finishing 4th in the last out at Churchill Downs on Sept. 14. Worked this morning under the Twin Spires. Went an easy half mile in :48.80. That was the 11th best time out of 44. This guy is owned by Tracy Farmer, who picked him up for a nifty $70,000 at the KEE November Breeding Stock Sale in 2017. Could be ready for the money next time out.
  3. Moonlight Romance, a 3YO daughter of Liaison and trained by Wesley Ward, was a blur this morning at Keeneland. The talented runner, who was 4th in the Jersey Girl Stakes at Belmont Park in her last outing back in June, went the 3-furlong distance in a blistering :34.60 time. That was the bullet move out of 6 to go that short. In 7 career starts, to date, Moonlight Romance has built a 3-1-0 resume and has a win over the Keeneland track this Spring. Ran 12th in the Breeders’ cup Juvenile Turf Spring last Fall at Churchill Downs. Bears watching upon return. Today’s work was the 1st published move since the last race.
  4. Bronn, a 2YO colt by Conveyance and trained by Team Baffert, worked this morning at Santa Anita. The colt, who won last time out after starting the career with back-to-back 4th place finishes at Del Mar, went a half mile in :47.40. That was the 3rd best time out of 28 to go that far over the dirt track. Interesting fact? This one is owned by Natalie J. Baffert. As in? Jill Baffert.
  5. Roadster, one of the preeminent threats on the Road to the 2019 Triple Crown for Team Baffert, worked this morning at Santa Anita, as well. The 3YO son of Quality Road — who returned from a long layoff and a 15th place finish in the KY Derby to run 2nd in the G3 Affirmed Stakes in mid-June — worked 6 furlongs this morning in 1:13 flat. That was the bullet move out of 6 to go that far. It was the 5th published work since Roadster returned to serious training on Aug. 31. Looks like he may be getting ready soon, with another work or two under his girth. Keep you posted.

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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