Work Tab for Tuesday, Aug. 13: Binoculars Focused On Game Winner, Kingly, Extra Hope & Others

(Game Winner 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.  We will keep a keen eye and stopwatch to see who may be working well:

  1. Game Winner, the 2YO Champ of a year ago when he raced undefeated, is on the comeback trail now with a serious rally in his step these days. He is coming off an impressive, convincing and powerful win in the G3 Los Alamitos Stakes on July 13. That was his first win of the year, and first race since his 5th in the KY Derby — when he was guided extremely wide throughout the affair by jockey Joel Rosario, losing all chance. Looks like he is gearing up for a serious run at the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga the end of the month. Worked at Del Mar this morning for Team Baffertr and the son of Candy Ride ripped off a 6 furlong move in 1:12 flat. That was the only time clocked for the distance, but by all accounts he was well in hand and smooth throughout the performance. Look out. All I’m saying.
  2. Eclair, a 2YO daughter of Bernardini and trained by Bob Baffert, worked this morning at Del Mar, as well. The filly — who cost $420,000 to buy as a 2YO earlier this year — went a very nice half mile in :48.80. that was the 17th best time out of 40 to clock the distance. The April foal has raced once, finishing 4th in a MSW event at Del Mar on Aug. 3. Look for more next time out. Made the lead early in that 6 furlong affair, but tired after setting very quick early fractions under rider Drayden Van Dyke.
  3. Kingly, a 3YO son of Tapit and also trained by Baffert, worked this morning at Del Mar, as well. Busted a half-mile move in :49 flat — which was the 21st best time out of the 40. Two races back, ran a disappointing and distant third to a very game Game Winner. But last time out, Baffert moved him to the grass in the G3 La Jolla Handicap, and he stomped to a neck victory in the first try over the sod. Looks like this one has found a new home.
  4. Extra Hope, a 3YO son of Shanghai Bobby and trained by Richard Mandella, looked awfully good on the Del Mar dirt this morning. Has not been out since running 4th in a division of the G2 Rebel Stakes back earlier this year, but got his 6th published work since July 12 this a.m., and turned in a 5-furlong move in :59.80. That was the 2nd best time out of 23 to clock the distance. Look for this one to be ready for a race soon. In 8 lifetime starts, he has a 2-1-2 record — including a 3rd in the G1 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity to Game Winner last December.
  5. Firenze Fire, a 4YO son of Poseidon’s Warrior and trained by Jason Servis, is coming off a 5th in the G1 Met Mile and a 4th in the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes in the last two outs. But in 18 career starts, he has a 7-1-2 record and over $1.28 million in earnings. Worked at Saratoga this morning, going a half mile in an easy :50.25. That was 7th best of 14. Should be ready for another Stakes event at “The Spa” before the meet concludes around Labor Day.

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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